Repetition and Reaction in the Blink of An Eye
Every time I answer the question, “You’re leaving? So what are you going to be doing?” I have to decide within a split second whether to or not to tell this particular individual standing in front of me awaiting a response where my new life’s path is taking me. At first, almost anyone who had caught wind of my departure received the standard, “I’m pursuing a new career that involves travel,” response. Now in a matter of one or two seconds I must decide whether or not I have the type of relationship with this person to determine if he or she will even care what I am doing once I walk away from the current conversation. Anyone who knows me and who reads this blog and finds themselves surprised by my new course of action must have received the I-just-don’t-think-you’d-care gut response from me. But then again, those people will never find their way to this site, they won’t keep apprised of my latest endeavor, and they have already forgotten I was here.
Now to decide which version of the new adventure story will continue this conversation. The abbreviated, “I’m going to drive big trucks” version helps when I am in the elevator, or when I would hate for the person to her my news from someone else. If I know I am crunched for time but my friend deserves to hear the whole story, I offer to track them down later because, as I finally respond, “It’s a really great story.” But if time allows and this person is one of those people who I want to be a part of my life today, tomorrow, and years from now, I break the momentary silence with, “You’re never going to believe this…” And most times, they do, because they know me well enough, and I know I made the right choice in telling them the unabridged version of my new life.
If You Were a Muppet, which Muppet Would You Be?
Recently during the viewing of a documentary, the story guided me to an Internet search for an interview with celebrity-not-want-to-be, whose name I had known for most of my life. Frank Oz, the voice behind Yoda, the Jedi Master, rarely grants interviews. Yet in October 2011 at the Museum of the Moving Image, he allowed the world to see the man behind the curtain, to ask questions, and to better peek into the world of the Muppets. The rarity of the event offered a unique privilege to the attendees covering a diversity of topics including a discussion regarding his most famous character and his differences from her. “She’s coy and feminine, but she’s a truck driver underneath…” With those words I realized that I am Miss Piggy.
I had always considered myself to be more of a Scooter, doing the work in the background, pitching in whenever asked, often completing the work that needed to be done to make others shine. I embraced this role and, like Mr. Oz, I never wanted to be in the spotlight. I wonder if my character is changing or if the way I see myself is changing. The more I tell the story of where I am going, the more I realize I am changing more than just the course of my life, I am changing the person I am becoming. I may not be stepping into the spotlight (or searching for my own dream frog), but I am willing to recognize that the puppet I have spent the past few decades controlling is not coming with me on this adventure. I suppose if I bump into the old me in the elevator or in the hallway, I will tell the person I am leaving behind, “I’m pursuing a new career that involves travel,” with the hope that she won’t follow me.
To read a full recap of the interview with Frank Oz, read this: http://www.toughpigs.com/recap-frank-oz/.