Talked to an actress friend today. Depressed, unhappy, rounding 35 and feeling like doors are closing.
She feels completely helpless, and that she is not in control. Its not in her mind. As an actor you're not in control of a damn thing. Always waiting for the phone to ring. And if you surround yourself only with other people in the industry, with acting classes, etc, you're going to think it's the world, and you're going to lose your mind.
Although I empathized with her, the conversation made me feel so good about my choices. To not have to feel like I'm "drifting", a word she kept using, and something the industry has made me feel at times.
I realized that I feel completely, 100% in control.
But it really hit me how good it felt. As someone who's always marched to the beat of their own drum anyways with a bit of a "fuck the man" attitude, I now feel completely free. Ironic, since I've now strapped what some might see as a whale of a responsibility. But no one made me do it, and no one did it for me. Choice.
She also asked me how I stay so calm, and the real answer to that is nihilism, or rather, a variation of it. Now people tend to equate being nihilistic with being pessimistic, and I can see why. If you say the basic principle in an Eeyore voice "nothing really matters", it sounds god awful. But it you think of it positively "Nothing matters! Yay!", while doing cartwheels, its actually a very freeing mentality. Of course I lose sight of this in the day to day often, but in my core it really calms me. My basic principle is don't be an asshole, try not to hurt others intentionally, and do whatever the hell you want. There are no rules.