finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lake Michigan Epiphanies

Improv teaches commit.

In order to have a successful scene, one needs to commit fully to where they are and what they are doing. Accept! Accept! Be there for real 100% and then see what happens. Usually funny, truth and the unexpected happens. It's why I love improv.

I spent eleven years in New York City without ever really fully committing, truth be told. Sure I had an apartment (several in fact!) I had friends and a community and a church and jobs and other things that make a home, but I never really made it my home. Of course, I would never admit that at the time. No way. New York was home!

Don't get me wrong, I loved New York, truly, but it was never really home. It was always a place I was for a while. I always wondered inside when I would leave. I mean, I kept an apartment in Minneapolis for that entire time! I had furniture in Minneapolis! Wine glasses! Things! Minneapolis was always my fallback. "Well, I can always return there!" (and who knows I still might for cry-i...) After all, friends and family and potential employment lived in Minneapolis. And this is to say nothing of the extended time I spent in Mexico, being gone for months at a time. I think it some ways it held me back from fully being present and accepting NYC as my home. I don't think that was bad or good. It just was.

And now I have moved to Chicago. And I almost felt myself falling into the same trap. "I'll try Chicago for a while. Who knows for how long..." Not that there is anything wrong with that. It's how I have lived my last 14 years, but something has shifted (age?) and I feel the need to lay down some roots, to stake some claims, to be fully present where I am and in what I am commit. I said it: I feel the need to commit. So I went back to Minneapolis and picked up my wine glasses. They're all here now.

So, yes, I live in Chicago. And for now that's where I'll be. I'll still likely flit off to Mexico now and then to run an artist residency or two, as I do love Mexico :), but probably less. I want to work in Chicago and be a fixture, not a guest.

Recently, I was walking on the beach of Lake Michigan near my new apartment that I have committed to being in for at least the next year or two, and I was thinking, "I'm super lucky!" I have work I mostly love, an agent who believes in me, opportunities in Mexico and elsewhere, I have new friends, a family who lives close, an amazing new apartment that makes me happy and I can walk to a beach!! The beach!

I am here and the truth is --- I love it.

And even if sometimes I don't...just saying the words changes things.

"How do you like chicago?"

"I love it!"

I'm committing. And then --- who knows? Maybe Chicago will commit to me.

Rings and all.


  1. L'chaim to you and Chicago and your commitment ceremony. It's fantastic to travel, to find the home in anywhere, but to also have a home planet, a place where it seems you can fall and it will catch you, fly and it will lift you. Also, regarding being committed to the moment, I think people (I know I did in the past) have a tendency to go into character as they experience life. There's attributes of personality that become like shades in which we let some things in and block out others. Being truly committed means abandoning this, abandoning the cool, the cynical, etc and just being vulnerable. Perhaps improv is a good lessen in releasing the roles we take on, because it's all in the primal instinctive moment. No time to be cool, only time to be real.

    1. Thanks Andy. Love this. "Releasing the roles" and being real. I think I also love having several home planets, but will try having one for now. Thanks for commenting. :)