the backstage epiphany

where reality is so subjective it's entirely optional

Monthly Archives: October 2007

Self-mutilation

We really do do it to ourselves

We all have that one thing that we fear above all else. We’ve thought about it. We’ve imagined it happening, and we’ve pictured ourselves dealing with it in the best way we can, each of us heroes in our own way. But all this is only for if it happens, in case it happens, because when it really does happen, when the one thing we always feared really does seem to be coming true, all the preparation in the world will not be enough to get us through it.

Sometimes it could have been avoided. When all the red flags were whipping madly in our faces, we could have tried pulling them out to save ourselves from the impending blow. But because as humans we are willing to endure all the pain — all that exquisite pain — for what little happiness we can get, we chose to leave the flags there, and in the end, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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A sign

All I ask for is a sign. Whether or not it is a sign that I should hold on and continue to wait, or a sign that I should let everything go, all I need is a sign.

Give me a reason to do it, and I swear I will.

Oh, that face!

Is has become the common consensus among the Pitches — and more recently, the Chips — that nobody is more facially expressive than I am. The only emotion that have ever been able to mask is sadness, but have never really been able to adopt a poker face when encountering something that does not sit well with self, like when am at Pitches rehearsals and am subjected to a certain new girl’s ridiculous comments and actions that make her appear at least five years younger than she really is. And this was made clearer than ever at this semester’s PitChip auditions, when the entire audition process was spent with the head down and a face that ranged from looking completely blank, to politely incredulous, to utterly appalled, and was completely unable to feign being the tiniest bit impressed with any of the auditioners (am very very rarely impressed with anyone who auditions, anyway, so feigning it would naturally have been impossible).

Well, I’m sorry, but if you suck, I’m not going to pretend you don’t.

The fear of God

My family has never been a religious one. For as long as I can remember my family has never celebrated anything religion-oriented, not even Christmas (their annual business-gathering-disguised-as-a-Christmas-party notwithstanding). Maybe that was why, at the age of twelve, I decided to become a Roman Catholic, so that I would have some form of belief system. For the first five years after being Confirmed, I attended Mass every single Sunday, took Communion, went for probably more Confessions than were appropriate for someone my age, and read the Bible in both English and Latin. Then my father opened his restaurant (perfectly timed, no doubt, to begin right after I was done with high school), and I was enslaved to the business, which marked the end of Mass and my days as a good Catholic.

I’ve never really considered myself a ‘religious’ person, but I’ve always harbored the childish notion that God really is watching and listening to everyone, whether they deserve it or not. It is perhaps this notion that lies behind the meaning of ‘the fear of God’. We may want something, but if we want it for the wrong reasons, God would choose not to give it to us. If we get what we want by the wrong means, God would let us have it for a while, and then take it away from us the same way we took it for ourselves. And if we’re waiting for something, but decide to give up waiting because we think we’ve waited long enough, God might decide that we don’t deserve it because we simply lacked the patience and faith.

What is it that keeps us hanging on and holding out for something? Is it our absolute determination to have it, and our unswerving faith that if we are patient enough, it will come to us? Even when we know it’s a lost cause, do we hold on for dear life in the hope that it will all eventually work out for us? Or are we just afraid that God will observe how we handle ourselves during these hard times, and then make the final decision as to who deserves what?

Two weeks ago, someone told me, for the very first time in my life, “I’ve learned in my old age that if something doesn’t happen now, it just means that there’s something greater out there waiting to happen soon.” If that were true, then would we still be hanging around to see if what we’ve been waiting for all these months would ever happen to us, or would we just let it go in pursuit of that ‘something greater’? Wouldn’t God then decide that we are undeserving of either one and in the end leave us with nothing? Do we continue, then, to float along in this limbo that we’ve created for ourselves, too afraid to go back, and yet too uncertain to move forward?