Sunday, December 12, 2010

a date with myself

"The only person standing in your way is you.

Let her go."

Today I went on a date with myself. After going to church solo (David is in AZ) I went to the Huntington Beach Bella Terra for sushi and a movie. It was the only theatre near me playing Black Swan. There are a few other movies I want to see, but Black Swan topped my list, so it was worth the drive. I've been reading articles and watching interviews about this film since I first heard about it earlier in the year, so I've been really looking forward to it. 

I will try not to talk about the film, or give away any spoiler details, but I will say that I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

When the screen turned white and read "Directed by Darren Aronofsky" everyone around me either laughed or said things like, "I don't get it." or "Can someone please explain the movie to me?"

I'm not surprised by their reactions. To most people, they wouldn't understand the meaning behind the film or what can go on behind the psyche of an artist, but to me it was as clear as glass.

I'm not saying that I've experienced the same things that Nina, the main character played by Natalie Portman, goes through, but I can understand the point the film made. From the perspective of a person who has studied performance art, what I got out of the film was the immense pressures that we put on ourselves as artists, which is often disguised as pressure put upon us by other artists (or others in general, for that matter). I of all people know what it is like to expect more out of myself than I might be able to deliver and almost constantly feel the disappointment of failure. Whether or not I do something about it is beside the point, but I am in a constant state of fear, which I know is unhealthy. Fear that I will continue to let time pass without even trying to change something I'm not satisfied with. Fear that all of the dreams I've carried for so long, all of the hours, days, weeks, months, years of work that have gone into studying my craft, all of the hopes I've built up will have just been wasted because I decided to give up or move on to something else. And the biggest fear of all: That God does not want that life for me... or that I don't really either.

It can make a person crazy.

Funny that I should choose to see this film today based on the message spoken by Pastor Greg at church this morning, and the prayers that I have fervently been praying every day for the past few months, even years really. 

God's purpose for our lives are bigger than ourselves. We tend to put God into too small of a box and when our idea of what should happen doesn't fit into that box, we tend to fall apart or lose sight of the bigger picture.

I have been struggling with myself for a long time now. I have been paralyzed by fear and distracted by (ultimately the more important) things in my life like growing up, building bridges, breaking bridges, getting married, living a "normal" life. I'm not saying that I regret any of those things, in fact I know that I would be worse off without what the past few years have brought me, but I can't help but wonder and consider and feel that my heart might be changing. My desires might be shifting. My life might be moving in a direction I never planned, I never hoped for, I never thought.

Or maybe not. I do tend to over think things.

A lot.

I have always held in the back of my mind the idea that being a performance artist and living Christ like was sort of an oxymoron. That narrative is all thanks to the views expressed by the elders and pastors in the church I grew up in. Although I know now that that narrative is wrong, it still lingers inside of me telling me that God does not want an actor's life for me. Could that be Satan getting a tighter grip on me and further fueling my fears which then keeps me paralyzed in said fear. Yup, I think so.

All I can do is continue to pray and to do what I can to change what I don't like or to change my attitude. To be what I'm meant to be requires transformation. For Nina, the Black Swan. For me... well we'll see. 

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