When I was in my early twenties, I had an acute sense of my own mortality. When I quit a terrible job at an exploitative theatre, I told the artistic director that I didn’t have time to waste at his theatre, because I was going to die. Not any time soon, mind you, but I knew I didn’t have time to waste. I think, too, it wasn’t just my mortality I was aware of, it was also my youth. As a young actor, I knew most of my value as a performer depended on my being young and attractive. I had a sense that I didn’t have that many marketable years. If I wanted to play Juliet, I had to get out and do it as soon as possible. I figured I didn’t have too many Juliet years in me.
Somewhere in the middle, probably at the point I slid past my Juliet years, I lost my hurry to beat death. Maybe it’s that having lived a few decades, I started to take them for granted. Sure, I was going to die – but that eventuality is probably (hopefully) just as far away as my birth at this point. Life started to feel long. And maybe that grind kicked in – a sense of the relentlessness of no money, an unchanging sense of the landscape, a reduction of hope. . .it can make that hurry to get it all done before I get in the ground feel a little less urgent. I started lollygagging a little bit, started messing around on the internet, started playing videogames. What’s the rush? It’ll always be this, won’t it? Grinding struggle, an endless stream of rejections. . .it is just going on and on and on.
But. No more.
I invoke my twenty two year old self and aim myself to the matter.