I have spent the last 5 days relaxing and reflecting.
A much needed activity.
I was on the bus yesterday and the only other passenger was an elderly woman. I had put my money in the fare counter and asked if she would corroborate my story (that I paid) if the driver came back and was suspicious. She said she would and I asked her about her day. In a matter of 10 minutes she had told me about her childhood travelling the coast of Oregon and how much her friends had became her family in recent years after her parents died. She embodied happiness for me. Here she was simply riding the bus to see where it would take her. She had her book, time and was ready for an adventure. It made me step back and think about the experiences I'm missing out on by rushing around not being present.
I have had this wonderful opportunity presented to me, and although I am having the time of my life and meeting remarkable people, I find myself thinking about what needs to happen when this dream sequence ends: What is the next phase of my career? Where is my next paycheque coming from? Who do I need to meet next? Granted, these are all important questions for an actor to ask, but not as important as focusing on what is in front of me.
When my class was working with Joe Ziegler, on A Midsummer Night's Dream, I had booked a short film, Bone Deep, back in Halifax while playing Theseus in the show. Joe generously said I could leave to shoot the film that weekend, but then the next day when we were working my scenes I was completely unprepared due to my preoccupation with the film. My work in the show suffered and Joe felt taken advantage of. After all was said and done he said this to me, "Do your best with what you have right now. Then when that is over, you can move onto the next thing." As it was before, it now has to become my mantra again.
A few days ago I went to the beach and as soon as my feet hit the water my worries just slid off of me. I forget how soul cleansing it is. Perhaps it is the maritimer in me, but nothing eases my tensions more than the ocean. While I was treading water I thought about how simple my life could be if I just let go of all these trivial agendas. Being in that water, not only showed me how out of shape I am, but also how glorious it is to just be here, now.
The people that I've caught up with are all at similar points in their life; feeling bogged down about their career paths or the need to keep up with the Jones'. If I'm learning anything lately it's that everyone has to forge their own paths. Trying to compare oneself with someone else is useless and ultimately thieving the joy from ones life.
"Gratitude is the antidote to misery." - Robin Sharma
I have been working on incorporating this quote into all facets of my life and it has only brought positive experiences to me. Every person I have met and conversed with over the last few weeks has been nothing short of generous and insightful. The amount of people who have met me with generosity simply because I have taken the time to be real with them, listen to them speak about their lives and offer my advice, is huge. There is so much more to generosity than monetary gain, and my soul feels warmer because of it.
If life is a series of experiences rather than number of years on the Earth, I really want to give every person and opportunity the time they deserve. I watched a wonderful Ted Talk the other night that spoke about how we need to focus more on our relationships and the legacy we are leaving behind rather than all of the superficial things that pollute our day-to-day lives.
I couldn't agree more.