I had a melancholy moment the other day. Let me refer to the 2008 film Medicine for Melancholy. When I first watched the film, I didn’t fully appreciate the storyline. It follows two main characters, Micah and Jo, in a 24-hour span. The story felt unmoving. Slow. Long, but not long enough. A few years later I watched it again and thought about how one moment in time can change every single thing you predicted for yourself. The film is the right length. No buildings are exploding; no one is planning an 8-person heist; no neck-biting and transforming into something beyond our vampiric imaginations; no saving countless lives on ice covered mountains in remote areas of the earth; no fifty shades of climactic ridiculousness leaving a person either disgusted or wanting. None of that.
I honestly never predicted being in China. I predicted traveling all over the world, but somehow I skipped over this country. I apologize, China.
We go about our daily lives and then something, someone, some place happens to us. Or maybe we happen to them. I am unsure right now.
I’m at a crossroads (although I swear I say this every few years). This crossroads feels like the Matrix. I play a few roles: Trinity, Oracle and Spoon Boy. Trinity supports, Oracle offers and Spoon Boy simply “Is”. I’ve tried being Neo and he’s way too much responsibility. However, I am the protagonist in my own story, so a bit of Neo does exist, especially when I have to decide which pill to swallow.
Writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, gave a SuperSoul Session talk about being a hummingbird or jackhammer. She says a hummingbird dabbles. “The hummingbird moves from tree to tree, flower to flower, field to field…cross pollinating the world,” offering a perspective that is anew, planting seeds and creating pathways that others may not otherwise consider. The jackhammer is a steady, headstrong bird. The jackhammer is focused, efficient and clear about what it is supposed to do. Not-quite-the-dabbling songbird. When I was in film school I was being trained to be a jack of all trades. The end of that phrase is ‘master of none.’ There is something to be said about knowing a little bit of everything versus a lot of one thing. We praise efficiency in this world. As one matriculates in school, one learns to major in, minor out and master directively. However, if your experience [on and off paper] looks like a hummingbird, where might that lead you and who will understand the power of dabbling? I didn’t come out of the womb wanting to be a specific thing for---ever. The word forever is a very long time, ya know? But deeply rooted in me is passion…forever. Do not ask me, “passion for what?” Let’s just start with the word, “Passion” [full stop].
Is it possible to be a jackhammer and hummingbird simultaneously, Elizabeth? Can I be a little bit of both? And can I come back to this question every few years to reassess my bird status?
This blog offers questions and acknowledges the uncertainty of life. It says, “It’s okay if you don’t have the answers today. And it’s okay if you are a little sad for not receiving a specific answer. It’s okay moving here and there and god knows where [next]. It’s okay playing multiple roles in your own story. It’s okay if the map isn’t clear or maybe it’s okay that you don’t know how to read the map...right now. It’s okay. It’s okay. Stop listening to people who say, it is NOT okay. It most certainly is Okay.”