This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
I’ve been on a theater tear lately. Hunchback of Notre Dame, Book of Mormon, Aladdin, If’/Then, and Something Rotten twice. Of course, even thought the last one is a bawdy, hilarious, ridiculous musical, it made me feel the sappiest. One of the songs features the above quote from one of Shakespeare’s greatest speeches. Though the original context is a father giving advice to his son before travel, you can fantastically apply this snippet to any situation in life.
That said, I sat in the gorgeous theatre solo, surrounded by theatre people (it was a Monday preview, and most other shows were dark), insanely jealous. I’d give my left pinky toe to be on the fly rail again, doing the ultimate gun day workout. To smell the wood of the sets, the ozone from the lights. I’ll say it again if I haven’t said it enough- I have a great job at a fantastic company. I’m lucky. Any regret from failing to follow my childhood fantasies are purely first world problems. My colleague, born outside the US, once said that following your dream was a luxury. She was never encouraged to think beyond the prestigious college, steady job path. Still, despite the ridiculousness of it all, I can’t help but have second thoughts about being a “desk jockey.” On the other hand, it’s almost unthinkable to leave the safety of my little corner, with my little water bottle, and my big health insurance package.
When did we stop following our dreams and start actually growing up? When did I trade in my starry eyed imagination for a 401K? And which one is ultimately worse? Failing to pursue your passion for stability and security, or rejecting adulthood and responsibility entirely by jumping in a car and just…going? If I put in my time now, I’ll be able to enjoy it more down the road …right?
What happens when you start making all the “right” decisions?