11 April 2011

A new relaxation plan

I'm using the word "relaxation" somewhat incorrectly because my plan has very little to do with the relaxing most people think of. I'm not thinking of taking it easy or spending a day doing nothing. Instead, I'm thinking about ways to relax my body, to make me less aware of it, less concerned about how I look to others. Yesterday, I managed it. How do I know, you ask? The answer is quite simple.

At rehearsal last night, the director praised me. He said I was doing a great job and had been doing everything he'd asked me to, from my voice to my movement. Then, he gave me ideas to inject a little more character into my lines. I know this is pretty standard; after all, this is the meat and potatoes of what acting is. However, it's big news for me because I never made it past the basic bread and butter stage of "we can't hear you! speak up!"

I credit last night's extreme relaxation to the fact that I spent the day with Emma. I watched her all day and most of that time was spent out on the swing, me pushing her. I swear we went out there no less than half a dozen times and each swing session lasted at least fifteen minutes. At least, that's how it felt to me. I was completely amazed at how happy she was, just for this simple act from me. All she wanted was for me to push her on the swing, for us to spend time together. I am so grateful that I got to spend so much time yesterday with my sister, even if there had been no benefit for me.

06 April 2011

Desires and Blessings

Well, I'm showing my age. I've been setting a lot of goals lately, thinking about the future in a manner more tangible than what is offered through mere dreams. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching - and doing it in some of the most unusual and unexpected places. One of my new goals is to be in a committed relationship before I graduate college. By my count, I have about a year to meet this goal. (As well as meeting the person. Lol.) In the past, I've made a brief and far from incomplete list of what I'm looking for in a partner. The lists I'll be writing for this blog will have a slightly broader focus.

Some of the things I want in my future include:

Writing - I really need to stop kidding myself. Writing is and has always been my passion. I am never happier than when I am writing, even if it's a simple little blog like this. Yes, I'm going to complete my theater degree. Yes, it may even lead to a job. Writing, whether for the theater or not, will be my career, starving artist be damned.

Financial stability - I've had this goal pretty well carved out since I was in middle school or high school. I don't want to be fabulously wealthy (though I don't think I'd complain if it did happen) and I don't want to be famous. I'm not a big fan of being in the public eye and never have been. I just want enough money that bills can be paid on time and where I can go out if I want to instead of having to wonder if I can afford it. Frankly, I don't feel this is much to ask of the universe.

Spirituality - I hesitate to use the word religion because I don't believe a label has been made yet for my personal beliefs. Do I want to parade my feelings about God down the street or hang a banner outside my house for everyone to know exactly who I believe hears my prayers? With no pun intended, my answer is a resounding "Heavens, no!" I'll openly admit that I keep my beliefs very close to the vest. I rarely share them because  feel I don't have the right to assume that I know more than someone else simply because I have different beliefs. However, if I'm honest with myself, I know that I need the inner peace that spirituality provides. I need to make time for myself and time to commune with my choice of higher power.

Love - I've always had love in my life, possibly more than I myself have ever been aware of having. This excessive beautiful emotion must continue to color my world so that it can spill over into the lives of those around me.

An equal partner - Whether male or female, I know my body and soul is searching for my other half. Maybe it's some biological clock, maybe my heart's just tired of being lonely. I'm not analyzing it. I'm just waiting.

Animals - I have owned pets all my life. I can't see myself not having a few dogs around, at the very least.

Books - What is life if I can't read?

Listen to myself more - If this blog has shown little else, I think is does provide evidence that I am, in some ways, more mature than some of my peers. I really do need to learn to listen to my own advice more often since I know myself incredibly well. The second-guessing needs to stop and I need to stop short-changing myself.

Listen to others more - I have a tremendous support system. My family, my friends, my professors - there are so many sources there, many of them more experienced than I. I need to be more aware of taking the advice they give rather than taking more time to make my own mistakes and reach a decision they already suggested.

Those are just a few of the things I want out of life. Now, I'm going to take some very good advice and count a few of my blessings by taking a look at what I already have.

Intellect - I am very smart. I know how to think. Sometimes, I use that skill a little too much or not enough, but I still list it as one of my strengths.

Diplomacy - I have the ability to talk to people and relate to them no matter their situation. If I can't relate, I find a way to empathize. I'm generally able to look at all sides of most any situation rather than focusing only on my needs or wants. I know how to go the extra step and consider who else is involved and effected by my decisions. When making decisions, I'm usually able to remove the emotional aspect and base my choice in logic rather than feeling.

Simplicity - My life, in truth, is very simple. I have simple needs and even simple desires. This is a treasure.

Family & Friends - There's so much overlap that I'll just lump these groups together. There are so many in my life who have stood beside me in support, not only recently, but for years on end. I'm eternally grateful for that and need to make it a point to be there for more of these people rather than using them only for my own gain - not that I do this maliciously, but everyone could stand to practice a little more self-awareness.

Responsible - I know that I and no other am responsible for myself. I make my own decisions and am to blame for whatever negativity may come as a result. Many people my age don't seem to have this awareness and it hurts them in the long run.

Imagination - I still have this wonderful gift. I always have and always will, provided it is used regularly and kept in shape like any other muscle.

Emma - Possibly the biggest blessing in recent years, my little sister is an absolute ray of sunshine and my everything. It's amazing that one person can make another feel so strongly. If this feeling of love, of combined ownership and being owned, increases when a person has children of their own, I'm not sure how I'll be able to bear it. One of the surest ways to put a smile on my face is for me to hear her voice and to know that I'm someone important in her young life - not just another face, I'm her Sissy. That title means more to me than anything I could be given by any other.

Well, there's a nice little wrap-up of some of my desires and some of my blessings. Think about some of yours. What are your true, bone deep, soul fulfilling desires? What wants are so strong that they become needs? Count your blessings today. If nothing else, this will ensure you smile once today.

04 April 2011

Hemingway Enlightenment

"We are all apprentices in a craft where noone ever becomes a master." -Earnest Hemingway

This quote is all about humility, which, in my mind, is not nearly common enough these days. Everyone is critical of others, as if convinced they have all the right answers. I've experienced this at all levels in my life; I rarely understand it. As Hemingway points out, though it's likely he's speaking of writing, nobody is ever a master. There's always a boss, a supervisor, someone with more experience and authority. People don't realize this these days; they tend to think no further than themselves and judge others based on their own experiences, which isn't fair.

Here's to humility and remembering that we're all just apprentices sometimes.