Sunday, August 11, 2013

"If you build it, they will come"...

Remember that movie "Field of Dreams"?  Yeah, it's a baseball flick (and when I first saw it as a kid, I was a huge baseball fan), but man, it's so much more than that, and it's one of my favorites (if you haven't seen it, stop here, watch it, come back, we'll discuss.  No worries we'll wait.  Well, at least this post will still be here when you return).  Anyway, this guy, Ray, is on this journey he doesn't understand, but he can't stop. He's faced with the possibility of losing his farm, but he has to keep going. Everyone thinks he's crazy.  But still he continues.  More and more, I'm beginning to see that I'm just like him. I'm Ray.

Times are hard...for everyone, a lot of the time, I know that.  I'm not the only one that struggles. Even the super successful, seemingly perfect, I have it all people, have bad times.  Unfortunately, it seems like the past few weeks have been a little bit harder for me.  The times are a'changing and new issues have popped up.  Anxiety creeps in slowly and self-doubt enters quietly until both break down the door of your sanity and self-esteem, replacing them with fear and self-doubt.  They sleep peacefully right next to you, while you lie awake for hours worrying and trying to make it all right (Is that too poetic? Guess someone's been trying to write too many lyrics lately).  And I get it, I'm in a business with absolutely NO GUARANTEES!!  I also can leave at any second, and choose a more safe and secure life; and just for the record, sympathy is the one thing I am not after.  So I choose to hide the craziness from most people, and only let those that understand it, in.  But since I know I'm one of many that struggle, I share it all here, with you.

Lately, I've been so worried about my future, and money (or lack there of), and how much longer I can go on like this, and thinking "how the fuck is this all gonna play out?" (pardon my French, but sometimes the good old F-word is needed). Sometimes I wish I could see the future, and then I take a breath, I'm grateful that that gift was not bestowed upon me. But then I get angry.  Why did I choose this life? Better yet, why did it choose me? Why was this overwhelming desire to perform and create, given to me (and I do believe it was given to me)?  And if this is supposed to be my destiny, why is it so unbelievably tough sometimes?  Can you tell that I think a lot, far too much maybe?  But it's the only way I know to try, and make some sense of things I don't have answers to, or understand.

After many mornings (or really late nights) of thinking and thinking, this is what I came up with.  I don't for one second regret the dreams that were given to me, no matter how many struggles or how many obstacles cross my path.  This is because I know it's all pushing me along the road to my destination.  I could have denied the dream, my gifts, who I am, and chosen a different path, one that would have given me far more money and much less stress (as well as, less rejection, less fear, less heartache), but that was not the desire that was put into my heart.  And since I don't have that crystal ball with all the answers, the one that will that tell me 100% that these struggles will be worth it in the end, I just have to BELIEVE it!

So when the s*#t hits the fan (one profanity in a blog post is enough, at least for the time being), I now ask myself, why?  Why is this happening?  What can I possibly learn from this? And what am I doing, or not doing, that is causing the extra struggle.  To me, these things are happening because it's leading me somewhere else. Even if I don't understand it, and even if I hate it at the time...I believe I feel the pain, the disappointment, the anxiety, so I can take action and move forward.   I refuse to let it hold me back, but rather to propel me forward.

I have a few friends and family members who tell me (paraphrasing of course), "you should go back to school and be a teacher", "you should work here or there"," you should do this or that"; and I get it.  I understand it's all out of love, because they are scared for me (some times I'm scared for me too) but what they don't get is the desire I have in my heart, down to my bones, for telling stories, in whatever capacity that takes form, or flight.  The desire I have to entertain and to communicate, all in the hopes that one day I can help someone get through their day, just as countless other performers and writers, have helped me get through mine.  I do get it, but I can't go there.  I just keep going. Because just like "Field of Dreams" and that iconic quote I titled this post, I do believe that if I continue on this journey, one day it will all be worth it. And if I continue to do the work, one day the people who need it, will see it, and hopefully feel it.  If I build it, they will come.

I am Ray.  I think we all are Ray, but sometimes we let Timothy Busfield (Ray's brother-in-law, who thinks he's completely off his rocker, and wants him to stop this crazy pursuit), we let him win the battle.  Let's just make sure we don't let him win the war.  And here's hoping no one needs to choke on a hot dog for us to believe in our dreams (really, go watch the movie, and don't even get me started on the "ease his pain" part, I lose it every time).   Just go build that sucker, someone out there is waiting for it!


Candie said...

I love you Ray, and I appreciate so much that you are following your dreams. It's tough, but we are the lucky ones :)

TwynMawrMom said...

I sigh, I know...
I've learned that it's not going to go away, that feeling...
so you might as well embrace it and use it.
a life in pursuit of a dream will never be unfulfilled.