Tuesday, January 10, 2017

But What Does It MEAN?

My son is obsessed with how arcade games work. Does that mean he will be an engineer?

My daughters are walking Broadway encyclopedias. Does that mean I will someday see them on the Great White Way or with bylines in the Arts section?

I got extra work hours today. Does that mean I did something particularly good last week?

If I walk in one direction, does that mean that is the path I will follow forever?

There was a time when I was at One Life to Live--a long time, actually--when I let everything mean something. Getting directing assignments meant I had done something right, being left off the directing schedule meant I was on the outs. Not being chosen to edit a piece meant I was a bad editor...you get the idea. But the truth was, and is, things don't always mean what you think they do. Sometimes, how you are treated has more to do with how someone slept last night or what someone ate for lunch than with anything about your performance. Sometimes, the path you take is just a path, not a highway to your future. 

There's nothing so wrong with looking for meaning--we want the things we do to feel important, to tell us something, to give us clarity. But when we allow--or expect--events or results to mean too much, we keep ourselves from exploring the options and taking the chances that might be meaningful to us down the line.

What does it mean? Sometimes, we don't know, can't know, won't know. So, we search. And then we just keep doing...

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