"I spend a lot of time questioning everything..."
I've known Katie since 2009. She was acting in a show that a (now defunct) theatre company I was a part of produced. We probably would have crossed paths organically, as the theatre community in San Diego is pretty tight, but she started dating a good friend of mine (who was also in that show, because actors never do that) so I see her fairly often and we've spent a decent amount of time together. I see her more these days, she's a part of a company of her own now, and I tend to do photos for them now and again. We jumped right into it, as while I've hung out with Katie a bunch of times, I didn't feel like I knew her story very well at all.
You can learn a lot about someone by talking about their upbringing and how they relate to their family. I asked Katie about her family and she had these things to say.
"Experiencing a divorce can really change you. Even though it isn't *your* relationship, it can spark quite a personal transformation."
(I'll get more into divorce at a latter date...as it, and the very nature of our parents' relationships, comes up quite a bit.)
"Family? What does that even mean?"
"I wish I had a better relationship with my sister..."
We talked a bit about how it seems like more and more people our age keep hold of their group of friends a bit tighter than our parents seemed to... while family can sometimes take a backseat. This is doubly so if you live far away from your family and have a large core group of friends. Friends tend to be the "chosen family." As for her sister, Katie remarked how in many ways she found her sister inspiring...but that they're just such different people. I don't know what it's like to have a sibling, but I can imagine how hard it must be to feel obligated to connect to someone that's so very different from you.
Family also tends to have a varying degree of affects on your personal relationships.
"...I feel like there's a lot of pressure to move forward in my relationship."
We talked about this for a while. About expectations from family, from her family and from his family, and how that affects a relationship. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with taking outside opinions on your relationship with a grain of salt. She sounded like she was getting to the point where she wouldn't let outside pressure bother here too much, but I could tell it was still there. I feel like with any relationship you needn't worry about anyone's expectations on it besides the two people in it, but I totally understand how family members can make that difficult. Especially when your chosen path isn't exactly conventional.
"It's hard being an artist..."
I know a lot of people reading this are theatre people (and thanks for reading, y'all :) ) so you can probably relate to this a bit. Your path through life isn't exactly from A to B to C to D when you're trying to make your passion into your career. You can easily get side tracked because you have to work real jobs to support yourself while you pursue your passion.
"I have a new job...which is weird. It's a steady income with no hard "end," which I'm not used to. After working under grants and contracts this job is scary. I could keep doing this and be alright, but it's scary because I want my passion to work."
I can only imagine how many people out there have thought or felt this...or how many are thinking it or feeling it right now. I know I feel this way all the time. I love photography...but I'm not currently doing it in quite the capacity that I'd like to be. I could keep doing what I'm doing forever and have a very comfortable life...but I'm not sure how fulfilling it is. Listening to Katie talk about worrying about her future fulfillment really struck me. I worry about that too.
The conversation got heavy. We started talking about what it's like trying to pursue a dream and the obstacles you face.
"I feel like you don't get to be passionate about something and taken seriously."
I think about this one a lot too. Remember when you used to be able to express whatever feeling you had on social media without fear of widespread ridicule? Now, if you "overshare" people tend to turn on you. It's often like that when you express a passion out loud...especially if it isn't something practical.
"I have to try really hard to be taken seriously by a lot of older men. I've been called a bitch to my face."
I'm going to elaborate on this more in another post, because a lot of the women I've talked to have echoed this despite being in completely different fields.
We moved away from this and talked a bit about how Katie got to this point in her life. Things got markedly lighter from here.
"I once bought a $1700 dollar Volvo that exploded on the freeway."
"I abandoned it. I scratched off the vin number and left it on the side of the road."
We had some pretty big laughs over the next 10 minutes or so. Talking about our respective shitty experiences with cars...but she totally won in that regard.
As we wound down we talked a bit about money. How both of us have had some good and some very very bad luck with it. I'm going to get more into that throughout some upcoming posts. Shockingly, a lot of people have a lot to say about money...having it or not.