This is me, returning to the droll life of home cooked sausages, fresh french toast, and organic syrup. I only look upset because I ATE TOO MUCH GOOD FOOD, BUT THERE'S STILL ONE SAUSAGE LEFT.
Really, you can only eat hotel waffles and yogurt for so long. Surprisingly enough, even having new restaurants to choose from every day gets old. It's the choosing which you begin to dread. "This Mexican place that will give us cramps and make the hotel room smell like butts and peppers? Or this American cafe that costs more than the rental car and looks like a carousel filled with baked hippies? Or fast food with a fat chance of lower life expectancy?"
Needless to say, I'm glad to be home.
Don't get me wrong, I had a really awesome time on this tour with NTC! I loved traveling, seeing new sights, getting to know the land and the culture, learning stories upon stories from the people and the endless TED talks we listened to while driving for far too long. I really did. Doing two tours in a row between different companies just quickly burns a person out. I'm not complaining, because I chose to go on this path, and I have no regrets. I'm just super freakin' tired.
But I'm still writing. :)
I've reached the point where I'm no longer physically tired, instead, my cognitive functions have begun to cease. A wise friend told me "that's a sign of being too busy" and I thought "Too busy? TOO BUSY!? I basically just got home from a gigantic vacation! Not only that, I have nothing but free time now! I'm HOME! I have the world at my fingertips, and I'm ready to send it in a new direction! I can do ANYTHING!!!!!"
Oh yeah, Josh?
Remember last week when you were performing regularly in AZ?
Remember yesterday when you hung out with your friends?
Remember this morning when you woke up and forgot to put pants on?
Remember where your keys/wallet/phone are right now?
Seriously, I've lost my wallet 3 times in the last few weeks. Heaven smiles upon me, because I found it every time.
The other unfortunate thing about my state right now is an injury I suffered last year has returned. An injury in my gluteus maximus.
Quite literally, there is a pain in my butt. I sit, I stand, I lie down, and it's there, begging for my attention like a sloppy floppy puppy with a ball and a masochistic bark. This prevents me from doing a lot of the things I love to do and want to do: running, biking, dancing, exercising, and sometimes even walking. It's a good thing I've returned home, because my mental state of grogginess and my physical state of exasperation mean it's time for a break.
But I'm still writing. :)
My reflections upon happiness (patent pending) prove that I'm exactly where I want to be, even though my mind and body are at odds. Despite the ups and downs, lefts and rights, "game over"s and "you win"s, I like my life the way it is and for the first time in a long time... I like who I am. On the 6 hour final drive from Omaha to Minneapolis, Nick and I talked about our minds and young lives, a conversation I wish had happened much sooner. We had become experts in improv against one another, and our artistic identities were confident in relationship and communication. However, my personal identity was struggling with both of those concepts, with befriending this equal I had spent so much time with. I struggled the entire tour with creating a comfortable Friend Ship for Nick and I to row together because I didn't understand him well enough. He likes baseball, I like computers. He's a comedian, I'm a mime. He likes competition, I hate how much I love competition.
It took until this conversation for me to realize that I have a perspective that demands definition around social lines. Among my childhood friends, Greg was the strong one, Jake was the fast one, Levi was the funny one, and I was the smart one (the Tails of the Sonic Squad). When I joined theatre, everyone's roles were clearly marked and labeled. Not only that, but I was fed by my peers and my superiors that I was great at what I did. I don't like to admit this, but I was lucky enough to get a role in every single school show I auditioned for from 7th grade all the way up through my senior year of college. I could probably count how many shows I've NOT received a callback or a part on one and a half hands, and they're all professional. Thank God for professional rejection. This has fostered in me an entitlement that has bled into my social life, and I need to cut it off. It's not easy, and I don't always know what that means, but as my mom would say:
"I'm working on it."
I also know that my life is "coming soon." My brain knots about my identity have started to loosen up, and I can feel my life coming into focus. During another conversation with Ladyfriend the other day, she pointed out my passionate pursuits: problem solving, teaching, role definition, social harmony, and collaboration. We talked about how I seek these things in every goal of my career, because I love them so much. I want to be an actor, teacher, director, writer, and so much more. Each goal tries to tie those pursuits together into something huge and awesome. For example, recently, I've discovered how much I want to be a director, perhaps more than I want to be an actor. So I've taken real steps towards that goal instead of the actor goal; I canceled some auditions, looked into some directing opportunities, and even began planning a movie. Yet, after all this, Ladyfriend and I still didn't think we were talking about enough. I stepped back, took some time to think, and eventually saw my true self returning to where he belongs: in the clouds.
I'm a dreamer. And I've been afraid of myself.
This image captures exactly how I feel about this:
Sure, it's a little cheesy, but hey, so am I. I think there comes a time in everyone's life when we need to learn to let go of something we know and love in order to receive what God has for us. I guess right now, as Christian as it sounds, I must let go of my identity so God can give me His.
So. I'm a dreamer.
I will always be a dreamer, and I will always pursue something bigger than myself. I dream of a place where theatre, storytelling, and play is used as a means by which everyone grows to be a better functioning member of society. I dream of a place where people communicate clearly and empathetically. I dream of a place where work is not separated from the way of life; but symbiotically exciting, fun, and a safe place to play. I dream of revolutionizing the theatre into some place where every person can safely experience the glory of play and learn the essential skills behind the process of living life through another's eyes.
I am a dreamer, and I will not rest until my dream comes true.
As dreamers do.
And I guess that's it. I am so thankful for my experiences with Nick, with NTC, and with the great state of Arizona. They have taught me what is important and how to relate to other people better. They have taught me to empathize with others and love other people better. They have taught me where I want to take my life next. I've got 3 exciting projects upcoming that I can't wait to tell you all about. Until then, we both have a lot of sleeping and dreaming to do. Now tell me...
What's your dream?
Actor, Director, Creator, Dork