Do you find that things that were said to you in classes, or by bullies, or boyfriends, or parents, stay with you forever? Not the happy things. Not the, “you’re pretty, you’re smart, you’re talented.” But the, “That’s wrong. You’re weird. You’re dumb. Etc?” Yup. I have a whole lot of words floating around my head about myself. Holding me back. Taking up space in my brain that could be better used for….really anything else.
This weekend I’m taking an intensive class. 3, 8 hour days of Improvisation at Second City here in Los Angeles (shout out to Kate Duffy, world’s best and most encouraging teacher). And I’ve learned a lot about improvisation. But more than anything, I’m learning a lot about myself. How harshly I judge myself. How much I still think there is a “right and wrong” way, a “perfect” way, a “realistic” way. Oi. How much time I waste in my head worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter…and simply holds me back?!
I have one day left. And I’m learning how to play. Something I should have learned as a kid, but didn’t. I didn’t play. I competed in sports. I studied dance and instruments and languages. I read books. I learned to sew and strategize in board games. But I did not learn how to play house, or doctor, or make believe, or fabricate stories. I most certainly did not. So. I have 8 more hours to embrace that elusive inner child I’ve heard about, but not believed in. It might be 40 years late to appear. But I’m going to learn how to play, even if it tortures me.
Who knows what I might learn in my 50’s.