So, I have this friend named Ryan.
And he’s amazing.
He also has a blog. You should read it.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my friend named Ryan, because Ryan, essentially, is the antithesis of everything that I am. Not in a mortal enemy sort of way, but in a way that makes me wonder who I would be if I was more like my friend Ryan.
See, Ryan decided, somewhere along the line, that what would make him happy was to travel and to play music. And so he did. And so he does.
I could never do that.
Granted, I’m a terrible singer AND a terrible songwriter, so the whole “street singer/songwriter” mode of employ is out straight away, but it’s more of the (probably romanticized) version of my friend Ryan that has gotten me thinking lately.
The reason, you may be wondering, why I am writing about this, is because I just found out that the grad school program that I desperately, completely and totally had my heart set on going to just increased tution by something like 67%, and their “scholarship program” is nigh on worthless, and the scholarship that I had coming to me, turns out, won’t be coming to me anymore.
No more free trip to Grad School for Catie.
It’s taken me a couple of days to process this.
Not that I’m totally heartbroken. I understand that grant money falls through, that funds get “reappropriated for current projects”, but it still sucks. I had a sort of “life plan” that involved me enrolling in the program, getting my masters and then doing something awesome.
But the thing is, I never know what the “something awesome” is. Some days, it’s teaching Shakespeare at some college somewhere where I can live by the ocean and have a porch. Other days, it’s moving to England and interning with the RSC. Other days, it’s staying put in the QC and building Prenzie into the next Chicago Shakes.
And some days, I just want to stay under the covers and say “fuck it”.
It’s a rough problem to have, right? “Oh, I’m interested in so many things and I can’t decide because I live in a nation of possibilities. My life is so hard”.
But back to my friend Ryan.
What strikes me about my friend Ryan is that he is absolutely fearless. I’ve never even looked up a “what if” job on Monster.com without looking up the average cost of apartments in the area. Ryan gave up a chance to be on American Idol and moved to Portland last week to play his music and be in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’m in love with that.
The problem, I have realized, is that I am absolutely terrified of failing at what I want to be good at. I like my job– it’s fun, I’m not super bored (most days) and I get to be creative– but there is a part of me that knows that as much as I do like my job and the people I work with, it’s not Shakespeare. It’s not what I’m truly passionate about.
For now, that’s okay. I have the ability to pursue my passions after I’m done for the day and I love that– I make money AND I get to do theatre. But what if I took the plunge and tried to MAKE money doing theatre?
I don’t know why Ryan has become my “courageous hero” of life planning– maybe it’s because I actually know him. (Ryan is probably reading this going “stop being a creeper”), but it’s not about Ryan himself– it is the ideal of complete self-trust and confidence that everything will work out in the end, as long as he makes $16 a day.
I make $16 an hour and I don’t have that kind of confidence.
But I wish sometimes that I did.