on figuring out what to do in this life.

i get an idea. something to write about. and i let it gestate. move it around a bit. allow it to breathe.  think about it. don't. expose it to light. and then, when the the need of it becomes so immediate, when the pocket of space in which it lives, calls out, i answer. pen to paper. and through me it moves.

the thing is, that sliver of time--that sliver in which the moment is right, well, it doesn't often last long. and it certainly doesn't wait. doesn't allow me time to move through my own pockets of apathy or sadness.

and so sometimes the ideas--the very things that once lined my skin--move up and out. and i am left. alone. that's when loneliness really settles in. not when the words fail, but when they pass through unacknowledged. when i fail the words.

the terrain is shifting. the terrain of my life is shifting. and it's terrifying. terrifying because it's suddenly upon me and terrifying because it's been so long in coming. but mostly terrifying because there's a sense that if i'm not careful i'll miss this moment--this glorious sliver of time--and the ground will settle and i'll be left. standing still. same spot. my feet tethered to a place i can no longer call my own.

i've never been able to lie to myself. that's one thing i've just not been able to do.

i have spent the three years since juilliard searching for meaning. trying to figure out why i went to a school for four years to study a thing i couldn't bring myself to do after graduation. looking for a reason as to why others went on to success when i could barely get out of bed in the morning.

i have wasted hours upon hours trying to connect unconnectable dots. reading the morse code of the moles on my arms and hands. attempting meaning in a void. i have stood in restaurants and department stores and wondered when was it--when was the exact moment that i veered off course. where was the first hint of failure. at what point did i fail the expectations of others? of myself?

why was i given a talent, a gift and then unable to use it?

i am not a terribly religious person. well, that's not entirely true of course, but my religion is no longer that of my childhood. the manner in which i pray has changed, it is more impromptu, off the cuff, in the middle and on the move.

and the most consistent prayer, the most demanding wish i have arced up to the heavens these three years has been this: show me the path. please, just illuminate the way.

and now as i sit here and write this (write) i can laugh and say of course it was unfolding! and of course it continues! how silly was i to doubt.  but, you see, i am human.

it took illumination after illumination for me to stop and listen. i can trace the first one back two years. but it is only now, in the past few months, that it seem so clear, the message so abundant--little pieces of it abutting each other.  so crystallized.

now i can almost look back and pin-point, oh yes, that makes sense and oh, yes, that had to happen that way, and oh, well, that'll be terribly helpful.

the thing is, this thing that i feel i'm meant to do--this thing pressing up against my gut, i've never done it before and i'm quite certain, there's a good chance, i won't know how to do it. and this push and pull between absolute certainty and absolute doubt has me standing still, afraid to dive into the sliver. afraid the sliver will pass.

but the push and pull is also the belief in the divine versus my own, small and pitying self-doubt.

and who am i do deny that something larger is at play? and i use that verb--play--carefully, because isn't that much of what this life is--what it's meant to be? aren't we meant to play and explore and do the very things we think we cannot?