Tonight in my yoga class we focused on the second niyama, samtosa, which is a part of the second limb of yoga. Samtosa is about finding contentment in oneself and where you currently are in life. Not finding contentment in where you want to be or in your future goals and aspirations, but in the present moment. This is a challenge for me. My mindset for much of my adolescent and young adult life is that if I work hard enough, I will achieve my goals. Very cliche, I know, but I really did work on putting that into practice. So far, it has proven to be mostly true, so I keep on pushing myself to continue putting in the work, in the hopes that when I get there, when I finally achieve whatever goal I'm after, I can look back and think, "wow, that hard work really paid off." Now I am here, though. I am in Chicago, I am working with a professional theater company, I am auditioning, and I am practicing. So many of my goals have been reached, so why is it still hard to find contentment? Why do I still feel like I haven't worked hard enough, like I don't deserve the things I have earned, like I still need to prove to myself that I can do this?
I auditioned for a production of Peter and the Starcatcher on Saturday. I was very nervous. I took the Metra out to the suburb it was in, and when I got into the waiting room and handed over my headshot and resume, I told myself that I was allowed to be there. That I had gone through countless auditions, countless rejections, and I was still existing and still working hard. I miraculously found contentment in that. It's hard to feel like you've earned the right to be happy with who you are and what you're doing, to fall in love with the life you are currently living without thinking about all of the things you have yet to experience and all of the things goals you have yet to achieve. I'm going to work on finding contentment where I am, still working and thinking about my goals, but also taking the time to really enjoy where I am at this moment. It's going to change, and I'm ready for that. But I'm also ready to start loving the life I am living in each moment.
Last Tuesday I visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (because it's free on that day for Illinois residents!!) and absolutely loved it. It was like taking myself on a date, and I got to examine and read about each piece as long as my little heart desired to. There was an awesome Riot Grrrls exhibit which reminded me that it's okay to be loud and messy and overtly female. Speaking of which, I also marched in the Women's March in Chicago on the 21st! It was a glorious day (literally, it was 60 degrees) full of people dedicated to preserving and furthering women's rights.
I begin filming tomorrow for Chicago Justice (I submitted my headshot/resume and was cast), it's my first time being on a professional set and I'm very excited! It's a very small role but I do have a name, Kennedy! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures for my next blog post.
Akvavit has been going great, I've been working on more grant-related things but it's more specific now like what to do for each grant and when it's due and all that jazz. We also had a company meeting to discuss our season for the year. One of the shows we are considering is very political and very on-the-nose with what's happening in American politics right now. Akvavit isn't necessarily a political company, but we had a long discussion about what our job is as artists, and how we can incite change through cultural and artistic expression. It was a great discussion about how we respond and fight back against adversity, and how we can use our art as a means of resistance. I can't wait to see where we go!