Scene: Myself, standing on a precipice, looking off into the distance, waves crashing against the jagged rocks below, gusts of cold sea air blowing about my hair and clothes… On the horizon, a spec, I see it, just barely, it’s… White, LED, a computer screen? Ah yes. It’s a blog post, my blog post, from June 29… Saying how I’m not so good at blogging. Seeing as how it’s been a month and a half since my last entry, it still stands to be true.
It’s been a strange month and a half.
- I moved out of my apartment in Berea
- I lived at home for 3 weeks
- I moved into an apartment in Manhattan
- My cousin, Jodi, passed away suddenly in a car crash
- My grandmother was in the hospital, with fluid build-up around her heart
- My father was involved in a car accident
Transitional periods are weird on their own merits. I’ve often felt like I’m floating, and just kind of waiting for something exciting to happen. This feeling heightened especially after I moved out of Berea, my home for the past four years, back to the place where I grew up (in which I haven’t spent more than a week in the past two years). Now that school is over, my life going forward is a blank slate. Exciting, I can fill it with anything I want! Frightening, because what if the colors run or they don’t stick at all and I end up with a blank, ugly, stained, moisture-ridden ripped canvas of a life? Josh, you’re being dramatic. (Also, too many metaphors).
Simply graduating has made me doubt the things I want to pursue and dedicate my time to. Now I have other things to worry about, such as how I’m going to pay my rent every month, how I’m going to pay for groceries, how I’m going to make a living in general while also tying in the artistic work I’ve cultivated during my undergraduate. The structure of school is gone, along with that attitude of “well, I guess I may as well try this or that while I’m here and I’m offered this opportunity.” The arts make more sense to me in a school setting than they do in the “real world.” Outside of school there seems like less of a “pay-off.” And I’m not saying that you should make art with the expectation of money, but when your primary concern becomes supporting yourself, it’s not always practical to dedicate time to something that won’t support you in return. Also, the idea of getting something because you’re “talented,” doesn’t necessarily translate to the real world either, because out here it’s all about who you know and the connections you have. Which seems kinda… un-artsy.
But then again, who am I to sermonize on this issue? I’m fresh off the boat of the undergrad waters. There’s no reason to be disenchanted yet. I don’t know if there’s ever a reason to be disenchanted, really. Right now I’m just trying to figure out my priorities, which is never an easy thing for me to do. But, I AM writing this blog, so that’s something. That’s a form of expression…
Throw on top of this transition period, all of the above bullet points.
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have avoided the topic of mortality, mostly. However, as my (large) family grows older, it’s bound to come up more and more. This past month and a half has been one event strung up next to another.
It began with Jodi’s sudden passing on July 24. I didn’t know Jodi very well, she was about 20 years older than me. But she was family. She had a wife and a child. She was a life coach, helping countless of people live their own truth and find happiness. The number of people who have come forward with loving and supportive stories about Jodi is astonishing–she touched many lives. Even if she did not know it, she was an influence and a role model to me, too. Her Ohio memorial was the day before I moved to New York and many tears were shed.
That next week or so after Jodi’s passing, my grandmother was submitted to the hospital. My mom’s mother is the matriarch of that side of our family; she had seven kids (my mom, aunt, and five uncles), who have all had kids, and whose kids have had kids. She is essentially the axis off of which the family rotates. Thankfully, grandma is safe and well. I visited her in the hospital and she was still crackin’ the jokes like she always did. She kept repeating to me “Josh, never get old,” with a wry smile. I’ll try, grandma. Grandma also told me to keep pursuing what I love, because that’s what really matters. She has always been a big fan of my acting and writing, and whenever I see her, her usual exclamation is “I just can’t believe how you remember all those lines!”
Three days before I moved to New York, my father was involved in an accident. He is safe, as well as the passenger in the other car, but my mother waking me up to that kind of news was stunning, and not in the good way. I woke up to the news about Jodi in the same manner, too. Starting your day with news like that is… disorienting, to say the least. It’s so sudden, and quick. Your mind is waking up while also trying to comprehend potentially life-changing information. I repeat: it’s been a strange month and a half. (Also: I was kind of glad to sell my car before moving to the city).
But, I did it, I moved (finally). For a while there I was scared it was never going to happen. But I’m here, and have been for a week, and hopefully will be here for a while. It’s a large city but it’s beginning to feel smaller and easier to understand (navigation-wise, at least). I’m on the job hunt, and have had a few bites here and there, so we shall see. I know I have support if I need it, and many friends to talk to. It’s all starting to feel real.
Transition period, please be over soon. You have not been fun.
Hopefully this scene with me on the precipice does not end badly.