Saturday, April 23, 2011

Of Contentment and Ambition

My, my how time flies when you are having fun.  And fun I have been having, in small and big doses.  My absence from my blog has, for once, not been due to stress.  I've just been doing other things with my life: teaching, exercising, spending time with my boyfriend and family, traveling with my bestest friend to Madrid.  (Why Madrid?  Just 'cause).   It's been grand.

I realized recently that I am truly content for the first time.  Ever.  In my whole 39 years.  The transition I made to teaching voice full-time out of my own studio has brought me a level of satisfaction and joy that I couldn't have anticipated.  While I did spend several years in San Francisco working just as a teacher, then it was just a way to make some money as I was doggedly pursuing my opera career; I didn't look on it as my career.  I always looked forward to the day when I could stop teaching.  Now, it is my career, and I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to live such a life.

Turns out, though, that contentment seems to dull the fire of ambition a bit.  I'm not as driven to write all the time now, perhaps because I'm not sitting at a desk 20-30 hours a week feeling my soul drain out of me.  I'm getting creative satisfaction from working with my students.  I don't have a pressing need for more; I don't have to figure out a way to make money as a writer because I'm actually making money in a way that makes me happy.  Do I still want to win a Tony?  Absolutely.  Am I going to kill myself to try to make that happen?  Absolutely not.  Which means I probably won't, but I'm ok with that.  Mostly.

The good news is, through the power of the magical self-imposed deadline, I have rediscovered the joy of my play and am frantically finishing the full-scale rewrite in time for a small table read next Friday. I've been getting up at 7am to write before teaching, and choosing writing over exercise some days.  I am so excited about where it is going and how it is all coming together.  Yesterday as I was looking for a new Angie (my other actresses weren't available), I was reminded of how much I adore the process of bringing together actors and making things happen.  So I'm definitely not done as a writer, I'm just probably going to move a bit more slowly.

For once, I actually think I'm ok with that.