October 31st, 2006

Lost In Transition

I’ve started this entry three times already and erased all of it to start again, trying to find the right way to explain what’s going on in my head these days, when it hit me – that’s exactly it: I’m trying to figure out a way.

See, I feel like I’m at a crossroads in my life… but not really. I have a good job, a nice apartment, all that stuff, so I’m fine, really. But I feel the need for … something. I can’t put my finger on it, exactly. It’s not that I feel unsatisfied (or any more unsatisfied than most everybody feels about something or other most times, anyway), I just feel, well, done.

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to be in several plays. We’d rehearse for a couple of months, and then the last week before a performance we’d rehearse all the technical parts and have a dress rehearsal and it’d take hours and hours that last week. Our first show would be Friday, with another performance on Saturday. Thursday’s dress rehearsal always felt like a performance (as it should!), but really we had the two main performances.

Later on in my college years, the school started adding a performance on the following Monday, a matinee. A few hundred retirees would come from all over the state, have a nice lunch, and then see a performance of whatever play we were putting on that semester. By the time those Monday shows came around, the cast was pretty much done with the play. The adrenalin of Friday night’s show followed by the smoother performance on Saturday pretty much rounded out the whole experience. By the time Monday rolled around, we were ready to strike and move on to the cast party where we’d watch a video of the performance and wisecrack through the whole thing. Certain actors were given to playing on-stage pranks during the senior citizen’s show, and I remember one fellow got himself slapped by the director for fooling around onstage during the performance. I never went in for the pranks myself, but I understood the feelings behind them: anything to liven up the atmosphere, because we were done.

That’s how I’m feeling right now. The show’s done, the performance was what it was, let’s strike the set and move on to the next town.

I like where I live, I like my job, and, for the most part, I like the people around me. There is no “ugh, I really hate this” reason for me to move on. Nor is there some “I wish I were there!” place in my thinking.

Earlier this year a friend of mine was going through some of these same exact thoughts. She’d lived her whole life here and she wanted something different. I remember when she first started talking about it, there were lots of “I don’t know”s and “I just wonder”s. From there it was “I have an interview in Colorado that I’m doing just to see” and soon after that it was “My house is sold and I found a place in Colorado” and then she moved. Just like that. She knew one couple out there, but the rest of it was a big unknown. She was back in town a month ago and we met for breakfast and she said this: “I don’t know if I want to do this job much longer, but I love the area and, more importantly, I love that I did this, made this change. I needed to see what it was like.”

As I so often did after the plays in college, I sit now out in the theater, looking at the stage, appreciating the set as a whole for the first time, remembering the performance (both the good and the bad parts), and wondering –

“Will I try out for the next one?”

5 Comments on “Lost In Transition”

  1. Wahooty says:

    Change is scary, but it's also good for the soul, and essential to growth. I think you're ready.

  2. Meags says:

    Yeah I definitely understand the need to have big changes in your life. Change helps you grow as a person and life is much less boring that way!

  3. the obscure says:

    I've kicked the habit;
    shed my skin.
    This is the new stuff–
    I go dancing in!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed reading this, Mark. Captured a lot of 30-somethings' feelings about wanting something different/more in their lives.
    But change and progress aren't always the same thing. Moving on? Or moving up? Which is the goal?

    evets nitram

  5. SpirituallyStarving says:

    Start your own business … that 'll fix ya!

    I hope you find what you are looking for. I remember a time I traveled around the world to discover what I wanted was in my back yard.

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