Sunday, February 9, 2014

carefree summer

"I don't believe in signs, Erica."

I faltered mid sentence and glanced at her briefly before turning back to the road. "You don't believe in signs?" I had to assure I'd heard her right.

"No. You're always talking about things like they're signs and I don't believe in signs."

Perhaps it's my innate skills of word working that has me constantly searching for deeper meaning in the text of life. Perhaps, in the way more analytical folks see patterns and numbers in the day to day things, writers and dreamers search for the metaphor within. That's what separates the disciplines; empirical vs spiritual. The deduction of how things work rather than why things work and what it all means. It's the artist in me. It's the religionist in me. It's what keeps me optimistic--my constant search for a clue of destiny, fate, the best to come.

There are moments in my life where I've felt what I believe to be pure peace, true joy, perfection even. But these moments are just that, moments, so the teaser of possibilities fades away, appearing only so I'll recognize it when I do finally stumble upon it. They'd come when I would read. I got into "chapter books" and novels in elementary because they made me feel something; dropped me in this world I didn't know about, took me places, had me experience things I never did. I would feel free, liberated, carefree, alive. It happens when I listen to Jason Mraz after any amount of time without hearing his angelic tones. It happens when I take the stage under another person's name. But it never stays. The book ends and it's over, the song ends and I'm empty, the show's done and the character evaporates into the vapor cloud that possessed me. I've wanted to capture it for years. I started writing a book in ninth grade that was/is titled in all my saved documents of it "carefree summer," because I wanted to write a book that embodied that feeling, that breezy life they always had in books (breezy naturally meaning feel-good, not simple and without adversity). I wanted to harness that peace, that joy, and maybe give myself the ability to keep it otherwise.

I've been muddled the past couple weeks. The semester is progressing, I'm growing more established in the new routines of my job at a credit union, the elementary school musical I'm directing is coming to the apex, and I don't know what I'm doing with my life.

I want to teach theatre. I won't find a job in that. I won't get paid for it. And should I be lucky enough to score a spot in the field, it's not a job I leave at work. Theatre doesn't stop, especially when you're the one running it all. I don't want to teach English. I'd be good at it. I can see that, but I've never wanted to, that's never been my desire. I want to write. I want to change my double major to creative writing and learn the things I really want to know to accomplish that part of my dreams. I won't find a job in that. If I happen to write something worth publishing, it's not going to rake in billions of dollars unless it somehow becomes the next teen fandom. I want to go on a mission, but I don't want to quit this job and lose that money and drop my schooling and....

Everything's just felt so wrong. Like the credit union was a mistake. Like taking generals this semester to get my associates done was the wrong course. Like I should have stayed home today.

But not this week. I can't pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but I'm going to guess it started Monday. I drove out to Ogden, and now that I do that regularly I've grown tired of the one CD I've been listening to for a couple weeks, when it usually takes a month or so before over-kill settles in. I popped in a recording of a Pickleville Playhouse melodrama and listened to the music and selected scenes of dialogue from the show, my insides burning with this excitement and happiness.

And it hasn't stopped all week. I'm addicted to it, to this feeling of feeling good. I can't get enough of this carefree summer, and other than the minor set back when an elementary school student left me a rather insulting note, this feeling hasn't gone away. I've gone from school to work to Friendsday to rehearsal to a live theatre production to lounging in my friends' apartment/duplex, and it hasn't gone away. I've been swarmed in this carefree summer all week, and I don't know what I did to get it, but it suddenly occurred to me I'm living that life I've been craving from the beginning. I'm at that point of peace and joy.

So I'm living in it. I'm taking it as a sign that things are right, here. That I'm where I'm meant to be standing regardless of what I thought now would look like. I'm taking this moment for all it is. And next semester can come when it comes. My next show will come when it's time. A mission will come when it's right. I don't need to plan ahead or worry about tomorrow. I need to lift where I stand in today and keep this carefree summer before it goes away.

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