I am prone to it (in case you hadn’t noticed already), and at times I wonder if it is a by-product of American culture – I honestly have no idea, but it seems easier to blame everything on one’s upbringing at times, right?
My manager often says that one cannot count on much in this industry until one is out on-stage, giving the performance. So much changes from the moment one receives an inquiry to the actual performance. People change their minds, companies change their seasons, singers sometimes don’t learn their music or feel that the piece is ultimately not for them, people get sick – any number of things can happen.
I’ve learned this the hard way recently, and, unfortunately, a lot of the lesson has been in regards to next year. A couple of projects have not panned out for next year for various reasons, and right now, I am staring at a large gap in my schedule. I wake up fretting about it daily.
I find myself drifting back to my thoughts about anxiety last fall, and I ponder the power of thought. If thoughts are creative actions, with the power to influence our reality around us, what good is it to worry? Isn’t that just empowering our sense of hopelessness and panic? Of course, my habit is to think, “I don’t have anything in that gap!” That small thought, repeated each morning as I wake up focuses my being on what I don’t have and what is not happening for me, which would explain my anxiety’s firm grip on my psyche. It also casts a pall over all that I have now, preventing me from enjoying the work that I have in the present moment.
While it is a simple question, thinking “I wonder what will happen?” opens up a world of possibility. It focuses on the fact that something will happen, only I just don’t know what yet. And if I think about it, I never really knew what I would be doing anyway. The focus on possibility and realizing that I can’t ever know the future frees me up to enjoy the work that I have now, and all of the sudden, “I wonder what will happen?” becomes a revolution to my reality.
Photo by Jeremy Frank