Thus far I have rather failed in my ‘embrace Fauxbruary’ mantra due to succumbing to my largest time/emotional-suck addiction: theatre.
Now, were I in a divulgatory and supercilious frame of mind, I might expand on a great many reasons why I feel the need to leap into situations in theatre; however, with my current sleep deprivation that would reach Epic Snark levels in about two sentences and then devolve into an intense rant which would probably give people a whole different impression of me.
Instead I will attempt, in my over-exhausted haze, to convey a little message about life addictions and how we use them to avoid engaging ourselves in activities we either should be or would rather be doing. We all have them. Sometimes we call them hobbies, other times obligations… chill-out time, organized social activities… all these things teeter on the edge of a line which, for those of certain temperaments, can very easily spill from leisure activity or enhanced social interaction to obsession. The biggest problem with something you like doing becoming something you do all the time is stagnation (closely followed by over-exhaustion). You become so involved that it consumes your life in ways you never intended for periods of time which far exceed what your dedication was meant to be. No matter what you learn, who you meet, how enriching experiences may be, it will continue to eat away at other areas of your life more and more until what was once a fun and exciting break from mundane life necessities or aggravating creative struggles becomes both mundane and aggravating.
As I see it, you have two options at this point: continue with this obsession in the hope that sweeter waters are around another bend in the road – and vow to take it easy on yourself next time (which is good when you’re committed to something you can’t in good conscience abandon), or take a mother-lovin’ break (which is what to do when option one fails miserably, or when you have a better ability than I do to say ‘no’ to people). Well, after five years of following option one, I’m finally about to stride down the path of option two, and I must say that as exhilarating as the prospect is, it is also utterly terrifying. Why? Peril number two in the extracurricular-to-obsession realm is safety.
Once you find that activity, hobby, video game, travel blog, etc. which consumes your life bit by bit, leaving it (or even easing off in a controlled-dose-of-weaning way) not only equates to the possibility of losing whatever new talents, skills, friends, connections and whatnot you’ve built, it’s a loss of emotional safety. By becoming so involved in this endeavor you have effectively shut off other areas of your mind and emotions to concentrate more on your obsession. Now, reconnecting with those parts of yourself, and the world, can seem counter-intuitive. You’re safe, you know your way around, you like the people, you used to like the obsession… so what’s the point in letting it go for a while (or ever)? Again, stagnation -- AND the fact that the very safety you feel when enveloped by your obsession transforms into fear of doing something new and different (when wanting something new and different is what likely got you into your current obsession in the first place).
So while it is with an inordinate amount of fear, uncertainty, and a dash of reluctant sadness that I take temporary leave of theatre, it’s for my own personal, creative, and professional development that I need to step out of comfort’s loving (and smothering) caress and run headlong into a terrifying blackness of potential. Here’s hoping beyond the black I find new lights, and that one day those lights will lead me back to seeing the light in theatre again.