I wrote this post last week and have been so excited about sharing it.
I am coming to the end of an amazing holiday and I’m heading back to London, and I’ve hardly thought about work, acting, at all. It’s wonderful.
Can you believe I even wrote that. I am blissfully taking a break, escaping from that rat race that is acting, ignoring the antics and mayhem that encompasses it all. I am however, blissfully consumed by what my mates will say about my tan, and my hair that is a tiny shade lighter, and which bands I listened to at the music festival.
Holidays are an absolute necessity. Every time I am scared to leave, I take a deep breath and realise that’s it’s actually okay (I’ve included another post at the bottom from another actor on this topic). Nothing will happen while I’m gone, life continues at the pace it did before I left, and if people really need to access me, they’ll wait. And what’s more…if it’s a special occasion holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, parents visiting, Easter, etc) I am even less likely to be missed.
Family are so incredible, so essential, so necessary. I even manage to forget that sometimes and not call when I should. But when I’m with them I’m flooded with a sense of love and loss simultaneously. Love because I’m overwhelmed that they made me and still love me, and loss in the sense that as I grow older I can never be their little girl anymore. I no longer drive my car back after a painful breakup during first year of university, or to come back to home made chicken soup when I’m so ill I can barely get into the shower. I don’t bring strays home when they’re having a bad day at high school, and mum and dad aren’t the first people I call when I book a job.
Yet sitting in the backyard of the country town I grew up in, gentle sun setting behind the landscaped garden I helped to dig out as a little girl, and listening to my family giggling about past stories of our childhood antics, I am flooded wholeheartedly with an absolute sense of love and of the importance of getting perspective. Jobs included.
A clever, wonderful director pal of mine recently gave me some of the soundest advice that I have heard in a long time and I share this knowledge now. He took a piece of paper and carefully divided it with a tiny line. He said one side is for the things that make you happy, the other side is for your definition of success. Then he went on to elaborate that it’s unlikely one will define the other, and even more likely we won’t find our life will actually match the version of success we see for ourselves at that precise moment. That will change over time. And we often can’t control it. And yet the things that make us happy, you know those moments like right now when you smile thinking back to giggling with your best friend so much a little pee nearly came out, will be the ones that truly define us and make sure we have a good life. A husband, wife, child, time with friends, laughing, loving and smiling.
See it’s been said about a hundred times or more that no one on their deathbed ever wished they had worked more. Nope. Instead they always say they wish they had more time with family, or enjoyed themselves more etc.
It’s all so simple to see when you stand back on a cliff and watch a sunset, or look for a rainbow right after a storm. It’s all so simple. Holidays are bliss. And that nostalgia I’m feeling is a wonderful thing.
p.s. I promised another blog post about it. Way back when Ben Whitehair wrote about going on holidays, and I just remembered how great that blog post was and found it for you here: http://www.playbillsvspayingbills.com/attitude/how-going-to-fiji-will-make-you-a-better-actor/