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Lefron » Monotonous Removal: Point A. to Palm Three
© 2010 lefron

Monotonous Removal: Point A. to Palm Three

This morning I met (as in a meet n’ greet, it’s yet to become a regular hang out) with my new therapist, Jen-Jen (since she doesn’t disclose my personal information, I won’t disclose hers. But she’s a skinny Asian lady who asked me “what does this mean, ‘douche bag’?”). The meet n’ greet is always the pits, because how can you tell a stranger in 50 minutes (or less, when you go to the wrong downtown Group Health, twice) “what’s bothering you.” Additionally, there’s a string of questions/boxes you have to fill out regarding family history and alcohol abuse (literally, that’s all they ask you about). Then, as Jen-Jen asks you a series of questions about what you like and don’t like, you can’t stop sobbing the whole time because A. You’re embarrassed you’re fucked up enough to submit yourself to this in the first place B. You’re experiencing a total out of body experience to which you see the loser that is you complaining about stupid shit like mexican food and nostalgia C. You’re already second guessing your appointment with Jen-Jen because how could she possibly understand what I’m feeling and help me solve it in 50 minutes a week (until she tells you to come every 2-3 weeks and you sob more because Jen-Jen doesn’t have enough time for you).

While I already hate Jen-Jen for her analytical approach to my mind, she made an interesting point. After I explained to her that I’d quit my job a month ago, and now I have this job I hate, solely because I need an income, and I’m still no closer to finding my niche, Jen-Jen held out her hands: “It seems like you were here, (palm one) with the desire to go here (palm two) but you jumped off of here (palm one) before figuring out how to get here (palm two). So now, you are sinking here (empty space of air between palm one and palm two) because you didn’t build a bridge from here (palm one) to here (palm two).” Okay, while not that interestingly put, the picture her little palms created stuck with me all day. She was right, I’ve felt like I’m drowning, trying to climb up this cliff but waves keep washing me back out to sea because WOOPS I jumped ship and forgot to make me a bridge.

Usually in these instances, I’d make a crafty bridge for myself STAT: I’d braid some sea kelp and fashion a rope bridge to which I’d shimmy my way from palm to palm, or I’d slay some swordfish (with my barehands) and use their skeletons to make a rickety ladder. But I’ve been floundering lazily, or rather passively, hoping someone will rescue me and one of those wooden bridges will unravel down the cliff and I’ll climb to the top and there shall lay my destiny. I’m doing this because I am questioning palm two. And a huge source of my lame-aucity comes from my fear of judgement should I choose palm three (curve ball). I’ve been eyeing palm two from a distance since I was 5 years old when I sang as Simba among tens of other Simbas in an oddly re-fashioned version of “The Lion King.” Fuck it I came out of the womb putting on a show. For 21 years, Rachel = Actress, Actress defines Rachel, Rachel does Acting, Acting consumes Rachel, etc etc. For 21 years, Acting is my default “What I Do.” And now, that it really could be “What I Do,” I’m finding I’m really not trying that hard.

When people ask me why I’m an actress, I never know what to say. My response generally fluctuates depending on who’s asking, how much I feel like discussing it, my mood, and sometimes what I ate for dinner (light dinners ensue more embellished and cheery explanations, while chimichangas create one word responses). “I can be whoever I want to be.” “I’m good at it.” “I get to play for a living…and people will pay to see that? Awesome.” It’s not that I don’t like acting, I love it; I love creating and collaborating and working my ass off and having it manifest into something beautiful and insightful that can be shown off and flaunted to people who’ve chosen to gawk at its wonder. It is not the act of acting that thrills me, but the end result of hard work and creative minds. (And though it sounds cliche and it gives you rainbows and unicorns in your stomach (on a higher level of “cool status” than butterflies) I love to inspire others; whether it’s to do the same or just better themselves at something they’re good at.) I just happen to be good at acting. Ere-go manifesto.

When I let a smidgen of my doubt slip, people say “You are so lucky to be figuring this out now.” Even Jen-Jen thinks so. I’m sorry, how is it lucky that I’m figuring this out? I’m figuring out my whole life was a joke and now I have been stripped of my go-to-what-do-i-do and I don’t know what to do, I am qualified to do nothing, I have no college degree, I have no idea what I’d study should I return to school nor where for that matter nor HOW for money’s matter, I’ve gone from passionate to passionless in a month and I don’t know if it’s real or a manifestation (manifest-quest tonight) of my May month-long confusia-fest, and now I’m so stupified by my bridgeless drownage that I’ve enlisted the help of Jen-Jen. “You’re lucky because you’re figuring this out at 21, instead of ten years down the road like most people do.” Don’t put me on a pedestal Jen-Jen. I might be all wacky about what I “used to represent” vs. what I “hope to embark upon” but what 21 year old isn’t? And by the way, Jen-Jen, I guarantee when I hit 30 I’ll go kaputz with the rest of the world, regardless of my current kaputzing.

So now, beautiful, lovely, intoxicating now, I have the luxury of understanding that the zeal beneath my actions can suffice as the oomph for the topic of my choosing. After many years of enjoying the thrill of the Theater, I’m learning that what thrills me is the inspiration I experience through others and for others; only now I know that while this hobby or talent of mine that has been an outlet for my motivational embarkments, it is not the vehicle that will allow me to inspire for the rest of my life; I only wanted fame in order to reach a mass media of paying gawkers, in order to inspire at a higher level. In the time it would take me to reach that level of eminence to which I’d inspire no one with my heartless commercials and tasteless Lifetime movies, I could inspire and challenge the same number of people through something of value.

In retrospect, it is a little brilliant I’m experiencing this revelation now. Perhaps I’m saving myself from a 40 year old kaputz by having this one at 20 (I know I’m 21, but the even 0s are more artistically and mathematically (and aesthetically) pleasing). I couldn’t for the life of me tell you how I plan on inspiring the masses for the next 10 years, but I’m 10 years ahead baby. This way, I can get the cougar-kaputz out of the way so I can spend that cougar time on the prowl instead of locked in a Jen-Jen cage. For now, I suppose I’m thankful for my Jen-Jen; without her I’d know not of the bridge I’m about to build, nor the enticement of what lays behind mystery magic palm number three…

See, you guys got me, and I got me a Jen-Jen.

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