"Reality" is not that you are weak, and dream of becoming strong. Poor, and dream of becoming rich. Alone, and dream of having friends. But that you're already strong, rich, and among friends. Yet, at times, dream that you're not." - Mike Dooley
I thought it was about time I sent out an update to inform you of the following:
A. I am still alive.
B. Hurricane Sandy is bitch-slapping NYC right now. (So far, so good at my home in Astoria. We've got power and I can blog.)
C. And....No. An alternate slot never did open up for me at NYU Grad Acting for Fall of 2012.
Soooooo, naturally the next question is...
"Well, Virginia, are you going to audition again for grad school for the 4th year in a row?"
Well, I am acting like I am. I am in motion. I have already chosen a few monologues. I have partially filled out the online application (at NYU at least). I have gotten together with a new monologue coach a few times. So I am taking ACTION and moving FORWARD.
But there is something not quite right. You see...
It's my heart.
My heart is not IN it...Certainly not like it was this time last year.
Now it's at this point where I have to ask myself...WHY is that?
Is it just resistance? Am I tired? Is it a passing feeling? Or am I simply ready to move on to something else?
The truth: I don't know the answer.
What do I really want at this point in my life? Is grad school really my next best step or no?
I got so close last year! Am I really ready to give up the idea of grad school altogether?
Yikes. So many ????s. And answers? Zero.
Allllll this questioning has been taking up a lot of my mental energy lately. (Exhausting.)
And I've been keeping myself busy, busy, busy... trying to AVOID reflecting on it...really. (Exhausting.)
And then... BAM! (Random out-of-the-blue occurance.)
Tonight I came across this letter that I wrote to myself back in 2009. (It was part of an exercise I wrote while working through the book Walking In This World by Julia Cameron.)
This self-addressed letter is very heartfelt and encouraging and honest.
I think I had some really important things to say to me. I feel like I am still learning all the same lessons (as always) and needing the same things reinforced for me (again and again). Maybe some day I'll be able to really change my ways of thinking, maybe not.
But since this blog is all about self-disclosing my creative process, I thought I'd share the letter with you. It's very much an accurate reflection of my thought process and how I try to chose more self-nuturing thoughts, if possible.
Always gotta remind myself that my goal of attending grad school is just ONE pathway toward my ultimate goal: living a good life. (And not somebody else's definition of a good life. MY idea of a good life. Which I'm still discovering what that is for me exactly.)
I guess, what I'm realizing is...
I'm already living a good life. Right. Now.
I have a lot of awesome things to be grateful for in my life.
And if I can slow down long enough to reflect on that, then I get this amazing feeling...unfamiliar and strange as it is... The feeling is called: contentment.
Ahhhhhh! Contentment is scary though.
I mean, what if I get so happy that I never want to DO anything again? And I just get totally unmotivated and LAZY? Aren't I fueled by my discontentment? (Yes, that is my crazy/irrational fear and subconscious resistance to happiness.)
(Yes. I am cray-cray-crayzi.)
So, anyways, this letter that I wrote to myself in 2009 is just exactly what I needed to read tonight.
I wish I could really learn to take my own advice. My 2009 self is so much smarter than my now-self. Ha!
I typed out the letter below...
Maybe there's some stuff in there you might find helpful to reflect on too. Especially on those days when the rainclouds seem to block out all the sunlight. ('Cause you know the sun is still there, you just can't see it behind all those pesky clouds!)
"Oh, Virginia...Don't you know yourself by now?"
"Nope. I remain a mystery to me."
Slow your pace down to whatever feels most comfortable for you. There is no rush. You are on your own timetable.
Trust your instincts. You know what feel right and what is going to be best for you. Trust that and don't be afraid.
Don't make decisions when you're hungry, angry, lonely or tired either. You're not in any spot to be making decisions during those times.
Forgive your body for it's fallibility and imperfections. Your body can heal itself from within.
You are a human being, not a robot. Humans need rest and care. Take time to take care of yourself. (You always feel good when you do!)
Positive change is happening. (Even when you can't see it.)
You are putting good energy out into the universe. You will be provided for.
Your right path will become clear.
Have confidence in yourself and in the potential of your talent. You have gifts and you take joy in using them.
You have so much to give. People will recognize you for your contributions. Do what you love and the money will come.
Trust in the right order of things. Be patient.
You will be ready when the time comes. Don't be afraid.
Be brave. Be confident. Be courageous.
You can create your own reality of joy and hope in your own mind. Fill your mind with positive and inspiring words.
Practice yoga and exercise when you are feeling low. It helps you.
Music brings you joy.
Ask for help when you are afraid. You are not alone. People love you and are happy to help you when you are in need.
Know that EVERYTHING changes...The best of circumstances and the worst of circumstances are just temporary.
Live in appreciation for the gifts that you have been given.
Don't be blind. Open your eyes to the beauty and joy that is all around you.
Be open and loving. People resonate with you when you are being authentically yourself.
Vulnerability is courageuos.
Trust that you are in the right place right now and that you are moving toward the next good thing.
In the mean time, don't feel guilty about taking it slow and not working so hard to make things happen. They WILL happen, in the good and right time.
I love you. You should love you, too! You are unique and beautiful.
Continue to dream big. But take comfort in the little things.
Don't apologize for taking time for yourself on a daily basis. That's the most important gift you can give yourself...time alone...to just...BE.
Believe in yourself and other people with believe in you too.
You are an inspiring and loving person with a solid moral compass. You don't have to prove it. Just be it.
Open your mind.
Know that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Your future is bright and hopeful.
You are lovable and worthy of being loved.
You are talented and you have creativity bubbling inside you. The outlets for that creativity will find you.
Listen to your heart. You'll know when it feels right.
Don't waste your energy doubting.
Don't give up on yourself.
Enjoy the ride. You cannot anticipate all the wonders you'll see along the way...
Shanghai, China (2009)
Thanks for writing this letter and hiding it in that pile of old journals where I might stumble upon it. You're always looking out for me. I appreciate that...as you well know.
Astoria, NY (2012)
Anyone else out there debating about auditioning for grad school again next year? Share your thought process in the comments. Would love to hear about your journey.