Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Too ambitious or not ambitious enough?

The other end of the table in having more than one goal is the ugly face of a very distracted, clouded mind.

This has been a year of setting goals and distractedness.  I can't say that I am totally on top of this yet - as I speak now I am still learning how to manage this distracted mind but I am full aware of my state of mind.  I guess that's slightly better than not admitting to it or not knowing it.

Was lamenting to Lynn about this absence of focus in me and at times when I feel it's pushing me to a corner I would just relent and sit down, and sigh, "Aiya I just wanna be happy no matter what, just chill and sing a little song and just, be."

She said, "Yes, be happy and appreciative no matter what happens.  I'm trying not to be too result-oriented."

But this day and age we live in, there's always pressure to have results, to deliver results, to have goals and achieve them.  I shared with Lynn what I read last week online - WHy Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy.

While you have those who bitch about their jobs and bosses on FB, there's also tons of social media postings and updates, self-promotion about others' incredible fabulous, glamorous and exciting lives.  It's still a constant struggle for me to balance between keeping a healthy mental state and deciding how to work hard, hard enough to make me feel alive and worthy of my own respect.

Perhaps it is a lack of direction.  I feel that I am in a unique predicament of being both too ambitious and not-ambitious-enough.  It makes me chuckle just to say that out loud.  Let me elaborate what I mean by that.

Lack of direction: I know the things I love well and love too much to want to give up to make room for others - so I end up in my arms a messy (lovely bunch if well-managed) bunch of ideals.

I would love to increase my profile as a classical music performer in 2014.
I need to get more SOLID (will need to define what solid means in this context) work done for my original songs.
...would love to be a better `dancer.'
I want to be a better actor.
I want to speak better Mandarin.

Phew...after having them all spelled out in front of me now, it immediately feels that a big part of the problem is solved, for now I can see them in words, in black and white.  It doesn't feel as heavy as before - the clouds of things that I want to do.

Now on the issue of being too ambitious.  Earlier Lynn said to me on the topic of excelling in something we do, "How good you are in something just reflects how much time has been invested in it."

Every since April this year when I started my 3-month French language class, alongside with my weekly ballet class, contemporary dance class, yoga, singing class - I knew I was asking for it - to resign to being a mediocre in all that I do since I refuse to give up anything.

Even between jazz and classical music, I could not let anything go in between.  Both genre calls for vastly differently focus and discipline - both are the apple of my eye.

Between dancing and singing, even though I don't make a living from dancing, probably won't ever - I could not imagine going through my days without my dance classes.  Dancing in my classes, all those sessions of attempting to look like a dancer, and learning to pirouette better, to extend my hands better, have all become an extension of my soul since I started going to classes in 2008.  The dance lessons have taught me to walk taller and be less afraid to use my body movements as extension of my sung lyrics. I end up sticking to more dance classes - whereas I only go to singing class once a week.

Between doing more theatre and just doing private gigs that pay many times better - I love being part of a team that create a body of works that consist of visual & aural beauty, stimulation for the mind and soul for both the performers and audience.

In fact, I love it so much that even when I can't get my hands on enough theatre work (because am too afraid to audition more), I cannot part myself from watching too much shows; going to the theatre has become more than just a routine research and educational outing for me - it is where I go to feel `at home'.  I am at home when the house lights dim with me in the audience, waiting for the first note or word to be uttered, or the first sight of a dancer glide across the stage...first stroke of light on stage, etc.

On the singing for private events front - Lucky for me that I have a genuine passion in entertaining people - mark the difference between entertaining people and performing for live audience.  I am aware of my role as a lady who sings and entertains at my corporate clients' dinners, and as a crooner at a wedding banquet who adds a touch of theatre and art next to the steamed cod fish being served on sixty tables across the lavishly decorated ballroom.  I am grateful for the experience that I am able (to be paid) to share with thousands of people who may never otherwise step foot inside a theatre, when I add a bit of theatrical element into all of my music performance for the corporate audiences, etc.

Having said all these, I have not come to any solution or decision on how I would be more focused as a person who loves too many things.  For the day, I am satisfied that I sat here and talk about this and put my messy thoughts and conflicts into words on the screen.  And it's time to get ready to leave for the rehearsal tonight for Butterfly Lovers - I dig every second of the time I spend in the rehearsal room with the team, more than doing the show itself, the process itself is a beautiful living experience that money cannot buy (I just need to make enough to pay bills).

So for now, this living moment in time, my conclusion would be to embrace the kaleidoscope of passions that I have, and delay making a decision of what I really want to be, forcing myself to focus on only one thing.  I think perhaps I may never come to decide on what to do but to greedily do all that I can in this 24-hour a day framework.

You can call me a singer, a dancer (wannabe), an actor, a writer, a song-writer, an entertainer, a reader, a fashionista, a stylist...even if you call me a mediocre I guess I would have to take it because I honestly, cannot decide what I am, now.  Maybe next week I will.

September 25th, 2013.