Friday, October 21, 2011

Control

If you want to change your life, how do you do it?


As many of you know, this last year has been the absolute best and the absolute worst of my life.  Funny how that works out.  (Half empty or half full?)  One of my biggest problems is that I'm a bit of a control freak.  Okay, a lot of a control freak.  Basically, when my situation or my circumstances are out of my control, I get anxious and irritable and upset.  It just so happens that currently, a great deal of my circumstances are completely out of my reach.  So lately I've been in the mindset that if I can't control certain things, I should figure out what I DO have power over and maybe try and leave the other stuff to fate.  If I can't do anything about it, there's no point worrying.  There are three main life-affecting things that I can control right now.

-My health
-The people I'm around
-My perception of the world

I find that sometimes I have a hard time keeping up with goals or life changes, and it really helps me to share them with my friends or write about it on my blog.  That way I have the support of those around me and I can't "cheat".  Three of my friends and I have decided to make some pretty drastic diet changes until HAIR closes next month.  We're cutting dairy, simple carbohydrates, and sugar.


As far as the people I'm around... I can't control people who are in my classes and stuff like that, but I can control who I opt to spend time around.  It's completely exhausting to purposely put yourself in the company of people who don't have anything to offer you.  I know it sounds selfish, but it's not worth the stress it causes.  A lot of the people in my life are really empathetic and spend so much time thinking about other people's feelings and how the rest of the group is feeling that they forget to take care of themselves.  It's great to consider other people, but not when it means disregarding yourself.  This is definitely easier said than done, but to a certain extent if you don't put yourself in situations where you need to pretend to feel differently than you do, it will eliminate a ton of stress.  


And I think the perception of the world part is pretty self-explanatory.  It's sometimes hard to do, but finding the physical and emotional beauty can completely change a situation.  As most people know, I'm a reading tutor, and the other day, one of my 2nd graders was reading a story called 'Today was a Terrible Day.'  She refused to say the word 'terrible' and read the entire story saying "Today was a wonderful day...".  Such a small thing, but a well-timed reminder that life is what you make it.


Speaking of "life is what you make it", a few of my friends have been really into affirmations these days.  I'm still not sure how I feel about it.  I think it's definitely got some merit, but I find that a lot of times when people say affirmations, they say them with the knowledge that what they're saying isn't true, hoping that eventually they will become true.  I'm not exactly an expert on this kind of thing, but I'm sure that saying something you don't believe isn't going to help anything.  If you want to change your life, what's the best way to do it? 


As everyone knows, I'm in HAIR at the University of Utah right now, and we just had a fall break full of 8/10 rehearsal days.  We were able to get the entire show on its feet and had our first run thru on Wednesday.  One thing our director said to us before the run was to let the piece happen to you.  He talked about how we've spent all this time giving the piece structure and how all we need to do now is allow the show to take us for a ride.  He said that it's clear when we truly trust the work because we don't end up exhausted.  Faking inspiration or emotion or forcing unmotivated action on stage is exhausting because you don't really believe it.  It feels similarly to pretending that you like someone.  After he said that, I got to thinking about whether or not this applies to life.  Is it easier to have a basic structure of where our lives are going and just let whatever happens happen?  In the past, I've found that tips on acting and tips on life are almost interchangeable.  How about this specific piece of advice?  The whole "life is what you make it" approach is great, but that's coming from a control freak.  Where is the balance? I would seriously love opinions or input from everyone.





"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."
- John W. Gardner 

1 comment:

TiaGalanis said...
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