Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's What's on the Inside

Hi Everyone,

Last night, I was watching the movie, Up In the Air.  There was a scene where the protege was talking to her mentor and his lover about her disappointment in her plan.  What was the point in life?  I laughed heartily at this scene, not because it was funny, but because I understood where both women were coming from.

The protege had a plan.  She was to be married by 23, maybe have a kid, definitely have a house and be on the fast track to a successful career.  The protege is 23 and everything she has planned didn't live up to her expectations.  The mentor's lover was able to put it into perspective for her.  As time passes, things change, the plan changes, what you see at 23 isn't what you see at 38.  As you get older, you begin to question if the house, the husband, the kids, the career will make you happy.  You begin to look at things more for the truth than for appearances.

When I was in college, I purposely made the decision to go against the status quo.  Let me backtrack, when I was 20, I was sure I would be married by the time I was 24.  I was sure I'd have kids soon after and that our house would be cute and homey.  I was very rigid in my plan.  I had high expectations of myself and everything that went with it.  I was especially critical of guys.

I dated this guy in college for a bit, who was the total opposite of me, which in the beginning I thought was exciting.  Soon, his lack of motivation, his pot smoking, and my high expectations made the relationship crumble.  Fast forward ten years and I am living in NYC going to school, smoking pot, getting drunk, and doing everything he did, but thinking nothing of it.

In college, I did everything "right".  I did what was expected of me.  It wasn't until I came home from the Peace Corps that I had a breakdown.  As I was boarding the plane to Mali, I envisioned an experience that was unparalleled to anything I could ever imagine.  I was sure I would be a volunteer of "legendary" proportions.  I was anything but.  It took me a while, but after the Peace Corps I realized that living by expectations, either from me or others, wasn't working.  So over time, I began to look within.  To see the true Tara.  I learned that my plan couldn't take shape because I could only  see generalizations.  I didn't know at 23 what house I wanted, what qualities I wanted in a husband, or know what it felt like to love someone unconditionally.

To have a plan, one must always know what they are striving for.  I've worked out some plans, I am still figuring out others.  For instance, my mom keeps asking me, "What do you see yourself doing to pay the bills?"  When I think of it, I can only reply, "Writing."  Ironically, writing and acting are very similar careers.  I know that I love to travel.  I know I love to live among the locals.  I know I love to speak to the locals about where they live.  I know I like to take some of the things I have learned from my travels and write a fictional story.   What I am having a hard time with is, what is the first step?  How do I put it into action?  Any suggestions?

Until tomorrow.  Take care and be safe.

All my love,

Tara

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