I have a scary admission to make to you today, dear reader. (Deep breath)
I share this because I think it’s important for us to shake things up every now and then. To wake up those parts that lie dormant by virtue of routine or comfort.
And…I’m sharing this before I even know if it’s going to actually happen. Also important. The more shots we take on goal, the more chances we have to score…isn’t that what they always say? It’s not authentic to simply shout out to our tribe each red-hot, blazing success: we have to also celebrate the nail-biting attempts we make so that none of us has the delusion that it’s all so easy. That’s just irresponsible. And it’s a lie. (Tweet this!)
First confession: I got rejected by a literary agent. One I adore. We hit it off like wildfire when our short consult turned into a 90 minute gabfest of laughter, sass and shared understanding. We were both saddened by it. And she sent me the most heartfelt and useful rejection I’ve ever gotten in my life. Bright side: we bonded, and I’m convinced we will work together at some point. I’m sure of it in my bones. The connection we made inspires me to want to make that happen.
But you have to pick your creative butt up off the floor and shake it off when these things happen. I have other irons in the fire this summer. “Passion scratches” to itch.
This June, I hope to take a five-week sabbatical from consulting and speaking. I’m applying to San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre’s Summer Acting Congress. I was thisclose to applying in 2006 and 2007, confident my company would support me in taking the time away (A lovely young opera singer co-worker took a similar artistic summer leave to attend a music program not once, but twice – with full top brass support). But it just wasn’t the right time personally.
Now, I’m working for myself. I’m back in the San Francisco Bay Area. My husband fully supports the idea of recharging my creative mojo. So the time is right. After last year’s book launch, I don’t have a new book in me just yet and so I need another artistic outlet of self-expression and storytelling.
Am I scared? Hell yes. Not only about possible rejection, but about the unknown. Health-wise, I’m also a little concerned about the grueling schedule. Since my brain injury a few years ago, fatigue and stamina are still issues and making my own schedule has been a savior. But I’ll be on someone’s else’s clock from 9-6 pm, Monday through Thursday – plus any outside rehearsal time. Can I handle it? Will overwhelm and anxiety creep in, tipping over the plates I’ve balanced so precisely to adapt to this new health realty? Maybe. Who knows.
I told my husband, “What the hell? I’ll try and if it’s killing me, of course I’ll stop.”
Why am I doing this? For no reason other than to recharge, change my scenery, reframe my thinking and explore possibilities. Maybe it will just make me a better conference speaker. Maybe I’ll find new indie theatre projects. Maybe I’ll want to pursue directing. Or maybe, Scorsese will find me, fall madly in love with my acting and cast me in his next Leonardo flick.
Point is….you can’t find new opportunities to explore if you don’t ever leave your room. (Tweet this!)
So I invite you to join me. What makes you squirm? What mountain do you think to yourself, “Oh, please! I’d never be able to climb that. I’m just not that kind of person?” Can you find a way to stare down the fear, stand up straight and march forward? Maybe take that class, book that trip, reach out to that long estranged friend, start writing that book, or open that business you’ve always wanted. Need help or inspiration getting started? Check out my good friends’ Warren and Betsy Talbot’s killer program, Dream, Save, Do: An Action Plan for Dreamers
Photo credit: Alaskan Dude on Flickr
What big gut-wrenching, face-slapping, mojo-moving risk will YOU take? And just imagine, for a moment, what might you find on the other side?