My brother went to Manila for a week and he got back a few days back. He was attending a wedding and he asked me if there was anything I had left in Manila that I need while I’m here. I left in such a rush and I wasn’t well so I wasn’t thinking straight, so he offered to bring some of my stuff from home to make my life here more comfortable.
I really couldn’t think of anything except my No Filter mug that I got from Jasmine when everyone was giving out presents to everybody at the closing of our first run. I thought to myself if I wanted to really feel at home here, I needed that mug because I’d have something tangible from that experience with me — a constant reminder, if you will — that it happened and it’s something that I can come back to if I get better. I still have a floater and a pillow that I got from Toff and Maine but I am thinking of getting both when I get to Manila on May.
I’ll be honest. Not finishing the second run still hangs heavy in my heart. Not having a proper goodbye to all the amazing people who have become a huge part of my life still affects me. When I think about the year 2015, I will only think of No Filter. I have met so many wonderful people who have become friends, friends who are family, and I’ve experienced so much that I’ve discovered parts of myself I didn’t know was there. More than anything, I felt I was intrinsically a part of something that was so much bigger than myself and it was something that mattered.
And even if it didn’t, it mattered to us and it was something I had not felt before. I probably have but I must have been younger and so my understanding of the context of those moments don’t ring so true into my bloodstream the way I feel the whole No Filter experience was for me.
I know I’m holding on to that moment and that experience and I’m sure it’s making things very difficult for me to move on or progress. I’m thinking of getting better so that I could return to that, and I’m thinking that it might be the wrong way to look at this situation. I tried to convince myself that I have to make a life for myself here while I am here so that everything aligns to my healing.
But having this mug with me now and I realised that I’m keeping myself busy so that I don’t go crazy. It has nothing to do about building a life here. I’m itching to get back to my old life and I don’t know if people will let me go back to it, since I can’t be trusted to be left on my own.
I’ve already accepted my situation for what it is, but I have to reconsider and re-evaluate how I plan to live my life here while I’m recuperating because I can’t accept projects here if my heart is not committed to it in full. I can write plays here and be a part of the theatre community here but if I’m not willing to stay for a long period of time to make sure that I learn from the first production and grow and cultivate an audience, then I’m not really doing anybody any good.
Theatre is an organic community and the audience is part of that and I can’t come here and try to reach them for one play and then leave the first chance or opportunity that comes. Working in the theatre, especially regional theatre, demands continuity and commitment. I don’t know if you can influence important or significant changes by coming in and then leaving. It’s a totally different beast from film or cinema, which is something you can leave behind. Theatre is engagement and it is a very momentary thing. You can’t just do it and then go. It has to be consistent because consistency of engagement within your community is what influences change and growth.
And I’m itching to go back and I can’t fool myself into thinking that I can do good here if I can’t find it within myself to truly make myself at home.
I’d like to think I’m self-aware enough to know when I’m being selfish and being an asshole and I’ll be the first person to call myself out on it. And I don’t want to be unfair. I really have to re-think what I’m doing here and the kinds of commitments that I plan to make while I’m here because I’m not really in it for the community as I’ve discovered today while drinking my morning coffee and taking a simple photograph.
And that’s not fair to the people here. And, at the same time, it’s not fair to me to saddle myself with more potential guilt if I realise I’m going to be heading into a bad place. I can see how this can hurt me or trap me into a situation that will make me feel bad in the future. And I’m no longer the kind of person I was before, who would realise that he’s heading for a cliff and still go forward anyway.
That was the person that I was. This is the person I am now.
If I continue fooling myself then I’m no better than the people I get angry at who throw themselves knowingly into a complicated situations and end up hurting people. I used to go full speed towards cliffs and believe that all my good intentions will see me through. But I always getting hurt and hurting others in the process.
I’m not doing that again. Break the pattern. It’s time to re-evaluate my choices because I have a better understanding of my heart and what it wants. And I just want to get better so I can return to that which I love to do and in a way where I feel I can really contribute so much.