I just looked at the hit checker at the bottom of the page and I have almost had 100 hits. That is pretty amazing to me. When I started I didn't think anyone would read what I had to write. In spite of that thought, I was so afraid that people would read my thoughts, and judge me...and that those people would be people I know in my 'real life'.
I remember when I started this blog. Fear was such a big part of my life and I hadn't even named it yet. I was so unaware of it, and it ruled me so much. I think I want to write about the people who inspired me to start writing here where others could be privy to my thoughts. Those two people helped me let go of that original fear, and are still helping me now.
They are directly responsible for the creation of this blog, and only one of them knows that it exists. My mother, who writes her own blog, brought the idea into my head. So many times last summer I sat at the computer when no one else was home and wondered if I could manage to write a blog without her finding out. So many times I left the desk just a little bit disappointed with myself for caring so much, and just a little bit relieved that I didn't have to worry about being discovered.
(Now I find it just a little bit ironic that I am at a theatre school whose tagline is "Do You Want To Be Discovered?" - just a little.)
My mother is an amazing person to me. She has made so many big choices, with big consequences. Her journey had been so bizzare and curvy, and wonderful and scary. To come from an alcoholic household, a house of secrets and abuse, and end up in a place of peace, joy and hope, always hope... My mother broke so many cycles that wounded her so that I wouldn't have to feel the same pains she did. I have my own wounds, as is inevitable. But my mother has been sober since I was three. My mother never read my diary. My mother accepted the fact that I would have my own opinion and that I could see hypocrisy in her own life - and call her on it. My mother didn't allow me to be placed in situations where I would be preyed upon. My mother protected me, even sometimes from things that weren't really a danger (The Indian in the Cupboard isn't really going to lead me down a path to Hell, after all). My mother showed me that it was okay to go to a counsellor and ask for help. My mother has shown me that a person can be in one place spiritually and as little as one year later be somewhere radically different. And that's okay. She has shown me that it is good to be strong, pulled together and in control. She has begun to show me that it is okay to be weak. It is okay to be broken. It is okay to give the steering wheel to God.
The other person, the one who tipped me over the edge into this fearful realm of sharing my thoughts with vitual strangers, is a teacher of mine here. I met him when I was 16, and I was fascinated with him right away, although I was intimidated by him too. I worked with him for three weeks the next year, and since then have looked up to him, respected him and cherished his involvement in my life.
He is an artist. A story teller. He loves the same authors as my mother, but shares my perspective and love - and belief - in the fantastical. He has helped me to shape some of my thoughts on God and art and serving both. He has reminded me that I am gifted when I thought I was most worthless as an actress. He has helped me to find the beginning of my way on this shaky path that acting can be. He has listened when I have been upset and lost, and he has laughed with me when I have found the light in the dark passage. He has surprised me with his bluntness and comforted me with his blessings.
Yet I haven't told him about this blog. I remember clearly when I actually took the thought of blogging seriously. It was last term. I was in his car, listening to something on the radio. He was driving me home from one end of our small town, and it was dark. We were talking about blogs for some reason, and he said to me that he thought it would be a good thing for me to do. It would be a good thing for me. I was a little bit startled, and a great deal encouraged. I am a little like Mary, in that I store things up in my heart and ponder them, and bring them out like treasures, smiling at the preciousness of them but scared that others will see my treasures as gaudy trinkets...I don't show these things to people very much. That moment is one of my great treasures.
It was within a week of that moment that I started this blog.
Perhaps before this year is over I will give him the address to this place of mine. This is an even bigger risk for me than to give it to my mother, because I tell my mom my secret thoughts that I write here. And my mother is far away, and no-one that I live with now from day to day will find this secret from her.
Fear is a big, stupid thing. I suppose it must have a purpose. It must. But for the most part, in my life, it is a big stupid obstacle.
Little steps, little steps. Patience and understanding, forgiving myself every time I perceive failure. I am told to do these things by a lot of people in my life, particularly my voice teacher. Old habits are hard to break, new habits are hard to learn, and in the meantime I must have patience.
Perhaps by the time 1,000 people have read my thoughts I will be settled into the habit of freedom from fear.
Incidentally, the three shows I have performed since that one difficult show have been much easier - well, as easy as this show can be. I think having that one hard show served as a wakeup call to me that I cannot settle into and relax into this role, I still have to work and be present every moment that I am on that beautiful stage.
That is a good thing, even if it doesn't sound like it. Sometimes I wonder what non-actors think when I use acting terms, so just to be clear, relaxing into a role is a bad thing. It means that the energy I bring to that part is lower, and it lowers the importance of everything the character does or tries to do.
In retrospect, I think that is a part of what happened. Hopefully, lesson learned. Realistically, one more step on a vast journey.