Lately even the simple question of “have you been getting any work” or “do you have any job prospects” makes me quiver. Not because I don’t want to answer. It is hard to define what I feel when I get asked that. It doesn’t even have to be in question form, even the simplest of “I hope you are ripping up NYC!” something meant with the best intent and I understand it and appreciate it throws me for a loop. I think one of the things that gets me bothered is that many people think that I left to go back to NYC with a very defined clear objective in mind and that in a few months they would be able to come out here and see or hear of my achievements, when in reality it has been 3 months already and the first 1 and a half were spent in a sort of alter reality where I acted as if there was a death in the family, and I could hardly leave my house unless it was to do something mindless like workout or sit on the bed of a friend watching them go about their daily life as I just took up space.
I was offered a few jobs here and there during that time but I couldn’t even get off my ass to file for unemployment, money that could really help me. I tried to take a few jobs in that time, but I just couldn’t get to it. There was a lot of pressure in my head and from people close to me to grab jobs that pulled on my resume, and just go, but I realized in the last few months, I cannot just play off the comfort of a resume, and I have to really pull apart my resume and hone on the parts that define me and what I believe to be a future GENERAL AREA.
I have realized something very important as of late, it isn’t about what you are going to do for the rest of your life but that you are pointed in a direction with opportunities and people that are what you think is the general direction of what you want to be doing. Because in the end I suppose my personality will only let me settle for happiness, and how I define that I am still figuring out. Butfor me I will never know unless I DO.
And that is what I am doing. The last three weeks have revealed a lot to me about myself and what it is that gets me going, but I will get to that in a minute.
During this first month one of the real saving graces was my tennis partner, it allowed me to maintain the work I put into my physical self since I no longer had my trainer. And trust me that part of me has a big enough effect on my mental condition that it truly was a saving grace.
I watched as my savings gets depleted, not quickly but steadily and it scares me day by day yet in some strange sense it is enthralling me and spending it, something I have always been soo careful not to do is exhilarating. Not in the sense where I am the person who is deciding to rebel against prior methods of living to feel the rush until the rush is over and there is nothing left, but in a simpler, optimistic way. Can I even define that exactly? Nope.
The second month I moved into my place and focused my efforts into finding a release, that came in the form of a new video game which I played into the ground turning my 6am – 10pm schedule into a 4pm to 6am schedule. I felt shitty, I started getting physical pain from lack of any physical activity. But I met my neighbors outside the fire escape of my house and that simple interaction with fellow creative’s (who woulda thought I would move right next to a pianist, a model, and a creative organizer) helped me to, after many until 4am talks, cigarette in hand, snap out of it a bit and begin my workout again.
At this point I had lost some tone and gained a few pounds, nothing terrible but I could notice enough to effect me mentally, so I started the Insanity workout. It felt strange doing a workout in my bedroom, but it also gave me energy to leave my apartment, go shopping, and eat good food. It gave me confidence to be a bit of myself again, it kick started me to start getting into gear.
So the last few weeks have been crazy as well, completely unplanned and spontaneous, but ended up being very helpful, filled with ups and downs, anxiety up to the eyes and just plain old feelings of cloudiness. That is when I need to thank the stars above me for the people around me and their support for me and the support I can give back to them in return. My birthday was a big day of overwhelming anxiety, as that day always seems to show the clock as clear as day. Panic attacks never felt so foreign as that day. And they seem to be a very thick fog that hover around me after that, not sure when they will relax a bit, but for now they are here and the feeling is like to say you are sitting in a room filled with manufactured smog, not enough to smother you but enough to make you feel strange.
One thing that isn’t in the manual about moving back to be closer to family is how to be able to say no to them, when you need to be on your own, and when to bring them closer when they really need you there and when you need them.
Distance can make relationships stronger in that regards because a phone call is more important at 12 pm eastern time even if it was just 9pm mine. So how do you express to the people who support your decisions that it isn’t the decisions you are scared of but the air you breath in this new, but familiar place.
My sister is looking for a place to live right now and helping her look has given me a very high respect for my apartment and living conditions. I had trouble with the move in regards to that as well, since California rent and quality of living is way different than NYC. But I truly feel very safe and comfortable in my place now. It just took some reflection and comparison to really understand.
This last week was especially telling as I had the opportunity to couch someone with their monologues that would either make or break their college career at the school they were in. We worked rigorously to shape them, and I could not have helped the way I did without everything I have experienced up to this point, without every TV show I have seen where they pick the people less likely to put in effort and be unaware of how to make their passions into a career mentality, or every separated from the situation view on aspects of life, or the places where I really excelled at work. I loved the feel of sitting on the corner of a couch, script in hand, frantically writing down notes as I watched the monologues transform in front of me. I suppose there is a reflection effect I can see myself as that monologue with the scribbles all over the margins and words spaced and underlined. I am that piece of paper, I need to be as dedicated as the pencil was to those words and work on my life with everything I’ve got, preparing and getting it to a point where the nervousness I feel for the performance, just fuels the piece itself. “I am the white crayon”
It was an experience that helped me to get back to my roots of theatre and take a stab at something I love but with a whole lot more life under my belt. So while it was not something new it was completely new in context to who I am now. I was rusty but it was like riding a bike.
It is also helping me prepare and really get my chops wet again, dust off the ole somethin’ or other, for a future project for directing that may or may not come to fruition, that I can talk about when I know more.
I got the call today from that person that 45 minutes after their audition, they were accepted into the program and I never felt such a excitement for someone while also having panicky conflict. It took a few moments for me to really grasp the situation. I sat there with my old fears of, “why isn’t that me” performing. Why aren’t I chasing that dream and just helping others. I wasn’t jealous at all it was more of a, is this really what I wanna do, help others and put my old dream on hold. But that is where I sat down and thought, talked out loud and just reflected, internalized, panicked, worked out this: I don’t think I want to be that person anymore that does what I helped them to achieve, I loved helping them, and while that may not be what my end goal is, it is absolutely, 100% in the right direction of what I want to be involved in. And I realized that is exactly what I need to be doing. Exactly THAT, who knows but like I said before, pointing myself in the direction of people and experiences that have to do with what I love is the start, and I am completely happy with that.
I signed up for Match.com the other day, because I was interested in seeing the difference between the responses I got when I was heavier and now. Where did that come from? Well it kinda stems from how I began to write this in the start. I sent this message to someone today:
“Btw, when we see each other I totally understand the idea that life isn’t always good answers or answers in general. So wherever you are in yours understand I’m still searching for mine too. I just think you are an interesting enough person to share even the strange confusing days with. If that makes sense, I just got that sense from our attempts to get together. Your status updates and how with my move back I feel similar from the little I can gather from a facebook post. Not to mention I have been obsessing over my physical state since I changed it a bunch since we last saw each other. but the more I thought about it, the more I realize the more prepared we go into seeing each other the less likely it is to be real for either of us.”
To this the response was sincere. I say this in regards to my match.com profile because, as the NYTimes has now reported, a phone call as is now considered a breach of etiquette to those who are not really close.
“Americans are talking less on their cellphones. When they do talk, the conversations are shorter, according to industry data. Partly, this reflects the shift in use of cellphones more as mobile computers that communicate via written messages. But this also reflects a subtle shift in etiquette, experts say. People increasingly use text messages and e-mail to arrange telephone calls, which are reserved for more important, complicated dialogues. An unscheduled call from people other than family members, they say, is often regarded as a rude intrusion.”
And I realized I was trying to portray that everything was OK on there and grab peoples attention through something witty or personal, and I was ready to give me in a nice sunlight to someone, when in reality, I just wanted to sit down and be able to talk real with this person about life and spark our brains as the night goes on. I guess it kinda makes sense, even if I am very old school in my interaction ways, to use every form of communication to really be honest and yourself regardless of how the outcome may be. And especially for someone like me that hates texting, to find that way to text in a way that gives off the vibe of how I will be when in person, instead of trying to be txt Tristan and In Person Tristan. More like how I write, explaining a situation rather than trying to live the situation through those medias. Because then the in person will follow.
I can’t say I believe in finding yourself before you can be happy with someone else. I think being able to find someone who is willing to work on finding someone else and finding themselves at the same time is healthy. I mean an old teacher of mine said it could take a lifetime without success to truly find yourself, or soul search as he said. Well I don’t have that much time to do both.
So all of this is my journey so far. So “what are your plans?”.. simple it is to fight every day to figure it out and my mind is fighting back, but I feel strong.