Relationships with people:
I've noticed that in maintaining relationships with people, you are either the contactor, or the contactee. If you have spent your life making the effort to be the contactor, if you stop, your relationship pool will subside substantially. For the past year, I've consciously cut way back on running around maintaining general relationships with people. At first, I was a little stung by how little people seemed to need me in their lives, but after the initial sting wore off, I've noticed two things. The first is that my life is substantially simpler, and two, it has opened up the doors to meeting new people.
The people in my life who are aware of maintaining a balance of contact are still in my life, (and still choose to have me in theirs), so the primary relationships have not been affected.
Even though I've had my fair share of drama in this life, (good Lord, yes!) I've still managed to get a pretty fair swath of work done in my chosen profession/professions. (It does help with the work if drama happens to be your profession.) I have noticed, however, that there has always been a fair portion of people connected to me that seem to have a never ending string of crises and dramas going on that are seemingly never ending, as if a new drama starts right before the last mess is cleaned up. For myself, I seem to collect really intense dramas for a year or two and then I turn to comedy for four or five years. (Although I admit I've had a rather lengthy string of drama the last couple of years.) Along with the aforementioned theory of contactor/contactee, the never ending drama people don't so much contact me with their drama, it's more like them driving their dented up cars right through my front door. When there is a brief moment of reprieve, I seem to be at the end of their long list of people to contact. I think teaching for ten years and producing theatre for twenty-five has taught me really good crisis management skills. Perhaps learning these skills opens your life up to the drama in practically everyone. I really need to get my ass too a good comedy soon. Also, drama in a life is relative, I suppose, and some people just have lots of relatives.
I have lost all balance in what constitutes a romantic relationship. I simply have no idea anymore of whether I'm on the field or whether the coach has decided to put me on the bench and blather to the other players about all the cool experiences I had while I was on the field. (And, it seems like I'm constantly yelling at the other players saying things like, "It's okay to bunt!" Or, "Don't try to knock it out of the park, just get the bat on the ball! Or, just get to first base, we'll figure the rest out when you get there!")
Part of my confusion is facing the reality that I'm growing older, and have no idea whether women are being nice to me because they feel sorry for me because I can no longer break dance, or they just want someone to go to a movie with, without the threat of a possible romantic interlude. I was never good at being aware of whether I was being hit on, but now its just plain comical. Now it's more like, "Did that woman just say hello to me? What was that? What did I do?"
I've also lost all semblance of what to tell women about myself. I simply don't know what women find interesting anymore. I used to be pretty proud of the fact that I've cranked out more than a few plays and actually watched those plays being performed on a real stage. Now, that knowledge seems to be a sort of napalm. Maybe women have been lied to so much that if you tell them you are a playwright, they get that look on their face like, "Yeah, sure you are and I'm a welder…" Good God, is playwriting even that interesting anymore? It used to be, at least to me. Maybe I'm in the wrong damned country or city…hell, I don't even know what's interesting and what's not… It's the same thing with music, maybe this just isn't a music town. Now, maybe I'm paranoid, but I swear that when I'm playing live, there are some women, (and men, but for other reasons) that almost seem embarrassed by that whole interaction. Or, that something live like that is too evasive or confronting. Now, the men, (especially the younger ones, the older ones dig it and still have an appreciation for it) won't even make eye contact with you! Isn't that weird? And, if they are with a woman, they are (and I'm not making this up) like trying to shield their dates from you, like you and the woman they are with are going to run away that night and join the music circus together and take all their money! Are men really that insecure? What has happened to us? Now, Phoenix, I love you, but you are so artistically and emotionally naïve sometimes. Men, I do this for a living, I'm not there to steal your woman, and besides, the woman you are with are not interested anyway…
The last few years have been laden with lots of false opportunities, a good share of bullshit, (similar but not exactly the same), and finally, some opportunities that are almost too good to be true. (You know what they say about that). So, anymore, when these opportunities arise, I'm learning to keep my mouth shut. The problem is when an opportunity arises that’s exciting, I talk about it because I'm enthused. See, the thing is, when you get older, if you stay in the boxing ring long enough, you learn that boxing is a learned skill, mixed with some talent and tenacity, that may take years to perfect. If you are a lifer in the ring, it is less of a pissing contest, rather it is a line of respect that only another boxer would know. Like any profession, how can you really talk to anyone else about it except those who have chosen to keep putting on the gloves? You talk about it because you are excited and you want others to be excited too about the opportunities, but, as I am learning, you just can't really talk so much about it. The adage is true, Luck is when preparation meets opportunity, and if you've spent your life preparing, it's amazing how many opportunities will begin to arise. However, what I didn't know, is that there is a whole learning curve you have to go through to learn which opportunities are going to be real, and which ones are going to be bullshit. So, what happens is while you are learning this, the bullshit hits you squarely in the face, and not just once, but more times than you want it too. I really believe though, that is possibly for a person to be so seasoned and in such good shape that the fighting opportunities will arise again and again. And, these opportunities will often be unbelievable to other people, especially in the entertainment world, because each one can be a game changer. I've also come to believe however, that it costs you almost everything to get in this kind of shape, and, as you get older, the goal becomes to just stay alive long enough for them to come to some kind of fruition. And, there are days when you do get fearful, because your body hurts, and you don't know how many more fights you have left in you.
Okay, I think I have just got to the surface of what I want to say, but don't have the energy or the time to really finish, still, I'll post, and then I'll jab, hook, and try to get some bag work in…