_So what happens now?

So what happens now? So what happens now?
Where am I going to?
Don't ask anymore!
9 days left of July. JULY! Honestly, I haven't quite processed the past 5 months, let alone realising we are more than half way through 2020.
In January I was in Japan...JAPAN! It doesn't feel like the same lifetime let alone the same year.
On one hand, the enforced rest and break will be one that we never get again (hopefully). On the other hand, I can't help but look to the future and wonder what it looks like.
Will social distancing be the new norm?
(I would personally quite enjoy if restaurants remained that spacious).
Will wearing a mask become as routine as it is in the far east?
Will elbow touching become the new fist pump way of greeting?
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All questions and no answers.

Being a planner in life has its pros and cons. When I was 3 I knew I wanted to be a performer. Ideally, I would love to have been somewhat like Britney Spears singing show tunes, but an Actress will do ;)

My natural instincts are to plan and control everything. Very rarely do I place myself in the "now."
The pros are, if I finish a job I've planned a way to work and be busy almost immediately. I plan what day to go to Tesco, just so there is something in the diary. I'm usually very organised, for example, filing my taxes throughout the year so it doesn't get to tax time and I'm stressed organising receipts. (What a boring example, but you catch my drift).  
The cons are, I worry so much about what's going to happen that I completely miss enjoying the moment.
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If this period of time under lockdown has taught me anything, it's that life can change so instantly and take us all by surprise. March 1st I was singing at the Whatsonstage awards in a packed out theatre about to move to Manchester to start the run of Zorro. No one imagined 3 weeks later, full lockdown and doing a concert from my living room.

Old habits die hard and during the lockdown period I have still tried to plan out my weeks. I'm very lucky that I have vocal coaching to fall back on in times of unrest (My mum will take full credit for this, endless nagging about Piano practice). Most of my weeks have been fairly busy working, but then, the same as every year, summer holidays happen and life gets that little bit quieter. 
I have a love/hate relationship with teaching, whilst I do enjoy it, sometimes it makes me feel like I am failing in my chosen career path.
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When life gets quieter, the noise in my brain get's louder. 
I have found myself recently taking naps and watching mindless TV just to make time pass and it makes me feel so incredibly guilty. I feel like I'm wasting my day. I have a pile of books ready to read, but I find it so difficult to concentrate when I am constantly worrying about "what's next". Reading is something I like to do to relax, but I don't feel I have deserved the relaxation time if I haven't been working and then I worry again that I haven't been working.
You see my problem?
Sometimes I wish my brain had a mute button.
In times when I have been in-between jobs, over quieter periods auditions are still happening, possible concerts and everyday life. Essentially things that help me stay at 100mph but also things that I have spent my life training and working to achieve. As Actors we thrive off the idea that our lives could change in an instant with "THAT" phone call. We just didn't think our lives would change in completely the opposite direction.

My family as a whole like to plan. During the past 5 months, Saturday afternoons were reserved for a Sarano family zoom quiz, Sunday afternoons were reserved for a Kingston family zoom quiz, not to mention Sunday mornings have been bagel mornings courtesy of my brother Sammy honing a new skill over lockdown. (This was an excellent plan of action and a tasty one).
I think it comes from wanting things to look forward to. If you plan nice events, the week leading up to it doesn't feel so strenuous. We haven't really been able to plan and I feel like it's thrown us all (certainly myself) a bit off kilter. 

I have started to wind down (as much as it pains me). 
I am trying to intellectually tell myself that having a day of downtime is ok, if anything, right now it's pretty normal. Call that friend you want to finally meet up with, enjoy a meal out for the first time this year or sit at home and watch a series, there isn't a perfect way to be productive right now, so service yourself and what you need. I'm not very good at that without access to a spa. (Bouji yes, but it is relaxing!)

Everyone is just trying to figure out their new normal right now. If I had one request going forward, it would be for everyone to just be a little bit more considerate. You don't know a persons situation, you don't know their back story, you don't know how the last 5 months have made them feel. 

I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow let alone in a month or a years time. I will still worry and think about "What's next?" But I'm really really going to try and adapt to a new normal of living in the moment, or at least find a pocket of time to do that.

x


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