In case you hadn't noticed, stuff is falling apart all around you.
In case you hadn't noticed, it always has been.
Someone is always losing a job or hitting a wall or falling out of love. Someone else, somewhere else, is making something new out of what didn't seem to exist before, an idea or a song or a business or a soccer ball (see above!) or, god bless 'em (and thanks for doing it so I don't have to) a person.
I had a good, long talk with an interesting fellow I met at a networking event tonight. We met at this networking event because I arranged the event which he also came to and we wound up sitting next to each other.
But we also met because I quit my job some 16-odd years ago and drove across the country with a man who is now married to someone else, to write for a show that no longer exists, produced by an amazing crew of people who have scattered to the ends of the earth. Or at least the edges of a few continents.
We met because I got kicked out of the Groundlings, had my heart broken several times, had my insides blow up. In fact, if pressed, I would say that most of the goodness in my life today exists because my life as a Healthy Person ended just over six years ago.
Or, if you want to get mundane and granular about it, we met because each of us ended a conversation with someone else.
Stuff is always ending, all the time, all around us, whether we like it or not. And unless the stuff is us having our heads banged into a wall, we usually don't. And it has to be some egregious banging. Because just a little banging, even that can become preferably to the idea of something else, something that might be worse banging. No, we'll take this particular banging against this particular wall. It's fine. It's not even stucco.
Fear, fear, gimme a beer. How do I steer? Is help near?
We talked of fear, this fellow and I, and about how it stops people from doing what they're meant to do next. (It's key, that "next." Because you're always doing something, right? And you can waste a lot of time staying in something when you should be moving on to what's next.) He wondered if there was something particular that kept people from doing the next thing, and really, most of the time, the only thing particular about it is the flavor of fear: fear of loss of identity, fear of loss of prestige, fear of failure and thus becoming a non-person (this is a BIG one for artists), fear of destitution. You get the idea. If you were playing along, you either recognized one of these or another popped up. Feel free to share it in the comments.
Because I'm here to tell you, you are free. That thing you want is gettable. Maybe not in the exact way you're picturing it right now, but trust me, no matter how excellent a picturer you are, you cannot begin to imagine the multifarious ways the universe can imagine things. The universe will put your shit to shame.
Just go do the one thing. You know. The one thing that would move you one step closer. And then the next day, do one more thing. At some point, tell some people what you're doing, slowly, carefully, because you want to make as sure as possible you're going to get help, not hindrance.
Stuff is ending all around you. Your ability to recall things and your ability to eat whatever you want with impunity and your 40s, if you're me. Something else if you're you.
Let it end, and open your arms to embrace the magnificent next thing. You must do it for yourself. You must do it for the world.
The new year is not so new anymore. This 21-Day Saluteâ„¢ is over, too. And that's a good thing.
Because without it ending, you'd never get to see what's next...