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1:11 pm - Mon 9/20/04
Change: Just \"The Nature Of Things\", or \"Royal Screwing By The Universe\"? (Discuss)

Change: Just "The Nature Of Things", or "Royal Screwing By The Universe"? (Discuss)

Mon 9/20/04 (9:50 a.m.)

Just had my second awakening of the day...

Woke up from another "theatrical dream". One of those "I don't know what I'm supposed to do" dreams (This time it was a dress rehearsal–everyone was in costume, anyway–and I couldn't get myself to the stage. It seemed like the big number was being worked on for the first time, for whatever reason, but at least the other actors were getting to rehearse it).

The interesting thing to me about having those dreams? In real life, being on stage is just about the only time I know exactly what I'm supposed to do, and I'm pretty good about being prepared to do it.

But anyway...

For some reason, I've been actively avoiding writing a D-land of what I'm really thinking about these days. I don't know why, exactly. I'm afraid I don't really have a handle on it, or am afraid I'll sound like a "New Ager", or something. I don't really know.

But since I don't have anything else to write about...

(Just put on Mahler's 3rd Symphony. My ongoing attempt to give myself a little "culture"...)

Since Daniel C. left, with John O. looking as if he's out the door sooner rather than later (More on that in a bit), and yet another G.M. on the way, I've been thinking a lot about "change".

I know "not liking change" puts me in a very big club, but be that as it may, it's starting to seem like a real "issue". If nothing else, it's going to make it next to impossible to deal with being a professional actor if I can't handle constantly shifting circumstances.

And in terms of the bookstore, change should be "the order of things". Unless you want to "go up the corporate ladder", I honestly feel like something has to be inherently wrong with you if you work at Borders more than a year or two (To steal a reference Deb D. made about the group at the old bookstore, the long-term people at Borders are basically a real-life "Island Of Misfit Toys"). Working at Borders is a job a kid should have while they're in school--a summer job, perhaps--or an "emergency job", a job you take because you need to do something until something "opens up" in your chosen field.

But I don't want to go off on a tangent about why Borders is not a job for "real people". My point is that things change.

And they're actually supposed to.

Anyway, as I was thinking about this, I realized that even when I "accept" change, I don't really "accept" it as much as I eventually, grudgingly, "resign myself to it" ( I think I recently referred to changing circumstances as me basically "having to bend over and take it". Casting "change" as the hillbillies in Deliverance, with me in the Ned Beatty role).

I don't think resigning myself to change, feeling like there's nothing to do but "bend over and take it", is all that empowering.

I understand why I feel the way I do. In my formative years, change was pretty uniformly, horrifically bad, setting up in my mind that when things change, they always change for the worse. And even now, I wrestle with feelings of powerlessness, a feeling that "things just happen to me, and there's never anything I can do about it".

But there's got to be a better way to deal.

I think, to start, I have to alter my view of "change": Change is not an aberration in life, change is life. Being mad or depressed or frustrated about it is like being mad or depressed or frustrated about gravity, or air. Change is not life "screwing me over"; change is life just being life.

And while I tend to "awful-lize" change, it really isn't always bad. Using the bookstore as an example–Padric, the first GM at the store, was terrible, so when he was replaced by Marie, that was a good change. And when Marie was replaced by John A., there was a period of adjustment, but I think that was a "good change" (I liked Marie a lot, but John A. seemed able to get just as much done, if not more, without any "drama" involved).

And I don't know what this new guy will be like, but since both Marie and John A. adjusted just fine to my being an actor, there's no reason to assume this guy will be any different. If he's got anything on the ball, he'll catch on pretty quick to the fact that I'm an asset to the store.

And in terms of change that is emotionally "challenging" for me, I'm just going to have to make more of a conscious effort to "see the silver lining". I'm not a "glass half full" guy by nature, but I'm smart enough, and creative enough, to at least imagine what the glass would look like if it were half-full.

Going back to the bookstore–I'm upset about John O. leaving, but who knows? Maybe the new guy ends up being the best GM yet. Maybe without the manager/employee thing between us, John O. and I can actually become friends. Maybe, if this feels like a change for the worst, it's just the thing I need to motivate me to redouble my acting efforts.

My point is, I don't know, most of the time, what a given change in my life will mean.

As I've been writing this, I find myself thinking about that kid who got his arm trapped under a boulder while rock climbing, and had to cut it off in order to free himself (He cut the arm off with one of those Leatherman "pocket-tool" things, which I think is a testament to him and the good people at Leatherman).

I saw him on one of late-night talk shows, and he wasn't pissing and moaning about losing his arm; he was practically doing a little "happy dance" that he came out of that situation alive.

So it seems like I should be able to put a more positive "spin" on the challenges I face.


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