I want my achievements in this life to be about the experiences I've had, and not only about the success of my career. I constantly read about how young people today feel a lot of pressure surrounding every choice they make in life. From an early age they are set onto a moving sidewalk propelling them towards college and careers, and every choice matters. They must get a head start so that once they are in school, they will get tracked into the advanced courses. They need the right balance of academics, sports, music lessons, extra credit work, and volunteer work in order to shine extra bright when competing for college admissions.
I didn't necessarily see too much of this among my own peers, growing up. But during grad school I had a number of conversations with other directors regarding the types of shows they "should" be sure to direct during grad school in order to have the right resume when launching their careers. I made my own choices based on what I was curious about, or what I wanted to learn about. I've already expounded a bit on how I tend to make too much of making a challenging choice, but I do relish the learning opportunities in each show I direct.
Sometimes, when I am working on updating my resume and CV, I feel concern about how my broad and varied experience may be perceived. Will it seem as though I've merely meandered, rather than continuing to grow and build momentum? I spent a lot of time trying to get experience in as many aspects of the theatre as possible, and I have done a wide range of jobs. These many experiences have kept things interesting for me, most of the time. They feed my curiosity and give me new perspectives. For many, I think the learning is why we like theatre anyway.
Considering whether my choices are for the purpose of forging a "career path", versus a life, I have to remember that I'm not living a career; I'm living a life. I should try to do all the things I want to with it. I should not concern myself with how it all appears, as none of that really matters. I must look beyond such things to the long view, the bigger picture, the richness that a life can hold, and strive for that. As I think about the many divergent paths along which my life
has taken me, I feel quite satisfied with what I have been able to
experience so far.