• michaelabennison

Times Are Changing

Last night I had a dream about The Royal Academy of Music.

As dreams go it wasn't that exciting; I was going to vocal acting classes and practicing saying vowel sounds (until the dream went all fantasy-sci fi on me with snow, Victorian-esque costumes and falling through futuristic cities). But the RAM part of the dream was nice. Why?

Because it was mundane. And I found that kind of comforting.

One thing I've noticed during my relatively brief foray into real adulthood is that when faced with big, uncomfortable changes in our lives people focus on extremes, especially emotionally. We either think:

"Yeah! It's going to be the best experience of my entire life and I'll finally become the most amazing person in my field of expertise that has ever existed and children all over that world will want to be me!"


"Everyone is going to hate me and it's going to suck and I'll end up dying alone in the back of a van off my face on narcotics in an attempt to deal with the pain!"

And those thoughts and feelings are cool, in the sense that they're a natural reaction to have (obviously it's not cool to think about dying drug-related deaths in vans). But it is unrealistic to think that those things will happen.

I mean, they could happen; I could become a brown Idina Menzel and have 5-year-olds everywhere sing an overplayed song from a Disney Animation recorded by me. I could also become a brown, female Charlie Sheen and destroy my career with drug-related scandals.

But I highly doubt it.

And while imagining those potential futures can be inspiring and/or motivating (I find imagining van-death an adequate, if extreme, motivator when deciding whether or not to do singing practice), dwelling on them distracts from reality and the present.

The Present from Several Minutes Ago
The Present from Several Minutes Ago

My mundane dream about going to classes and practicing repetitive exercises is kind of proof to myself that I haven't got carried away with my imagination.

And that's how we weather times of change; by staying grounded, by being mindful of the affect our feelings can have on our thoughts and creating realistic expectations of ourselves.

Well, works for me anyway.

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