Clearing Piles, Confirming Characteristics

It’s been a surprisingly long week. Funny how that happens sometimes, isn’t it? You’d think that a week where you worked two days, had two days off (New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day) and then worked for one more day would fly by. But despite how busy I was, I’ve been feeling sick with the same thing I’ve had for at least a week, probably two, now, and so does Ross.

I do wonder if depression and frustration contribute to our health as much as they sometimes feel like they should. But regardless of why, we’re not feeling well, and that definitely makes it tougher to find the energy to be productive, both in my day job, in my theater company and other music projects, and in my “work on my future”, so to speak.

We have had a day or two when the idea of “running away” felt tempting. And in fact, my mom is having a hard time accepting that this is what we want – and she definitely doesn’t see it as a reasonable goal. She wants to support us, but she is just afraid for the future I think. My dad, on the other hand, was pretty supportive, in his way, saying if anyone was capable of pulling this off, I was.

I know it’s unusual. But we’ve both always been unusual.

In fact, I can readily attest to the fact that my teachers have always seen me as different – well, at least since middle school, when I had class sizes that allowed teachers to get to know me. I’ve been cleaning out old bins of paperwork and memorabilia, and my mom saved all of our report cards and progress reports, so I’ve actually been reading what my teachers thought about me and my work. It’s pretty cool! Most of them said some wonderful things about how bright my future was – but they also made a point of saying how unique I was, and by eighth grade, how driven. It’s really fascinating to read the comments after the fact, when the consequences of a particular grade are long forgotten but the memory of the class is still there, although quite dimmed.

Of my seventh grade year, my advisor said “shyness has given way to involvement with friends and faculty, and we have all learned what a great sense of humor she has”. I wish all of my classmates had gotten my sense of humor, but it’s nice to know some people appreciated it! Of when I played Glinda in The Wizard of Oz, she said “I was honestly amazed by her strength and confidence on stage in her first big role”. Pretty cool, 12 year old Jamie! And my drama instructor said, “Jamie is off to an incredible start in Drama and shows no sign of letting up. There is some major theatrical potential in this student and I can’t wait to watch her talents develop. Jamie has created some of the most wonderfully creative characters I’ve ever seen from a seventh grader. She already has a unique technique which is truly great to watch.” He also says some things about how kind and considerate I am – but how cool is that! Apparently I had a unique technique at 12 and didn’t even know it. And for the record, yes, I did do well in all of my classes in middle school (although it surprised all of us when I did well in art), but it was clearly even more evident than I realized that music and drama were the place I was most comfortable at that age.

At age 17 (same stage) playing Chava in Fiddler on the Roof. One of my favorites!
At age 17 (same stage) playing Chava in Fiddler on the Roof. One of my favorites!

I’m thankful my mom saved all of this stuff. And I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to see it all. And finally, I’m thankful that technology means I can trash this stuff without actually getting rid of it.

Looking forward to a clearer apartment and a clearer head in 2015!

-Jamie

Feeling the Freedom to Dream

After I wrote my first post, I had a couple of challenging days. I’ve never done well when the dark of winter sets in – I’m one of the many that have a very tough time functioning without sunlight. But I’m re-orienting myself to waking up early – and I’m finding that if I start one small de-cluttering project, that’s translating into more energy for other things.

Two days ago, I stumbled upon a job listing. I really wasn’t looking for a job. As I see it, the job I have is basically perfect, except that it’s too exhausting for me do forever if I want to also do theater. In other words, not going anywhere any time soon because it is awesome overall and allows me a fair amount of freedom to live my life as I want to.

But this particular job listing looked too amazing to ignore. Do I have a chance? It’s a long-shot, a big long-shot. So I figured, what the heck, I’ll go for it, polish a resume, and see where it leads. But you know the really amazing thing? Because I’m already on the path to a tinier footprint and a simpler lifestyle, the idea of altering my plans completely and moving and starting a new job in August of 2015 just isn’t that big of a deal!

A year ago, I’m sure I would have been worried about how in the world I could make that happen. But now, even though I have an INCREDIBLY long way to go, I’m seeing the progress, and I can look at my apartment and say, sure, you can get rid of half of this stuff and move by August if you have a reason to. No big deal!

It’s definitely the small victories. I’m very thankful that Ross is willing to make regular trips to drop off recycling and donations, they pile up fast!

‘Til next time!IMG_0603