October 14, 2017

There's always an opportunity to return to center.

courtesy of Nerdist

Nerdist Podcast Episode 625: Ethan Hawke

I listened to this interview last Sunday for the 4th time (now for the 5th as I write); it's an interview I return to again and again because I relate to it so deeply! It validates many of my thoughts. Ethan Hawke is smart, sensitive, wise. Plus, he also loves James Baldwin and John Steinbeck.

At the time I last wrote I had just returned to New York City and felt optimistic about all of the wonderful things that were beginning to emerge in my life. But life hasn't been without challenges, and how they've affected me has taken me by surprise—even though I thought I'd strengthened plenty over the prior months:
  • the excitement of a new role beginning to wear off and facing the challenges that come with being in a leadership position (impostor syndrome...HUGE). Also, trying to feel like my best self in the workplace
  • being in a new, exciting relationship (my first) with someone I adore; navigating its many ups but also the downs
  • coming to terms with the evolution of my friendships and more closely evaluating the ones I have, for better or worse
  • my father disconnecting (again)
  • the process of finding and moving into my first apartment and discovering what it means to make a home just for myself from scratch (a longtime dream come true but definitely not an easy, or cheap, or quick process)
  • the consequences of saying yes to exactly what you'd asked of the Universe, only to learn what you asked for and received wasn't what you needed or wanted. Then, having to take back yeses. In sum: learning the necessary difficulty and bravery of saying NO
  • losing love for self in waves
Amidst these happenings, I lost my sense of self and, particularly in the last week and a half or so, I've had to remember: I am who I am, and I love who I am, and I'm proud of who I am. I will forget this again, no doubt. But I feel with each occurrence I become better about returning to center.

There are so many gems I'm eliminating from this interview that I may come back and add in the future. For now, a few quotes that spark my favorite parts of their conversation:

On the best of life:
"It's just the minutiae of life that's wonderful...the good stuff is waking up in the morning. The good stuff is the stuff that's free. It always is."

On recognizing your flaws, moving forward:
"There's always an opportunity to return to center."

On being young, not living in the past, and what Hawke would say to his younger self:
"You don't want to lacerate yourself or aggrandize yourself too much."
"I would just tell myself to relax."

On what led his mom to being her happiest in her early 60s:
"Part of that transition for her was learning to like herself on her own terms. And the second that transition happened, forgiving herself for the things she was disappointed in herself about."

On Dead Poets Society:
"What that whole movie is about is finding your voice and letting your voice be heard despite the great pull of the Universe towards everybody being the same and the great applause for mediocrity that happens all the time."

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