I’m Baaaack.

Hello and good day from my keyboard. It has been awhile since I last wrote and there is no excuse. The only answer I can provide is that my world has been crazy busy. Yet, with all the good happening I realize even more the need for solitude and rest.

Mind you, I do not do this well. Even as I sit here and type, I think of the millions of “duties” I should be performing….ah, there’s the rub. Could it be that under all the excuses I am simply afraid of not performing up to standards? Hmmmmm, not sure how well that sets with me.

Performance, a word that has taken on many forms in my life. I performed in theatre, music, musicals, debate, and oral interp. It was as natural to me as dressing each morning. I performed tasks in my household growing up; laundry, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, washing floors, helping to load wood, painting and scraping various homes,…..you name it, I did it. There are few chores I have not tackled in some fashion, including picking rock and walking beans. My parents insisted at an early age that hard work was of utmost value. I wonder sometimes if hard work is as necessary as “heart” work.

You see, it’s easy to allow myself to be swallowed up in the work and performing each of those chores and role to the best of my ability, even pushing myself harder to achieve more, do more, and be more.  It’s especially easy to lose myself in a role, to put on another character or person and hide in their skin for awhile.  It’s easy to “be” someone else, to escape inside another world and forget for a time that reality exists.  I got really really good at this.

I also got really really good at depending on performance and excelling at that.  I craved the attention that high performance brought me.  Like a drug, I wanted another trophy like an addict wants another hit.  I wanted another  title, another win, another role as much as I needed to breathe to stay alive.

I also yearned for the esteem it brought me.    With every trophy I brought home, I would see a glimpse of the affirmation I wanted, needed, desired.  It was really the only time that I felt I was noticed…well noticed for something positive.  I was never a “bad” kid, just stubborn, headstrong, uncontrollable, mouthy, dramatic, and countless other adjectives.  Inside another role, I could crawl into their life and portray their struggles, oblivious of those lurking for me.  Inside the applause and the smiles when I had performed well, I could cloak myself in approval and what I thought was love.  Was it love, was it approval, was it really popularity?  Probably not.

Now, in my mid-thirties, I wonder if all that concentration on performance is really all that necessary?  Will I lose the love of my children and other people if I do not exceed all expectations?  Are they their expectations or ones I have placed on myself?  I believe the latter is true.

I have been toying with a couple book ideas, a storytelling gig, and countless other dreams….I keep stalling.  I have asked myself the cause of the stall?  Plain and simple fear of not meeting expectations, mine or anyone else’s.   What happens if I do not live up to my own standards–what if I can’t write the next “Great American Novel“?  What if I am only mediocre and the dreams I have of bright lights and big city are only pipe dreams?  Better yet, what if concentrating on those are the wrong concentrations?  The more entrenched I become in the working I am doing in various jobs, the more I realize going after the bright lights is rather selfish of me.  It would be another moment of craving the applause and admiration, then at the end of the day, what do I have left?

I am accepting this more and more, understanding that achievement comes in different forms.  My sons love me unconditionally, know that they are also loved unconditionally.  They are kind, compassionate, honest, smart, funny, and articulate young men who will grow into outstanding husbands and daddies.  I have friends and loved one who would walk through fire for me, and I for them.  I have an education and 2 degrees and a job with a non-profit that fills me with such joy, I cannot compare it to anything else I have experienced.  I am extremely blessed, one of these days I will shut off the applause valve playing in my ears, turn my head away from the lure of the audience, stand firm in what I know to be true, and try hard to be content with where I am in this moment of time.

Shalom,

cahl

 

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mike
    Jun 16, 2013 @ 19:19:16

    I am glad that you are back writing on your blog. The boys and I love you just the way you are!

    Reply

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