Wednesday, 28 December 2011

"Life is what happens to you...

...when you're busy making other plans."

- John Lennon

Planning is good. Life goals get you places. And yet sometimes you can never in your wildest dreams or nightmares imagine what life is going to throw you.

Two things I've been thinking about in this area. The first was an interview I read by a current TV star. He said that he wished he could go back and tell his 16 year old self (he's 21 now) where he'd be in five years. You see, he was bullied through his school years so badly that he was homeschooled during middle school, and hated almost every day of high school. A friend of a friend submitted his name for a new TV show that didn't even have a role that would fit him. The producers saw it and created a new role just for him. He didn't have the slightest inkling during those dreaded days of high school that things could ever be this good.

The other thing is the situation of friends of ours. Last year they were a young happy family, with one smart little boy and another baby on the way. The husband was working hard full time and putting himself through college to be an engineer. Then one day their son was diagnosed with cancer. Try as he might, this husband could not juggle work and school and family and cancer, and so he had to drop out of school. He is still committed to returning to school to graduate, but doesn't know when that might happen.

So here I've been, these past two months, lying in bed and waiting for the illness to pass. I spend about 16 hours a day awake and by myself, which is a lot of time to spend in your own head. I've started at least two dozen different writing projects (mostly books) but can't get very far. (A side effect of the medication I'm on is lack of concentration.) And I've been lying here wondering what my future has in store for me. Right now I am a mother, and I love that. But what possibilities lie down the road? I love writing, acting, music, filmmaking, teaching, public speaking. I'm an artist through and through, but I've never felt the desire to make that my one and only pursuit. I know some artists will say that they would work like mad 40 years to become an overnight success, but I don't see that in myself. It's not a lack of dedication, but rather a love of so many different things.

And still it makes me wonder, if, one day down the road, I might be a part of something almost accidentally that thrusts me in a new and unexpected direction. I don't lust after fame (although no artist could honestly say they wouldn't love to be recognized for their art), but I do love the creative process.

I feel a new sudden sense of freedom, even while tied to my bed in illness. I feel like I don't want to set out a life plan, because maybe I'll be the one that gets in the way of life.

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