I can and I will.
I heard it clear as a whistle, my body sunk into my bed, laptop in front of me, freshly used notebook to my right, piled on top of three larger notebooks, my organizational system of life.
I can and I will.
We'd had this conversation before.
"You love to look busy", she said, "it's a great distraction. You're doing so much and yet, you're doing nothing."
"Yeah. I know. So what, then? What do I do? What am I not doing? What am I missing?"
I remember the first time I heard one of these phrases. Truths that are placed gently into my mind, incredibly soft and loud at the same time. Little lightening bolts of honesty. Maybe it had happened before, but June 29, 2010, sitting in that airport, was the first time I can remember. Like a rush, woosh, a steady voice, words I didn't know I needed. A gift.
These eight words are still only for me, kept tucked into my soul, running through my mind, motivating and reminding me. Maybe it was the first time I was hearing myself. Maybe, there in the noisy space of an airport, with the culmination of those eighteen months, and the fear of the unknown boiling within, maybe it was the first time my own voice could get through, or maybe it was the first time I was able to hear my guiding source. Maybe they are the same thing. It's hard to be sure. Hearing with your gut, your heart, is so very different than hearing with ears.
I grabbed my journal and wrote the phrase, tucked into the corner of one of the pages, before I could forget, saving it for when I would need to find it again.
He was up on his feet now. A sure sign that something important was coming, the kind of words that require his entire body's support underneath them.
"I know what you say you want. But I also see what you're doing. And they don't match up."
Fiery, I am. Passionate, I am. Up on my feet now, too. Was he challenging my dreams? Me? Our conversation continued until it had to be paused and I got to walk my thoughts home with me, watch as they shifted and settled. I reviewed the conversation in my head, let my ego have it's turn to speak before putting it down for the night, and let his words settle into my soul.
I entertained the idea that he didn't believe in me. Ridiculous and dismissed. Something more. I waited until it hit me. This isn't what performers do. I'm not performing. I'm researching, I'm taking meetings, I'm submitting, I'm emailing, I'm at the agency several times a week, I'm auditioning like a motherfucking fiend but in a beautifully safe way, comforted by the walls of the recording booth, or the fun environment of commercials. I'm killing it at "the business" but the "show" part seems to have gone missing. Set aside, waiting until the day I am.. perfectreadybettermore. Enough.
I can and I will. I heard it again. The second time through it sounded like the start to a favorite song, the kind that stays with you years later, the one that always gets you up dancing. A more familiar melody.
Within minutes, everything started to shift. Within less than a day, I spent hours in a casting session observing auditions, being a reader for those auditioning, wrote a new song, got a new script sent to me, made a list of fifteen ideas for kickstarting my creating, was given an industry magazine, warmed up my voice and sang for no other reason than the fact that I can sing, that I have a mouth and a tongue and teeth and vocal chords that somehow all work and create a sound that is unique and made just for me to have. And now, I am writing.
And just like that, a puzzle that I've been carrying around, something I could not unlock for the life of me, snapped back into place. This beautiful gift from a perfect mirror, in the form of a brave person, pacing around his living room, reflecting back to me what I cannot yet see by myself. We'll see what happens, if I keep moving toward it. There are no declarations, just really glorious lessons.
And tiny, huge truths.
And big, little moments.
And I can and I will.