Perhaps it's generational self-deprecation, and perhaps it's an irrational fear of becoming a flaming narcissist, but I seriously doubt that I am alone in finding it difficult to enjoy both what I am thankful for the qualities that I proudly wear, but also the aspects that I would give my first born child to not have anyone discover.
These past few weekends have been big theatre weekends for me, mostly because a lot of shows that my friends are in have been going up, so I definitely want to support them, but also it's a great way to forget about this weather for a bit. To be perfectly honest, after a year of removing myself entirely from the world of auditions, selling yourself constantly, and rejection mixed with awesome community; it's more than a little refreshing to be in that environment again, though I'm glad it was only for a bit. Unlike in previous years, I have been accompanied with friends who have never particularly enjoyed being around theatre kids (crazy, I know); and their reactions have been eye opening. The typical drama kid is mostly likely the loudest/most outrageous in the room, and when a bunch of them get together, then it's just pandemonium, unless you speak that language. When my friends pointed out these quirks and how they didn't think that drama kids would fare well in other "social circles", it immediately made me incredibly grateful for the institution of theatre, because it gives people who have always been told that they were "too much" a place to go.
That's pretty amazing, and there is a reason why actors get so close to each other so quickly. We all have those characteristics that some 3rd grade tool bag pointed out to us on the tire swing, or maybe a sibling, or perhaps even parent, that we couldn't quite shake off because the truth of it sank deeper than our defense mechanisms. And it's not even one, but several of those traits that develop as we grow and fall and get back up again. So perhaps people whose volume of voice is somewhat unacceptable in most social situations have a haven, but what about the people who don't have the desire or the place to celebrate their shyness or inability to be expressive, or "overly" emotional sides?
We don't want to make the people around us uncomfortable, or God forbid, become vulnerable around anyone, so we cover up that part of us which we deem not worth celebrating with enough muster that would effectively move mountains, if only the efforts were redirected. What if Marianne Williamson was right in stating that liberating ourselves from our own fear automatically gives others the right to do the same? I understand that in middle school and high school, image was everything, and that leaves no room for flaws. I even can understand that college can be the same, if not more intense when it comes to building a "cool" image. But at what point are we going to stop making excuses for not wearing ourselves on our sleeves, and instead, celebrate wholeness. Whomever has the courage to do this first will most surely give way to a new kind of revolution; one where beauty can be seen in and on all, because brokenness is just as important, if not more so, in paving the way for perfection to redeem.
Obviously I'm the 293,329,328th person to speculate on this incredibly dynamic aspect of the human condition, but it it surely worth discussing again. Oh, and I'm sorry about the poor use of commas in the previous paragraphs, props if you made it through without cringing at my 7th grade grammar skillzzzz.
Peace like a river,