Live your Golden Life.
by Kathleen Choe (actor/singer/writer)
Wake up. Check email. The project you were in final callbacks for has released you. That’s the second one this month. There’s still no word on that audition you felt really good about. You breathe, you sigh, you care and you don’t care. Well, you care. If you didn’t you’d be an android.
Ok. Fine. Let it go.
You see another email about your student loan payment being debited from your account and another email from the credit card company informing you payment is due. You see two other emails from jobs you applied for thanking you for your interest, but turning you down. You hop on Facebook. Someone booked this. Someone booked that. That part you were called back for was cast with a tall blonde…not you. Someone else is taking a fabulous vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
You catch yourself from falling down the rabbit hole of what’s it going to take so tired so frustrated so sick and tired of feast or famine this life is so damn hard is any of this worth it?
You make breakfast. You look out the window. You’d rather go back to bed, but you put the dishes in the sink and then job hunt online. You see ones that you’re qualified for but make you want to pull out your hair. You apply to them anyway because that’s what part of being an adult is.
You make yourself put on your workout clothes and go to the gym and chuckle at the irony of keeping your gym membership in moments like this. You take the class you signed up for. The instructor tells you to challenge and push yourself and you do. You feel good, pat yourself on the back after class, then realize that you’ve lost all sensation in your arms.
You shower and put on a dress, put on makeup, because why not, you’ve decided to treat yourself to a solo artist date at a museum where it's pay what you can.
On the way there, a cute man checks you out in the street and you smile back. You don’t go after him though, but hey…you look good today.
The exhibit there is called Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible. You see this:
Arrow of Time (Unfinished Life), by Tatsuo Miyajima
and are inspired by these unfinished works by Monet, Manet, Klimt, Rodin, and Twombly along with others. You discover an artist new to you, Berthe Morisot. Their unfinished art speaks to you because finished or not, they’re still beautiful.
You end your visit by walking through an exhibit of photographs by Diane Arbus. This photograph makes you smlle:
You take the bus uptown instead of a subway to visit a friend, because why not. It’s a slow day. Your stomach is growling but you don’t want to buy food because there’s food at home that will cost you nothing. It’ll be awhile until you get back home though, so you buy a $2 protein bar, because you can afford that, so why not.
You meet your friend and the two of you realize last time you saw each other in person was 6 months ago. You’ve both had big disappointments, but also great joy. You talk. You vent. You groan. You laugh. You help them with an audition that they’re working on and for a 10 glorious minutes you get to be an actor with someone who you love, and it’s utter happiness.
You look at each other’s lives and realize that even though it might not feel like it, you’re both ok. You’re still in this game. You have no plans to quit acting anytime soon, because you love it that much.
You get on the train to go home. That class you took this morning at the gym is starting to hit you. You were planning on going to the gym again today in an effort to lose those four pounds you’ve put on, but your stiff arms and swimmy head laugh at you and say that’s a bad idea.
You scan the seats, waiting for one to open up. One does, but there’s an elderly man who needs it more. You gesture to him for him to sit, even though he makes the sign that he’s fine. Another seat opens and you sit down, but another man walks on with a cane and so you stand and give it to him. You’re tired but you’re healthy. He smiles in gratitude and your heart opens up a little more.
You’ll sit when you get home.
You get home. There’s food in the fridge. You make yourself a snack. There’s also the milk stout that your sister and brother-in-law brought over and so you take a little nip of that, because you look at the clock and it’s 5pm and why not.
You sit, and breathe, and think.
It’s hard. It’s so hard right now. You choose to live in hope and have faith that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, because there has to be.
You have food. You have shelter. You have health. You have a set of skills that people need and will pay for as your day job.
You have something you love to do down to the marrow of your bones. You have people who love you and believe in you.
So endeth this day. No callback, no gig, no problem. It hurts. It sucks. You sigh. You cry.
But no problem.
Live your Golden Life.