I’ve never felt that life was too long. If anything, I’ve overdone it on the other side. I can remember saying to the boss of a theatre I worked for (and was agitating for change in): “I don’t have time to waste. I’m going to die. Don’t you realize that? I can’t waste my time in the box office when you contracted me to perform big juicy roles.”
He laughed at me and told me I should take up meditating. I don’t feel that same sense of urgency anymore, or rather, I don’t think, “I can’t do that. I’m going to die someday. I can’t waste that time.” But I do retain a sense of that ticking clock.
Back when I quit that job in which I was being taken advantage of, I was only a few years out of college. I had a sense that I only had a few years to do what I wanted. I think I knew, somewhere deep down, that as a woman who wanted to act, I didn’t have any time to waste. I needed to get all the jobs while I was young. I’d internalized a sense of acting being a bit like gymnastics, that once the bloom was off the rose, there would be no more work. And I wasn’t wrong.
Now, nearly two decades later, I can feel how long my life is and how long it yet still will be. But not so long. Not calamitously long. Just as long as it will be.