April was a Life School intensive. In no particular order…
1. New Things Are Scary At First
Last weekend I found myself on the edge of a fifteen-foot pool wearing scuba gear. As I jumped in for my maiden attempt at diving, I was flooded by pictures of the made-for-tv movie that I watched as a child. The characters were on a boat that sunk while they were sleeping, and they drowned IN THEIR SLEEP beneath the ocean, unable to breath. From the moment I put the mask on, I felt myself clench up a little bit. And then, in the pool attempting to breath off of the respirator but continually managing to suck down water, I started to get pissed. I am just going to have to explain to people that I am not the scuba diving type of person! It doesn’t help when you know that your lack of breathing is complicating your ability to think rationally. I don’t know what made me stop choking and start breathing. It was a lot of talking myself down from the wall, but it happened: I had fun under water.
2. Make Space
There are only so many hours in the day. Seriously. This month a lot of them went towards choreographing a high school musical in the suburbs, and a lot of other projects went on hold. I’m getting better at saying no when a project doesn’t genuinely jazz me up (or pay my bills). I know too well that it’s a real bummer to resent where your time and energy are going. I guess it goes back to the idea of making a clearing. That said…
3. What Are You Trying To Do?
One of my major, major (major) goals has been being debt-free. I know, it’s probably taboo to talk about money. But, here I am. I’ve had any number of unfortunate financial adventures, from several medical surprises, to shows that I’ve gone into debt producing, to losing my job. I’ve learned that money doesn’t have to be scary; it’s actually quite useful. In order to hopefully attain my goal of being debt-free by 30 (soon!), I spent many hours yelling 5-6-7-8, again! in the suburbs, and shelving other projects, because being debt-free is what I’m trying to do, even at the cost of other things. And, sometimes I have to remind myself of that– that I can’t have it all at once.
4. Try To Do What You’re Best At
I seriously doubt that I will ever choreograph another musical again. There are others who are far superior at jazz hands. I would be just fine if I never hear the words “Can’t you just add some more arms?” from another director.
5. Gravitate Towards People You Respect
I’m inspired by a lot of people. Sometimes approaching them as friends and collaborators feels scary, though. I’m so glad that I met the folks who produce ARTCRANK. Learning from and being surrounded by people who make things happen with positivity, smarts, and vision was such a privilege. And, it made me feel braver about approaching others. So, watch out, people! I’m coming for you!
6. You’ll Figure It Out
At the end of the month, I learned that the restaurant I work for was unable to negotiate a lease, and is closing at the end of May. Luckily, it was a part-time job. Luckily, I’m good at piecing things together. But, it’s truly been a moment of shrugging my shoulders and saying to myself ‘I’ll figure it out.’ I will.