Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Strong Life

The title of this posting is a bit of a misnomer because, I'm not necessarily living my strongest life at the moment. I will say, however, that I am living a much STRONGER life than I've ever lived before. I'm a bit behind on my "Literary Ponderings" postings and have yet to post about the Buckingham book - but it really made a difference for me. It took me through the necessary questions to figure out - "what is my strong life?"

It turns out that the key consideration I needed to ponder was: what makes me feel the strongest? (What gives me the most joy? What do I want to do no matter what?)

There really are only two answers to that. One is writing and the other is acting.

You see, lately I've really been trying to figure out what I need to do professionally to find total fulfillment and it dawned on me that perhaps that isn't the path that offers me what I need from a "life fulfillment" standpoint. Don't get me wrong, it's an important part of my life and I need to be as fulfilled as it is humanly possible for me to be from 8 to 5...BUT...for me perhaps it isn't as important as I've been making it out to be.

Writing and acting. Once those memories came into my head, I knew that no other life experiences even came close to bringing me the kind of joy and completeness I find on stage or wrapped up in my story.

It can be tough to find this strength - acting is a bit tricky at this point in my life, but I'm here to tell you that for the last two days I've woken up 30 minutes earlier so that I can write first thing in the morning. I know, it's just something I've done for two days...but it's been a great thing. I've felt as if I'm doing what I'm really supposed to be doing during those dark thirty minutes.

Society expectations continue to pop into my head, of course. I find myself wondering whether I can make this into a "career" - whether I can support my family - when that's not even the point. I pull myself back and remind myself that all I'm supposed to do right now is listen to my inner voice and simply write the story of a character who's taken residence in my soul.

The acting might be a little bit more tricky, but where there's a will....

As I drove my daughter to choir practice tonight, she told me that what she really wanted more than anything else in the world was to act. She said (with tons of passion) that nothing made her happier.

I told her that I understood exactly how she felt. I think that during the drive home, I'll tell her how great a gift it is that she knows what makes her feel such joy and that she should do whatever she can to pursue it in life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman:

'O me! O life!...of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless...of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"

Dead Poets' Society