Friday, April 10, 2015

Stella (Day 26 ~Year 26:30 to 30)

Part of the point of working on the boat at all was to save money to either be able to establish in a city

type place and start auditioning and looking for acting gigs or to get more refined training as a performer. Which is how I got to Stella Adler in NYC. On the one hand I didn't plan or budget nearly well enough to last very long there. On the other, I went because I felt like I was supposed to and employment doors to stay (not of the performance variety either. Just of the rent paying, grocery buying, air breathing sort.) didn't open. Even before going I knew NY wasn't quite my cuppa and honestly I was terrified at first. Which I never told my Mother til later on account of her being terrified that I was going. So I was like "S'no biggie! It's fine Mama." while I was stress dreaming the week before I went for a visit trip to scout places to live.
 But that changed and if nothing else it was kind of great to learn that much in my very brief time there. And it changed quickly. I was fine. And learning that I could do the subway systems and even help other people with them, that felt pretty awesome. 
 I will say that any patience I had remaining from working in customer service for 6 months straight on the boat (mine had been squelched out sadly) probably left while I was there. And not with New Yorkers~ suddenly I understood where they get their not deserved and actually I don't think even nowadays as much attributed reputation: when you're trying to get to work and tourists are taking up the ENTIRE both sides of the sidewalk, or simply not walking, or stopping on an escalator....yes, like I said, I was once a patient person. She seems to have left the building.
 So when I talk about this super short period of time there is a sense of "fail" as clearly I didn't finish up. But I wish I could discard that because I truly enjoyed the time I did have at Stella, I got some good out of it & some encouragement, met some lovely & talented people, and it's just fun to have gotten to study my craft in the heart of The City at all. And also I met again with the fact that while I love, love, to perform and am told I'm actually good at it, that maybe I don't have the drive to do it for a living. It's always been a doubt and New York brought it in clearer. A part of my heart still falters there feeling like maybe I take the easy or practical way out and don't steward my talents well but...I just don't know.
 The fact that I have an actual bank of New York moments makes me smile. Moving to the city at the same time Bonnie and Alex did and actually getting to see them made me glad. Central Park, Stella Adler, friends I made, old friends I visited (and who showed me such kindness! Milena, I mean you lady.). And it's so funny that while I'm glad to not be living there every once in a while I'll just MISS New York. When my Mom started watching Ugly Betty I watched some too and it's so very New York and suddenly I missed really random stuff like cheap cups of coffee with the little greek statue men printed on them.
 I do NOT miss working at Macy's although it's again fun to be able to say I worked in The Macy's, like the biggest store in the world Macy's. 
 Also New York probably helped me see some of what I did want. To have the contrast of Cleveland right after New York was good. I am a relational person and New York is not so much a relational city. People don't so much have one another to their homes because space is small and limited and so is time. Not so in CLE. And it's not as scrunchy.
 Touching back briefly on that sense of fail though and on this chapter of my life, the boat and New York are where some things started unhappily shifting for me I think. It was really good these last couple of days to write and remember over AmeriCorps & YWAM & Belhaven & CPAF, looking over 'rocks of remembrance' of God's good provision and leading in my life and as His follower and a performing artist. My time on the boat, while it has many good aspects, and while I believe God can use and does use that experience in my life, was a really difficult one spiritually. We aren't meant to go it alone, our walk is not only personal but meant to be lived out in a corporate context, within a body of believers who are the church. And so I still feel the repercussions of a season very much out of that. There were people I specifically asked to check in, to pray, to keep me accountable, and that was great and to them I'm grateful. But it isn't the same and while I'm so glad for having seen whales, kayaking in Alaska, the magic of Baja, so much....there's a part of me too that isn't so certain it was wise.
 And then there was post NY and Stella. I'd really felt I was supposed to go and so after it didn't work out (which again, I do believe was in part poor planning.) there was a bit of a before unknown to me raw spot in my relationship with God. I'd certainly gone to Him with things I didn't understand, things that made me sad, things with which I wrestled, but I think this was the first time that I felt...almost angry. Bitter. 
 I felt He'd called me to go....and now what? I felt that it had been over and over shown to me that this is where my giftings were, in acting, and shown to me by other people. people who actually knew their stuff, not my own self. Moving to New York scared me but I went. And it didn't work. That was really hard and I didn't understand. Somewhere I knew that the Lord's purpose in me going to New York could easily be completely not what I'd thought or expected at all. But not knowing what to do with what I was good at, not knowing why this door opened and closed, feeling I'd been led and not seeing the purpose~it was hard and it hurt. 
 This post is supposed to lead into Cleveland though I think now I'll divide 26 & 27 but I want to bring it in for a moment. When I moved to Cleveland I was looking for A Place To Be that included a good church and a community. And I found that in Cleveland, and in community here I could & can be honest about these things. I'm not judged because we each know our hearts are broken, our natures bent, and when I share, something may resonate with someone else, when they share, something may resonate with me, and in the sharing we can, from our different spot in the story, remind one another of what is True.
 . I still don't know all of the Lord's purposes in New York or any of that. I can still get a little sad over it, but I'm no longer bitter over it. It's sore sometimes, but I can trust that He works all things together for His glory which in His grace He wondrously has tied up with my good.
 And I can see this even in how I got to Cleveland. I moved for entirely other reasons than how I stayed. I moved for a relationship, and it didn't last, and it took me a while (though clearly less time then the NY puzzle) to see "Oh. That was to get me to Cleveland." :) 

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