Choices and Chains
I was up at Ten North after the show let out last weekend, when a crew member made a comment.
“Oh my God, you’re my mother’s age! Is it freaky to think you could have a twenty-eight year old kid?”
I shrugged. “Nah. If I’d made more fun decisions in high school I’d probably have one, too.”
One of the Eumenides was serving drinks. “You say fun,” she said. “But I hear irresponsible.”
It wasn’t a dig, so far as I can tell. Well, the fun bit. I’m still not sure about the age comparison. But it’s definitely made me think this past week.
Most of the times I remember most fondly in life were … irresponsible, at best. It’s not a one to one equation. I was reasonably together for my wedding, and that was a good day. I could afford all the vacation spots I’ve been to. I’ve found a lot of fun in keeping myself fit and fed.
But the times I didn’t think much about the consequences of my actions are the ones that slink up against me, whispering fond remembrances.
I wasn’t an overly serious kid, but time changes things. Grades became important, moreso than playing. When I passed the age where everyone’s your friend, being liked became more important than being myself. Eventually, moving out of my parents’ house became important. Maybe moreso for them than for me, to be honest; but the end result made money suddenly important.
Responsibility aggregates. There should be a “grey” in that word, since that’s how I learned to wear it – a joyless, dreadful chain that others loop around your neck, your wrists, your heart until you start adding chains and locks on your own. Any suggestion that your responsibilities could be fun has been relegated to the realm of the pipe dream.
But since hearing that statement from a wise young woman, in the wee exhausted hours of a post-show confab, I’ve asked myself: How can I best break that cycle of tension? How can I find more fun in those choices I feel required to make – those choices that feel like chains?
Still thinking on that one, to be honest.
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