All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
I think Gandhi said that, or maybe JFK?
I can’t remember, but it’s not the speaker or the words spoken but rather of the words written; forever enshrined within the confined pages of books, repeated and raped in movies and entrenched in minds for the test of time. And what a rigorous test it tis. But alas it prevails. A story, a way of life stamped and interpreted at that moment long ago, as exactly how the individual saw it. He was both a player behind the worlds stage, describing it the best he could at that time, and experiencing it in that instance for himself.
And this is where those lucky 13 words have brought me. What are we but players on a more hectic, bustling stage today? A collection of acts, stories. Our only breather, as we see it, are holidays away or time alone.
But within these we are still acting.
We meet other actors and actresses ‘taking a break’, like ourselves, and we can’t help but explain our CV, credentials: Our stage names. Our roles within the act; are we more leading than them, do we gain more spotlight when we speak our lines? Our resume; where we’ve acted before, the stages we’ve been on, how we’ve been applauded and validated. Our trials and tribulations, what we gave up and how hard our role is to play. Our dreams of fame and fortune and success; the roles we wish to play and the shoes we wish to fill one day.
We escape again. We escape to isolation; alone. The make up comes off for the day and we undress the costume of performance. But have we really let our act down? The thing that we are trying to escape? We hold our role when we look in the mirror, who we were and how we want to look, to be. We go online, the international stage, and uphold the act of where we once were or where we want to be. We post a past moment to be validated and concrete our projected sense of self, our role. Even when we reach that time of silence something still screams for stimulation, to ponder the past or dream of the future.
We are always on a stage.
We are always in an act.
We are always a story.
What are we but a collection of stories? We let these stories make up who we are. Where we have been. Who we’ve met. What experiences we’ve had. How we’ve learnt so much.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to have and experience these things, these stories, but accept and live them as they happen. Not as who they will make others believe you are; remember they aren’t you.
You are you.
Who you are right now is you. And it’s ok not to know who that is. But know what it is not; It certainly isn’t the you 5 minutes, 5 months, 5 years ago and it’s not the you you see yourself being in 5 years.
You you you fuck that’s heaps of yous.
Those past stories don’t define how someone right now perceives you. It’s who you are, as a perfect imperfect being, right now that determines the perception.
The description of who you were and the amazing things you did in India 4 years are cool, and impressive, but you certainly arent that person anymore and you won’t convince anyone now to validate you based on a past you. You can make them laugh, cry, sympathise, you can intrigue them, impress them but all you end up as is a collection of past stories and future hopes to that person.
Like anyone and everyone these days.
This life, this act, is simple.
If you miss someone, call them.
If you want to be understood, explain.
If you have a question, ask.
If you don’t like something, say it.
If you love something, state it.
If you can’t think of a no, then say yes.
What matters is the moment, the now, the experience itself of the act and the stage and it’s all there to be enjoyed with all the other actors and actresses. Be in that moment, immerse yourself in that role and play it out with your heart. You don’t need to explain yourself, leave it to that Shakespeare behind the stage to write your stories for you. You just focus on playing them out right now and enjoy this moment for it is all we really have.
And with that I think I’ve had enough 9% Trappist ales and it’s time for intermission.