If you’re feeling down and unsure of your future, this might be the story for you. It is a long story, but I promise you a happy ending.
Today was a down day. You may have noticed a depressing trend in my posts of late in contrast to all the cool stuff I’m doing while visiting a really cool place (Australia) full of super cool people (Dan and his fam and friends). You may not understand how I could feel down but I’m frustrated even amidst all the coolness.
I always thought the most important thing in life was relationships and I wanted to “succeed” at that. And now, I have the most perfect relationship. I got exactly what I wanted – I succeeded. I felt like I always put relationships first seemingly, often to the detriment of my passion, my career. And now, without expecting it, I got a relationship so much better then I ever imagined possible. Which means, the one thing I wanted most, I achieved. How is that not enough for me? I, selfishly, want both. I want a career I can be proud of in the performing arts. I want to do that one job that I really feel is “making it” before we start having kids. I don’t ever want to feel like I didn’t get it, because I feel like that now, every single day. I am a better partner when I’m proud of my achievements, when I am doing what I love. Even when I was single I felt like a failure over and over again. I’ve done so many things on the side of performing – office work, waitressing, dog grooming, teaching. All the wash up jobs. But there were little points that I thought “yes! finally, I’m doing something I love” little things really, dancing in the summer shows, Pirates – I adored doing aerial work at Pirates. I thought I finally found my niche, I’m not the best dancer, and I’m a new aerialist, but because I had the combo of dance and aerial work I felt like magic in the air. After a year or so I started putting myself down even though I loved the actual work. I felt like I was living the dream, but hopefully the beginning of the dream. I started telling myself I couldn’t turn thirty working for more than 3 years at a place that served mashed potatoes a dinner theater. When I left I knew it was time to move on, I’d done that job, loved the actual work, hated aspects of it sometimes. But I was proud of what I did. Then a black hole of 2 years that was supposed to be the next stepping stone of my career. The show fell through and I ended up in a foreign country doing crap work but for waaaay better money then anything I ever did in LA. Sell out. I’m in a 10 times better financial situation but my body is not what it was when I was doing 12 shows a week. And that is much more of a motivator to me then a paycheck. I have a relationship that makes the 2 years worth it. But I want it all.
The reason writing this long, seemingly selfish and self absorbed post out is important is this – it shows me that my fears are just fears and not a profound statement on reality. Everything I have wanted in life I have gotten after experiencing fear, anguish and self doubt. So what I’m feeling now is just following that same pattern. I wondered if I’d ever meet a man who wanted to be with me through thick and thin. Someone I respected more then I loved. Love, regardless of what the Beatles think, is not enough for me. I have loved many a man, some of them were unable to tell me the truth. Some where unable to deal with life in general. I loved them dearly. But love doesn’t a good husband make, love doesn’t always breed respect, love doesn’t always heal. Sometimes love breeds pity, disappointment, settling, enabling. Perhaps I am lucky because my childhood taught me this to an extent. Love is a beautiful important thing. But it doesn’t pay your bills at the end of the day and it doesn’t have the courage to protect your children when they’re in danger. Courage, honesty, integrity all help. I love Dan. I also respect his judgement, find him talented and easy to talk to. I don’t know what the magic cocktail is in our life that makes us click but I can’t imagine a better person to go through everything important with. I trust him. Perhaps that’s more important then love. I tell him often that I would have settled for so much less in a man and a relationship without even knowing there was more to be had. He’s more then I imagined.
So when I am feeling low about my career and feeling like I’m too old to be where I am now, I remind myself of this: one way or another, I always get what I really want. I said I wanted to be the aerialist at Pirates when I was hired as the ingenue, never knowing it could actually come to fruition. At a low point in my career ( I had a brief occasion to take a job as a choreographer at Club Med and hated it, quitting at week 3) I suddenly got picked to train for the aerialist role. The stars aligned and shortly I was the full time performer. I wanted and worked for a husband. Sound funny? I worked for a meaningful romantic relationship ever since I was 6 and knew I wanted to get married and have kids. But through relationships I had some major downs ( a few ups too) but it seemed like I was a huge failure in the love department. I distinctly remember saying to a friend before I left for Singapore that I was just a major relationship screw up. I went at the low low point of my personal life and I came back (after a good 8 month dry spell, lots of tears and putting on the loneliness chub) with the man I know I want to, one way or another, spend the rest of my life with. I want to have his babies. And train his puppies. And fold his underwear. Yeah, it’s that serious.
So, I promised you a happy ending, here it is: I am at the low point of my career. I’m ready and expecting that big break, that huge opportunity. Patience was never a virtue I embodied. It’s hard to have patience when you don’t believe you have enough talent to get what you really want in life. So instead of relying on my patience or my belief in my abilities, I’m relying on my wicked memory. Reminder to Crista – everything I’ve ever really wanted I got, but only after many tears were shed and I stopped believing I was going to get it. So I’m going to let myself cry some tears and get upset and doubt my self worth a little bit. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean I fold. It means I care.
It’s not the same kind of happy ending you get at the massage parlor but…
Oh fitness, right. I took an active rest day today. My legs, especially my inner thighs are quite tight, I think from dance yesterday. So I took a good long time to stretch them out and then walked a slow 3 miles on the treadmill. I ended with more stretching and a few ab exercises. I’ll be back in action tomorrow. I’m still concocting my plan of action – it has to be something that allows me to marathon train and stay flexible classes. Nutrition will be touched on too. My body is my job. Its worth planning and effort. Over and out.