It’s been over a year and I still haven’t posted anything? I guess I should fix that.
I’m stubborn. I think the amount of times I’ve tried to convince myself that I’m not really drives that fact home. Being so stubborn can have its drawbacks. Sometimes I don’t breathe and enjoy the moment. Sometimes I enjoy the moment too much and can’t let it go. And a lot of the time I’m so focused on moving forward that I never see how far I’ve already gone. That’s what today’s about. Understanding the progress I’ve made in life and humbly celebrating the person I’ve come to be.
Anticipation is a funny thing, but it’s not progression. We’re often so caught up in getting to the next thing that we don’t see ourselves making strides in our lives. We enter schools thinking about what we’re going to do the day we graduate. We start a job and think about when it’s time to ask for a raise or a promotion. We date people and soon after start thinking about when we’re going to marry them (or, in some people’s cases, when we’ll sleep with them).
In a lot of people’s eyes; progress isn’t achieved until you reach the anticipated goal. I’ve gone through my fair share of missing out on things this year and it made me think that I didn’t grow or learn anything, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
For starters: I submitted for a huge opportunity in New York City and I didn’t get it. This was only a few months ago, but it feels like yesterday. It’s not like I was thinking “this is it! This is my moment!”, but I did think “hey, I actually have a shot here”. Nope. Not today. It stung for a while, but I realized that a year ago I was too afraid to even send them an audition tape.
I tried dating again this year. That was fun. Hasn’t...quite worked out as of this posting, but I’ve been afraid to let myself be vulnerable with another human being for a very long time (and it’s something I’m still working on). It’s been well over two years now since I’ve been in a relationship and I can finally say that I’m okay with that. There’s no longer a hole that I need to fill with companionship. And there’s no longer a gaping wound that’s seeping out into my personal life.
Going through heartbreak and rebuilding can feel like that sometimes. My life fell apart around the time my last relationship ended, so I often felt that there was a correlation, but there truly wasn’t. Sometimes things just happen and they have no connection. Sometimes your path is obscured by many factors and it’s up to you to find your way, but those obstacles aren’t conspiring against you. They’re just obstacles. I often shouted my feelings daily through a megaphone social media cocktail. Every tweet, facebook post, or tumblr blog post was filled with confusion and angst over my lack of direction in life. I still post random garbage on the internet to let my feelings out (hello!), but it’s less frequent and less important to me. No one ever has to read this and I’ll be okay. I’ve said that before, but I mean it now. I’m not ignorant, though. I know people read this shit. At least one of you. I’ve gotten your comments about my facebook posts!
Anyway, that’s not what this is about. Where was I? Right, I dated this year. Enjoyed it, but I’m busy, so who knows where that goes.
I know that I need to write more. I’ve lost confidence in my ability to speak like a normal human being and I feel like it shines through in the rambling that I do here and there. Confidence is another area that I’m working on. It’s tough. You go through an intense period of restructuring your life and the one thing you try to ask yourself every day is “do I like me?”. Silly, right?
But no, really, it’s an everyday thing. Every single time I meet myself with “do I like me?” and...most of the time that answer has been “no”. It’s sad, isn’t it? Not the fact that I say “no” sometimes, but the fact that it’s been the default answer. Progress is me seeing myself two days in a row and that answer being “yes”. Progress is when I can see myself at my ugliest and say “yes”. It’s when I KNOW that I’m not in a good place and I can tell myself that I like me enough to pull my ass out of there.
If you’re following me on anything then you know that I’m an actor/dancer. Two things that are tougher to do than they look. Dance has given me so much. It helped me put myself back together and really become the person that I want to be both within and outside of the music. The people I’ve met have all been wonderful and I love the experiences I’ve had as a dancer in the past two years.
Acting has and will always be my love ever since I found it. I know that it’s what I’m made to do. Before I found acting I was lost and scared about where my future was going to be. I trusted myself and the powers that be when I made the decision to go all in on acting and I haven’t been disappointed since.
I chose to live a creative life because creativity feeds my soul. It’s a burning passion that fuels my life and I couldn’t imagine being anything without it.
The past year has been insane. I did Day Job at 54 Below a year ago. Did Turquoise with Next Iteration this spring. Been at Soundbox that entire time killing myself every day in-between. It’s crazy, but it’s my life.
I look at videos of myself dancing and they’re ugly. Like, straight up terribly hideous videos, but don’t think that I don’t love it. I love seeing myself be so weird and...different. I never forced myself to have an identity when I was younger, but people know me for who I am now whether they like it or not. I know that I have a lot to work on, but while I’m working on it why not appreciate the person I am right now? We get so caught up in being other people, in looking like our peers or our mentors, but what does that make us? Aspiring to reach someone’s level is one thing, but owning your place on this great blue rock that we inhabit is much more fulfilling. You might not know who you are right now, but every step towards that realization is worth celebrating.
Progress isn’t linear. It’s not a thin line that you have to walk across like a tightrope. Setbacks are progress, too. The opportunities that I’ve missed out on in the past year helped me see where I SHOULD go and who I should be in the process. I didn’t get my shot in New York, I didn’t get picked up for some things in Houston, I didn’t end up with a girl that I dated and really liked, my car ran into the shoulder on the freeway one night because I was so tired from a rehearsal one night.
Yes, all of that happened, but none of it broke me. There’s a positive to all of it. I didn’t have to move cross country with a week’s notice, I’m enjoying freedom to travel more now that I’m not doing a stage show and dance rehearsals at the same time, I’m on a team with some great committed people, I’ll find someone that works for me and I’m actually excited to be more open and loving to whoever that may be, and the day before my car hit the wall on the freeway I almost ran into an 18 wheeler because I was extremely tired on that day as well (me hitting that wall was an acknowledgement of my blessing and a wake up call to me. Thanks God).
Big run on sentence aside; I’m lucky to be who I am and where I am. I’m currently sitting next to my grandmother (who was diagnosed with brain cancer shortly after I got back home and is still kicking til this day), one of the strongest people I know, and I just love the fact that I can sit here and hear her snore. Not everything is bad. Sure, a lot of things are. Most things can be on certain days, but right now? It’s a good life for me and I intend on enjoying it.
One last thing: I started working out again in an effort to finally get my body to where I want it. I’m not a bad looking guy, so don’t get me wrong! I just...always want to be better in a sense. I look in the mirror and I see a gut and my usual reaction to that was “ugh, so fat, give up just gain all your weight back”, but I’m too stubborn for that. I’m always trying to prove people wrong (myself especially), so I wanted to prove that I could be fit and cool looking.
That’s how it was when I started. Now? Who cares. (Obviously) I do, but I’m not in it for aesthetics. I took a bunch of pictures in my hotel room on my last visit to DC of myself and my body just to have an honest look with no judgement. It was the first time I’d just looked at myself and appreciated who I was. I’ll post one or two just to be thorough, but be warned, it’s me in my underwear.
All of this rambling is me trying to catch myself up on the last year of my life. You just happen to be here, to be honest. I don’t reflect that much. I’m always going and going and going. Always Forward. Standing still is never enough for me. I’m learning to stop that mentality. The truth is that standing still can be exactly what you need sometimes. Maybe you’re missing something, maybe you’re missing what you need right there next to you, but you’ll never know if you keep running without a second thought.
Progression is more than forward. It’s backwards, it’s sideways, it’s right where you stand. Progress isn’t flashy. Growth isn’t made in your results. We grow every day without even realizing it. The results that come from that are what we strive for, but let’s just accept who we are in this moment as we move towards our goals. Progress can’t come without acceptance, for acceptance is progress, and we can only move forward once we’ve accepted that we risk being pushed back.
Love yourself. Never doubt who you are. You’re better than you were yesterday, but the person you were yesterday was pretty freaking good.
Okay, fine, underwear picture is below. Have fun, loser.