"The biggest failures come round and spring ultimate surprises of survival." ~Jack White
Seeing as how I'm quite the fan of Mr. Jack White, I found it fitting to use this quote today. I've been thinking about some things for awhile and trying to figure out how to write what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling. I've had a hard past couple weeks and I finally had a meltdown on Friday. I guess I was bottling up all my emotions and frustrations and anger for those two weeks and finally, the boiling water in the pot blew the lid off. I can't quite put my finger on what was wrong and I'm still trying to figure it out. The only things I could say when talking to a friend of mine on the phone is that I'm tired of my life and I'm tired of being trapped in this body. This life of being a burn survivor and this disabled body that prevents me from doing things that I used to be able to do, whether those things are the basic things to take care of myself, my love for running and exercise, or the life of a performer. But there's so much more to it than that. Something much deeper. Maybe it's fear. Fear of my future, fear of what is in store for me, fear of being alone. I don't like feeling lost. I had a plan. I traveled over 3,000 miles away from my home to the big scary New York City, literally on the complete other side of the nation to chase after my dream of being a performer. My whole life, since I was in the second grade, has been all about dreaming of being the best actress the world has seen since the Hepburns, since Annette Benning and Meryl Streep. An actress that possesses great talent, grace, charisma, intelligence and humor. I didn't want to do shit work just for the paycheck. I wanted to eventually be the kind of actress that is sought after like Meryl Streep or Julianne Moore and Annette Benning who can go years without being in a movie because they care more about the project, about the character they will be throwing themselves into and embracing. They want to do films that are GOOD, that are AMAZING, and films that can make a difference with a powerful subject, powerful writing, powerful directing, powerful cinematography and powerful characters. I know you have to start somewhere but those women were my idols for where I wanted to be, who I wanted to be as an actress.
But then some things started to go wrong in my life during my last year in New York and I was asked to come home for a break to think about things and get my head on straight. It was during that time when I came home that my accident happened that changed my life forever. I am constantly consumed with thoughts of what-if's. What if I hadn't come home? What if I had stayed in New York and figured myself out there. Would I still be there? Where would I be in my life and my career at this point? These consuming thoughts destroy me but I can't stop thinking about it. I feel like a failure. I feel like I failed myself, my family. And I don't know how to fix it. I'm scared beyond belief.
Jack says that such failures will "spring ultimate surprises of survival." But what kind of failures is he talking about? Any kind of failure? Because if my failures qualify with what he's talking about, when will I experience these ultimate surprises of survival? I don't know what I'm looking for. And this is where I feel lost. Yeah, I survived being on fire for several minutes. I survived the life flight to Portland where they had to manually airbag me the entire way to keep me breathing. I survived the surgery when I arrived at the hospital. I survived the coma, I survived the months that have followed since the accident and I have survived 29 surgeries. But what about other kinds of survival? Like surviving what is to follow in my future? Will I be able to find a way to survive all that I have been through, all that I am currently going through, and all that is still ahead of me to go through and come out the other side with a bright future and endless possibilities? And more importantly, come out the other side as a whole person able to love myself and believe in myself despite my past failures and what happened to me when I came home that month of March, 2008. But I suppose as Jack puts it as "surprises of survival" that my survival of all this will spring on me in the form of a surprise, of unexpected success. But I feel that this accident and everything that has come about because of it has changed me. I used to be quite a dreamer but have I lost that attribute? I have seen how horrible life can be and what can be taken from you in a split second. I loved being a dreamer, of being an idealist. Now I just feel lost in myself and jaded.
So how do I continue on everyday? Day dreaming about having my life back one day, about getting back on the horse of my one true passion of performing is both a good and an evil. It's not hard to see how it is good to think about those things, but it is also an evil in my days because I am afraid that I will not achieve the success in my ultimate passion and will one day be doing some other profession while thinking every day about the lost chance to be the next Meryl Streep. And that will be the evolution of my own personal living hell.
My biggest challenge right now is trying to figure out how my past failures can turn into the survival of living through what I have lost, the survival of my passions, preserving my dreams, the building of my character and the strength of my soul.