“The stringent requirement of a sustained creative life is the humility to start again, to begin anew. It is this willingness to once more be a beginner that distinguishes a creative career.” –The Artist's Way
I may have taken this quite literally as I began very “anew” on a new coast, in a new city, with new people, about 7 weeks ago.
I graduated from college two years ago and now I feel I’ve been transported back to the land of pre-school and pampers (not literally: don’t worry I am potty trained guys).
It is scary being a beginner again because it means admitting you don’t have all the answers already.
My first lesson in being a beginner was learning to read the parking signs more closely—I received my first parking ticket my first week here (I consider it my initiation).
Then came finding a new grocery store, new apartment, new roommates—most of these were thrust upon me given the situation of being in a new place.
But since I have been on my new journey as a beginner, I have also consciously chosen to start over in some deeper aspects.
After arriving in LA, I immediately signed up for an auditioning class that came highly recommended to me by a friend of mine: partially because I wanted to meet new people and have a schedule and also because I was eager to learn and be a student again.
This class has been the most wonderful opportunity to be a beginner again. I forgot how invigorating and empowering it can feel to learn new things, think new thoughts, ask new questions—about my career and myself.
Giving myself permission to say:
Well what I thought yesterday isn’t necessarily true for me today.
What I wanted 5 years ago may be outdated.
What parts I would play in college aren’t necessarily the parts I’ll be playing now.
I am extremely grateful to this class for being a place where I could grow to trust myself. By surrendering to the fact that I do not have all the answers, I feel like I have gained so many answers to questions I didn’t even know I had.
By beginning anew, I am able to see how I have grown up and changed when I often feel that I haven’t.
I have given myself freedom to try new things. Permission not to make decisions based off of what I “usually” do. Or what I have done in the past.
Permission to spend money on things that not only inspire me but inform me as a person and support the kind of actor I want to be.
To seek out experiences where I may meet more teachers to guide my little beginner feet. Mentors everywhere, just waiting to be discovered.
Because why not! The great thing about knowing you’re a beginner is that I feel a genuine interest in other people that makes me want to approach them with the attitude of “tell me your story: I want to learn from you.”
It’s scary to be a beginner in terms of relationships too. I am beyond grateful for my friends and family who are in my life. These people are SO important to me because we have seen each other through many transformations and beginnings and offered support through it all.
But I can sense the beginnings of even more friendships and it’s exciting and great to humble myself—did I really think at 24 I had met everyone in the world who would be important to me. I hate that song “make new friends but keep the old one is silver and the other gold” because it seems like a jab at the silver friend…why they gotta be silver!
I am on the seacrh to soak up as much GOLD as possible--including new frirenships and expereinces.
There is a resistance to this beginning again. It is not always easy. Part of my subconscious may pout: “But I already have a best friend!” “But I’ve never done that before…” “But THIS PERSON doesn’t do that….” “But that costs money….”
I usually just try to tell that part to shut up, move aside, and let me take my baby steps forward!
People keep asking me how I am liking LA so far and I sometimes feel guilty that I don’t have enough to tell them about what I’ve been up to or what I’ve accomplished. I have not been “discovered” in a coffee shop or given a million dollar movie deal.
Productivity and success doesn’t always manifest itself as something that belongs on a resume or in the form of a large check you can deposit.
I may not have landed the leading role on an HBO show (yet!) but I firmly believe I am more on my way to that point now than I would have been had I not had the courage to start over and be the new kid in town.
So right now I’m celebrating where I am right now and honoring that I am a beginner again and it feels pretty wonderful!