What To Do When You Need a Reminder of Why You Picked This Life
From time to time, I think creative hearts need to be reminded why they are pursuing a creative life. Sometimes it is putting yourself out there and trying again. Submitting your story, auditioning, taking yourself out to the theater or a museum and consuming other art. Sometimes it is an evening with friends reading new work and discussing at length until all hours of the night.
I had one such night last Saturday with a reading of my husband’s new pilot script. It was with friends we had gathered from all walks of our lives and some we hadn’t even seen yet since moving back. The discussion was passionate and stimulating. Everyone had so many thoughts and ideas. After, we hung at a bar, some of us til a late hour, talking more about the script but mostly catching up, goofing off, enjoying each other. Some of these people didn’t know each other. Some of them did. Yet in that studio room and in the bar, you’d have thought they had known each other for years.
I missed that. I missed working on new creations. I missed talking about them and being with like minded, smart, clever, funny, unique people. I missed my friends who are still in the trenches, doing what they can to pursue this life we all chose. It was invigorating and intoxicating and I left on a high, late night bodega sandwich in hand.
The entire night transported me back to my first few years in the city. Working on new plays or reinventions of old ones. Being on set for a new television show or movies. Listening to the excitement and feeling the energy surge through everyone driving this fresh project into the world. Many of these past nights featured post discussion bar hangs and bodega sandwiches. Nights where our laughter took over the room and my stomach hurt from it all.
I felt like myself. This was old Rachel. Outgoing, sarcastic, excited Rachel. A girl with big dreams and a hell of a lot of spunk and confidence. While the latter two may still be lacking, the big dreams are still there, hanging in the sky above me, waiting to be pursued full force.
Imagine if you hadn’t been hugged in a while and someone finally hugged you, really hugged you, with warmth and love and familiarity. You know that feeling of extreme comfort where you just sink into it like a pile of feathers and relax? That’s what it is like. A familiar hug wrapping me up inside its blanket of solace and sanctuary.
The conversations I had that night were varied in such a way, my brain was buzzing for my entire journey home and into the night. I opened up more than I had in weeks and with people who truly are forever people. The kind you can call on for readings, for tea, for the days when you just want to give up. And this was such a casual event, I feel it is a big nod to the magic New York City can bring together.
So what do you do when you need a reminder of why you do what you do?
Get together with your forever people, talk about something you want feedback on, hang out at a bar after, open all your stitches back up that you had sewn shut because you were too scared to be vulnerable after so much hurt.
Remind yourself you are not alone. Remind yourself we are all out there, feeling the same way. Remind yourself that this work is full of life and wonder and a shitload of fun. Book that room, gather your people, share your work.