What better thing to bring into existence and care for than the life one wishes to lead?! Obviously our parents brought us into existence originally and literally, but from the time we could form an opinion, speak, cultivate a talent, and dream, these little lives of ours have really been up to us to do with what we will. What are you willing to trade precious time for and, when that time is up, what will you look back on with pride or regret? Where have you chosen safe and comfortable over unknown and, therefor, scary? What is important to you? What makes you happy? What would you do if money were plentiful and you couldn’t fail?
I’ve been thinking a lot about these questions lately as I look at the choices that have led me to exactly where I sit right now, writing this, at a green desk, surrounded by objects I love, in my office, in a home I remodeled, on a 2200sf lot, in a city I moved to for college almost eighteen years ago, in the state I grew up in, one hour from the town my family still lives in, in the country I was born in, on a Thursday night. Besides having no control over who I was born to or where I was born, I created and curated everything else in that sentence, with the choices I made.
This realization came as a bit of a shock to me a few years ago, when I suddenly felt that I didn’t recognize my life or know how it had come to be what it was. Without realizing it, I had either made choices by not making them or by making them to satisfy someone, or something, else’s idea of what was important. It was sometime in 2013, around the time I started this blog, that I realized a few of the things that were important to me were to have some type of a normal daily routine, write, take pictures, be of service, travel, have more fun, and see my loved ones more often. I was tired of accepting 70+ hour a week costuming jobs on movie sets because I didn’t know how to say no, was addicted to the adrenaline high, the money, and the ego boost it provided. During these jobs my plants died, relationships disintegrated, and I stopped sleeping.
I needed balance in all areas of my life and didn’t know where to begin. So, I started small. I took a break from out of town jobs. Then from jobs that were too long. Then from any job that didn’t sound amazing. And, by doing so, was quickly reminded of the saying “for every no, there’s a better yes around the corner.” I’ve become picky about the jobs I accept and base my choices on how each will benefit or hurt the creative and full life I have finally begun building, not how the job will fulfill my ego. I’ve begun to see time as the most precious of all, more so than status or money, and, though money earned from costuming still supports things such as blogging, making tiny movies, and taking photos, I am less willing to sacrifice so much of my energy for that end. I am currently working part time on a TV show and couldn’t be happier. It allows me the time to sit at my computer on a Thursday night, thinking about how I want to create this awesome life of mine.
It is only recently that I can see it all as a creative project. How I cook, dress, arrange my bookshelf, stay in touch with friends, play with my nephew, work in a costume department, and write is a big bunch of choices I make daily, which will lead me to either feel like I am living my life or that it is living me.