My favorite yoga teacher said once that yoga comes into your life exactly when you need it, that it’s okay if life gets too busy and you can’t practice, because you’ll come back to it when you need it, and it will always be here, waiting for you.
I never thought of myself as one of those kids who went on little kicks, like let me try the trombone for three weeks, or let me dye my hair green, or let me try boxing. Not me…aside from that one time I wanted to play drums and my dad got me a lesson and all I did was hit this little block for an hour and when I asked when we got to the good stuff, the teacher said, you can’t do the good stuff until you master this for a while and I said “forget that”. Patience is not my best quality.
I mainly focused on the three things I loved: baseball, theatre and singing.
Baseball was great until I got older and girls couldn’t play in Babe Ruth anymore and had to switch over to softball. Don’t get me wrong, softball’s great and all, but the feel, smell and sound of hitting a baseball on a bat and hitting a softball on a bat are two totally, totally different things. It’s like the difference between a Starbucks drip and a convenience store decaf. It always felt like a poor substitute for me. It never quite quenched my thirst. But I still did it anyway.
And I guess you always want to do what your older siblings are doing, for the most part. Thank god mine were into theatre and not crack or weird devil worship or something…that I know of… Anyway, I saw them singing and acting and when you’re little, you really don’t get much of a choice in what clothes you get to wear or where you chose to spend your time, you just sort of get carted around to whatever everyone else is doing and you end up falling into it because that’s where you are, so you might as well enjoy it.
So I would tag along with my sister to her summer play rehearsals, or her choir rehearsals or listen to my brother play guitar and think, oh, this is what teenagers do, and I’m soooo adult, maybe I should be doing it too. I wanted to be on stage, I wanted to learn how to do every dance move.
I remember one time, we were in the summer production of The Music Man and the guy playing the title character couldn’t be there for one of the dress rehearsal nights because he was traveling for his job and I remember thinking – wow, one day that could be me! I could be in a community production of whatever and still have a cool job!
Well now it’s “one day” and I have a cool job where I get to travel, but no community production of whatever for me. And why not?
I travel too much to have anyone count on me to be there all the time. I haven’t acted in so long maybe I’m not good at it anymore. Maybe I won’t love it as much as I remember loving it and it will ruin the memory of it forever. Excuses.
I was out with some friends tonight for beer and donut pairings (yes, it was as amazing as it sounds) and even in casual conversation noticed how much we all say “I used to want to do this” or “I used to want to be that” and my first, hopeful reaction is “there’s still time”.
Martha Stewart didn’t publish her first lifestyle book until she was 41…wait…she ended up going to prison, let me think of someone else…wait, let me google someone else. Okay, Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at 50, Vera Wang didn’t become a designer until she was 40, Stan Lee came out with his first comic at 39, and nobody knew who Alan Rickman was until “Die Hard” at the age of 42. There’s still time. Hans Gruber says so.
And just maybe all those things we used to do and used to be so passionate about were really just setting us up for where we are today. My career in sales sometimes means standing in front of a bunch of people and talking – not too different sometimes from being on stage (minus the singing, of course).
Maybe all those team sports prepared us for working in the real world, which is never really a solo event. Maybe that waitressing job you had prepared you to run a household. Maybe that weird Music History class you took in college will help you out of a jam one day when you’re on Jeopardy and maybe my hope of writing an amazing novel that gets turned into a movie isn’t a lost cause, or owning my own yoga studio, or my dream of being the next blogger turned Food Network Star ala Pioneer Woman (minus the whole moving to a farm in the middle of nowhere thing) is still about to happen. Maybe it’s just “not yet”.
I say this as I write along to the sound of the original broadway soundtrack of a show I’m obsessed with recently playing in the background. I say this as I treated myself to Hamilton last night and thought, man, I really miss doing that, I wonder if I could still do that?
And just like my super wise yoga teach said, maybe the things that you need most find a way of sneaking back into your life just when you need them.