Sunday, 20 January 2013

Dream Parts

When I was in my O.A.C year, I was cast in one of the lead roles in the high school production of Grease. I felt like my singing, and public speaking had come a long way over the years, and I felt so humbled, and honoured to be cast in the role that would best fit my personality and skills after so many years of going through the grind in other roles to just get experience.  It was a bit of a dream come true for me at the time.

I spent the weeks leading up to opening night feeling like it wasn`t really happening. I felt as though, at any second, I would be yanked from the show, and my part recast. It didn`t feel real until the show actually went on.  And when it all ended, it especially felt unreal when I got a standing ovation at curtain call on closing night. I can still hear the cheers.

That was when I was eighteen.  I haven`t felt that way since.  I went back into the grind, without knowing what I was grinding for.  There have been `roles` that I`ve played, and `reviews` would tell me that I did quite well, and though I may have earned a `standing ovation` or few, it was not the same.  They weren`t `dream roles`. ...not until now.

It`s almost `showtime`, and I plan to earn that standing ovation all over again.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Solo Travel: La Habana

I went on a last-minute solo vacation to Havana over the holidays.  I have been asked why.  I will answer in parts.

As regards the location, I was looking for something (1) affordable that (2) had a rich and interesting history, and that was (3) safe.  Havana was an obvious answer.  Cuba is an affordable destination with flight + hotel + meal packages as low as $100/day year-round, and the local dining and entertainment costs at pennies compared to any Canadian/America/European city.  Cuba is known for its low crime rates.  (For the time being, I will pass on sharing my thoughts on why this is .)  Finally, Havana is a city with a rich history, and its current state reflects it.  Although I spent the peak of each day on the beach, I didn't stay on the resort.  That would have been a bore to someone like me.  [Aside: The weekend prior to departing, I caught a documentary entitled Last Chance to See Castro's Cuba.  This gave me a current snapshot of Havana, and what exactly to expect when I walked through the streets.]

As regards the reason why I went solo...  Ask any solo traveller why they do it, and the answer will always be because of the freedom.  Solo travellers naturally gravitate towards each other.  At least, this is my experience.  When I meet a new one, I like to ask him/her why he/she does it, and I always get the same answer.  No one to please.  No one to plan for.  You do everything at your own pace.  You are neither dragging, nor being dragged along to places.

Finally, as for why I went last-minute, well, let's just say that there were a number of things that I had to celebrate this year, and I decided that it was important that I oblige.  Also, I find it generally exhilarating to test my planning skills as a reminder to myself of what I am capable of pulling together on the fly.  Between work, school, and family, so much of our lives are planned.  I try to squeeze as much spontaneity out of my personal life as possible.  I don't advise having no preparation, because that's foolish.  However, with proper preparation, I can walk into any city, and, day-by-day, meet people, and do local research to discover and determine the most interesting path to take.  It never fails.

Alright, back to my trip.  There is a lot to discuss, so I will be breaking it down into smaller topics in the weeks to come:

Coin-Sorters, Their Opposites, and New Year's Resolutions

The story of a homeless man who was given $100,000 by a film director was recently related to me.  The fellow was offered free counsel from a financial advisor, but he turned it down.  In a nutshell, he blew the money and is back on the streets.

Not everyone is a coin-sorter.  Some people are the opposite.  I'm tempted to call them poisonous, but maybe that's just because that's what they are to coin-sorters like me: they jam me up, and leave me unable to function optimally.  In isolation, they exist without opposition.  Imagine swamplands, with weeds, and wildlife: organic, natural "disarray".  Who am I to say what is best?  But what I can say with utmost certainty is that they are dangerous for me.

I've been "sorting coins" lately.  I fear the repercussions of what will happen when I get jammed up with the return of my "swampy" personal associates.

It's the start of 2013.  One of my New Year's Resolutions is to tackle this issue.  I can't turn everyone into coin-sorters, no, but can I find a way for us to happily coexist?  Oh, more than that - can I find a way for our lives to intermingle?  Can we mediate a solution whereby I can feel productive and enjoy a sense of accomplishment and growth, and they do not have to change?  This is the question.

Advice welcome.  Please submit.
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