“What is with all these people throwing their hands up?” my friend was saying to me.
He wasn’t talking about me, but I knew I was guilty. There was THIS thing, and then ANOTHER crazy-making other thing that I needed to rant about.
I was beginning to see his point: throwing my hands up in the air, to give up and give in to frustration is the stance of the victim. If I do that, I am letting life give me a stick-up.
“Hands in the air! Give me all your valuables!”
My most valued thing is my ability to do something in the world. Getting my hands in there and doing what needs to be done, that’s all I’ve really got. Here, you can take my wallet and my watch. I won’t need to keep track of the passing of time if I am doing nothing with it anyway.
I was born to do the things that I can do–to be more precise, to do the things that only I can do.
That takes getting engaged. That takes using my strength and my heart and my hands to grapple with life. So glorious to realize that I can take my hands down, put them at my sides and get some leverage on what matters.
But what matters? What should I do?
I should do what matters to me. It’s as easy and as hard as that.
I get to do what I do. I get to be me.
Doing what I do means taking the chances my days give me. I should leap at the chances to engage with the world around me and the people around me.
In the elevator last week, door opened on a guy in a t-shirt.
I asked him what he was there for.
“I am here for voice-over work.”
Oh. An actor. And now we were at our stop. “Good luck, I hope you get the part.”
“Oh, I already have it.”
We separated; I had to pick up my package.
I live in the shadow of Hollywood. I have had dealings with actors before. He stayed in my mind, because he was far less arrogant than most actors I meet. He didn’t treat me like a two-dimensional audience like they usually do.
He was still waiting in the hall when I came out with my package.
I wanted to talk to him some more.
But I had no reason to.
Except…life is to engage with.
I had no reason not to. Dive in!
I approached him, “What’s your name? Should I go like you on Facebook?”
“Oh, I’m not on Facebook.”
“You’re an actor right? Are you in anything?”
“Nothing you would know…”
“Well, I’m trying to be a fan, but I am having a hard time figuring out how.”
He laughed, a shy laugh.
“So you only do voice work? You should get a job doing animation.”
“No, animation means you have to have a funny voice…like a cartoon voice.”
“That’s true. Your voice is kind of gravelly. I know! You could be a dog.”
“I like dogs.”
“There! Tell your agent to get you a dog.”
It was a lovely conversation, which was very much the sort of conversation that I tend to have. He laughed, and it restored my faith in actor-kind.
This engage-with-life idea was working.
Yeah! Go forth and express self-hood! Don’t repress! Dive in!
So that evening I go express myself into a flame war online.
Someone was threatening to set his hair on fire to prove that I was wrong.
Not everybody is going to love me all the time.
There are going to be people who don’t see it my way, and some of those people are going to decide that someone’s hair needs to be set on fire.
Yikes! It can be so unexpectedly dangerous to be me. THIS is why…*hands thrown up*…
Here I go again. Didn’t I just get over that? That’s not fun anymore. There are obstacles, there’s bound to be. But if I hang on to the truth of what I know, and I keep trying it will be ok.
With the possibility of way better than okay.