It seems breaking your hands and deciding to move one’s life 10,000 miles back to the UK has resulted in my blog being severely neglected over these past few months. Four entries this year and that is frankly unacceptable. To those of you who have logged on looking for the next gripping installment of ‘The Laughing Buddha’ only to find the same old entry loading up in your browser, I apologise profusely. It must be like flicking through the TV channels only to find the only thing worth watching is a rerun of ‘Friends’ on E4. Personally, it’s quite frustrating as I try and pride myself on being disciplined enough to keep this diary of musings going. I can only blame distraction, apathy and most of all lack of inspiration due to my head being full of half baked plans that I have been urging into realisation. Kicking my life into, well, something that resembles ‘a life’ I suppose.
I find myself in a state of flux (hardly anything new I hear you cry) which is not just a mental state for me but it seems to be materialising in several other aspects of my life like my career, my home and even some of my friendships. Being back in London is unfathomably easy and way too familiar for my liking. It is the mental equivalent of slipping on an old pair of slippers, yet this time I also have my eye on a shiny pair of new shoes (the shoes in question happen to be in a swanky New York department store, on sale and put on hold behind the counter with my name on them, making them especially alluring even though I am stuck on a different continent). My life has moved on so dramatically now, that certain parts of it that once fit in quite easily with my daily routine now seem to be totally defunct or inappropriate. You’d think living out of a suitcase since April and not working properly since July would throw me into further disarray but to be perfectly honest I have never been more happy in my life than right now. Attempting to carve out a new life back in London, not knowing if this next step is the right step forward, is the thing that fills me with the most unease and doubt.
The idea of sitting behind a desk and working for someone else fills me with so much dread I’d rather vomit onto a porcupine then lick it up. I have to be creative. I cannot and will not settle for anything less. Sounds dramatic and I suppose it is. For the first time in my life the thought of permanence and routine bores me - this used to be the safety net I would seek out and hold onto desperately to in order to give my life structure. I don’t know what the antidote is but I know I need to step out and embrace my creative side again. I need to be embrace the unknown and allow creativity to flow back into my bones. It scares me as I really don’t really know how to achieve this. I feel like a priest who’s been asked to become an atheist or a dog being ordered to meow. I know what’s involved, I’ve seen other people do it, I just don’t have the tools available to make it the transition. I read the fantastic book ‘The Creative Habit’ by the choreographer Twyla Tharp which has been a great starting block for me as it’s practical and full of sound advice. No airy fairy crap most self-help books insist on preaching. I realise it’s just inexperience and fear that holds me back mostly. Practicality is also an issue, I simply don’t have the funds to suddenly be a full time writer or performer. I went to a talk given by Stephen Sondheim, a musical theatre hero mine and to many other theatre fans. He spoke about his mentor Oscar Hammerstein II and it made me think how envious I was the had someone in his life who saw enough potential in him to be something greater than he was. I’d quite like a mentor. A guiding and enthusing force of good in my life. I can lend my talents towards many things but my concentration and impatience tends to let me down. I am reminded of this constantly with the random notebooks full of ideas stuffed in various bags and boxes of mine, the half finished documents and scripts on my computer or the songs yet to be memorised and technically mastered. I do wonder if it’s cynicism, perhaps indecisiveness or even age that stops me from committing or just a life long habit I have failed to keep in check. To be great at one thing when I have the urge to do a hundred million things all at once. ‘Focus’ is the big word I need to remind myself of over the next few months.
Sorry, what was that?