While filming “Hoovey” the movie, I’ve had a few days off to dig deep and do some soul-searching. What I share might not strike you as groundbreaking truth, or even factual at all, but I do hope that you’ll collaborate with me so we can sharpen each other! All I’m asking is for you to set aside 15 minutes to ponder three things for (no less than) 5 min. each. As you reflect on what they mean to you, record your observations– that includes the memories you recall as well as the sensations you feel in your body as you meditate on the ideas. Then, challenge your understanding and perception by looking at it from a different angle (perhaps the angle of a friend, enemy, teacher, scientist, dog, etc.). Do not forget to engage both the mind and body! This involves critical thinking as well as settling in your skin and noticing how you feel.
A glimpse at my newest projects for 2013:
This may seem obvious to you:
Once something is popularized, it is no longer as special.
If it is trendy, it is widespread (not exclusive). It is commonplace (not new territory). It is accessible to the masses (not reserved for a chosen few).
Think of the uncharted road versus the beaten path. One has no footprints. The other has all footprints. One holds the freshness of a novelty. The other corrodes and discolors and loses vitality as more feet trample over the dirty floor.
I’ve never fancied trends much. Of course, I don’t get the buzz that some people get from being “in” with the crowd, so maybe it’s easier for me to “resist” trends. Fair enough. I’m not saying trends are bad. They’re just…. trends.
I’m considering this as I write down my 5-year plan. Where do I want to be in five years time? What do I imagine myself doing? Am I alone, or in a relationship? Am I traveling, or stationed in one city? Am I following the trends of the time, or pioneering new ground?
As a realist, I try and place healthy constraints on my own freedom in order to designate wise ways to invest my time. Here’s an example: as a 5’4.5” female, I will not apply to University of Michigan in hopes of becoming the quarterback for their male football team (unless ordered by some supernatural proclamation). So, with the healthy constraint of acknowledging that I am not built for men’s football, I can know that football conditioning is probably not worth my time and effort. Another example: A composer is brilliant at improvising melodies and music. He likely arrived at that skill because long ago he placed constraints on himself and his time by practicing scales and chords until they became second nature. Only because he had those constraints can he now maximize his freedom to improvise new sounds.
In my opinion, this sense of constraint for the sake of liberation reflects wisdom. How can I apply this when creating a 5-year plan? Well, I think it helps me see my strengths and areas of interest, as well as external matters that can either help or hinder my goals.
#1. Where will technology be?
With my job in entertainment requiring some kind of technology, I have to look at the evolution of film, television, radio, iTunes, even YouTube. The web is becoming a metropolis bustling with thousands of individuals uploading original (and very unoriginal) content. Is this the future way of scouting talent? If so, maybe I should post new music there before releasing an EP on iTunes. But here I am following the trend. I’m not sure it’s worth it, as music is powerful, but nothing I sing isn’t something Michael Jackson or Eva Cassidy already sang much more beautifully. I can write music, I can write lyrics, and I can even dance when I perform. But, so can other people. Do I throw myself into the mix of talent and wait for a break, or do I leave a little extra space for the truly equipped artist to make it? Or am I the truly equipped artist? Is “making it” the main point, anyhow?
I could quit studying to pursue acting full-time, but man! That’d leave such a gaping hole in my understanding of the world and people. Education, whether through books, experience, tradition, or counsel, builds me up and open my eyes to doors I didn’t know existed. I want to be well-rounded and responsible. So, in five years, what do I want to learn? I definitely want to finish up my general education, as I love having an overview of a variety of topics. Yet, I want to emphasize my studies in Neurology and see if that carries me anywhere. In five years, I might be in a science lab. Not on a stage. For now, that means placing constraints on my time and STAYING IN SCHOOL! I’ve said it before: school is a privilege! Even if it’s a social nightmare, education in itself is vital and wonderful.
A family of my own? Odd. I wasn’t the girl who dreamt of motherhood and happily ever after. I started working at six and nearly married my job. But alas! I have come to recognize and appreciate my human need for connection. So, if marrying and having children is a possibility in my future, what constraints are in my control to set me up for “success”? I believe dealing with past hurts and facing habits/patterns now can help me heal and stabilize so that I do not project my own insecurities and struggles onto someone else (or wound them as deeply, maybe). I believe self-acceptance, embracing all of me (even the areas I find hard to love) will form an attractive balance of self-improvement and forbearance. I can observe healthy couples who communicate and regard the other above themselves to see what kind of foundation I want to build my relationship on (service and daily gratitude are important). Mainly, I can become as whole and complete as possible so that I am not looking for an imperfect man to complete me (dependence). Yet, I can learn to give and receive love vulnerably so that I am not isolated (independence). What I want/need is interdependence, of course.
All that to say, where will I be in five years? I don’t know. But this gives me a starting point. What I know about myself is that I want to pioneer new ground to create progress for the world. I don’t want to only walk ground that has already been covered. I also want to love people in the most basic sense: pouring life, setting aside judgment, sharing wisdom and hope and inspiration… Because I can’t take anything material to the grave with me. However, the memories and love that I share with people will be treasures that stretch beyond time.
What is your five-year plan? What are some constraints worth keeping now in order to find greater liberation later? Why?