There are so many different types of love. Love of people, love of things, love of the intangible, love of food, love of love, love of art, love of work. We attribute so much, and so little, meaning to this word. It’s an emotion, a way of life, a code, a noun, a verb, a promise, a blessing, a curse, a conversation, and an art form in and of itself.
As a creative, I frequently question my own pursuits. I always have. Well, maybe not always. From the age of 12, I have questioned the end result of my pursuits. What will make me successful? When will I know that I’ve hit success? Will I even be able to recognize it if it happens? Has it already occurred? Did I miss it? Was that all? Does it keep happening in waves? On and on and on and on like a mental plague or storm. Except the storm is my endless line of self interrogation, and my fragile self is the pitiful little boat adrift at sea that is being bombarded by wave after wave of unanswerable questions. God, that sounds pretentious, but it is where my brain can take me.
I have been told by many others that I admire and respect to just do the work. If you are doing the work, then more work will follow and you will be filled with satisfaction having done the work. Yet, I can’t rip my mind away from an obsession with the end result. I am obsessed with knowing why I am spending so much time, so much effort, so much energy toward this love for creating art. What will become of it? What will become of me?
All of these questions lead to a bigger question: Am I doing the right thing with my life?
I know from experience the true root of that question is my fear of death and the unknown. So, when I condense the really big overwhelming and powerful questions plaguing me about my pursuit of the arts down to their most basic form I am left with this: Fear.
By my own experience, fear is the opposite of love. It is the darkest and blackest cave that I have found in the deep recesses of the human mind. It is a hard wired byproduct of being animals that had to survive day in and day out. Except now, my fear is almost a luxurious emotion. I can be so consumed by fear that I’m “not doing the right thing with my life”, because I don’t have to worry about day to day survival. I have the luxury of concerning myself with being happy and successful. WHEW! Talk about first world problems….
So, if that’s the case, then the fear is not real. IF the fear is not real, then I don’t need it. Instead, I can have love. For myself and my pursuits. And, if I can truly attain that spirit and attitude…I think I would call that success.
Just today, I went to tape an audition for a TV series. I got to go spend 20 minutes with a couple of my favorite acting coaches in Austin, TX. More than that, I got to do all of the work ahead of time preparing for my audition. Crafting my story. Crafting my character. Crafting my choices. For a scene that would probably last a minute tops, I spent hours doing the work. And, I loved it.
The rest of the story…hopefully I get cast. If I don’t, will that stop my pursuit?
Because, I love what I do…and the rest just follows.