Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Actor's Nightmare - Letting Go the Fear

Lesson number 286, how to let go and get divorced:  Let someone who is better at the job do the job.

I hate it  when people tell me about their dreams,  rambling and droning on about the mental equivalent of navel lint.  However, I have learned that there is personal value in what we dream.  We narrate the stories of our lives in our sleep.  As a writer and a filmmaker, the craft of narration is important to me. Dreams are a way in which we try to make sense out of the confusion of life. They are riddled with odd details that are clues to our personal stories.

I had the actor's nightmare featuring my husband's mistress who sincerely tried to help me find a copy of The Taming of the Shrew so I could carry it on stage. I was to star as a last minute stand-in for the lead. Ashley and I searched desperately for a copy of the script while my old roommate, DeLisa, went on stage for me instead.  No one bothered to tell me that the part had been re-cast.  As I tell you this, please know that I am sparing you the details.

The life lesson I got out of this dream is to let someone who is better at the job do the work. I woke knowing that I need to let go.  I need to remember that my life is better lived as my life, not a branch of someone else's experience.  DeLisa is a far better actress than I ever was.  It was only right that she should be out on stage in the role I was meant to play.  I was unfamiliar with the part, didn't know the lines and couldn't even find the script.  When I figured out that someone had put DeLisa in my role and that I could let go of the fear that gripped me, I wasn't relieved.  I was disappointed.  And a little bit mean.  I let Ashley keep looking for the script. What can I say, schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure.

But it's all a constructed metaphor - thank you very much sleepy brain.  The metaphor tells me that Ashley is a better partner for Earl in many ways:  they both love Shakespeare, science fiction writing, and meat.  Although I appreciate those things, I am not a connoisseur of any of them. It doesn't matter if they stay together forever or are a fling that fizzles and dies out, he is spending some time with someone who appreciates the same things he does.  She's better at those things than I am.  She's better at being with him in terms of the basic things that he values.  So have at it, Ashley.  I'm supposed to be focusing on my own areas of interest now.  I'm supposed to be focusing on my personal growth.  So be it ALL.  Maybe we'll all be happier in the long run because we're shaking things up a bit now.

And maybe I'll stop crying at the drop of a pin soon.  Maybe the heart break won't be so heart breaking after I've allowed myself more time to explore my own interests.

******

The above was written over a month ago, but I did not publish at the time for a variety of reasons.  I'm glad to share that I do not cry at the drop of a pin anymore, although today I struggled with sadness and anger.  That's to be expected.  Grief is a petulant thing -ebbing and flowing in a most unpredictable manner.  I am glad to say that I truly believe I am better off without Earl.  I think he will be better off without me, too.  It's just...sad/hard/difficult...divorce.

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