Schizophrenia and the Artistic Working Woman by Pavarti K Tyler
When I was little I was told I could be anything I wanted. I could do anything I wanted. And so I tried! I worked hard and got decent grades. I went to Smith College and studied my passion: theatre. I spent all of my time working, creating, reading and living my dream. When I graduated I traveled Europe for 4 months by myself, working here and there and basking in the glory of my freedom. When I returned I temped and worked off-off Broadway until I landed a position working in the theatres of Broadway.
It sounds like a dream doesn't it? And when I write it out, without remembering the details, or delving into what life was really like, I almost miss it. Almost. The reality was I was exhausted. All. The. Time. There was no time to breathe let alone live. I would have regular emotional breakdowns, doubt myself, make mistakes and ultimately sabotage my relationships. All in the name of pursuing the thing I had convinced myself I wanted.
The reality is you can't have everything you want.
I don't mean to be a nay-sayer and really, this isn't a negative post, but there comes a time where you have to grow up and decide not just what you want to be but who you want to be. When I looked at myself and my life I didn't like it. I might have been exactly what I always wanted but I wasn't happy.
So I stepped away from it, leaving theatre behind and moving out of New York. I pursued other interests, periodically re-entering the theatre world only to find that my personality type didn't know how to do it without becoming an obsessive loon. Years passed and I had two beautiful children, a home, my own business but still, there was no art. I hadn't found the balance yet. I was happier, but some part of me had gone into hibernation when I left my childhood dream behind.
Now I'm older, my children are less dependent on me and my business is thriving. I have flexibility and enjoy my work. I'm a tax accountant now, don't laugh, I really do love it. Things in life have evened out. The day to day stresses are there but for the first time I find I can breathe easily.
With that space I am pursuing the forgotten dream of being anything I want. But that picture has changed. I no longer have an image of a thin independent NYC woman who lives for her art alone. I'm a little calmer, a lot greyer and let's admit it, quite a bit plumper.
What I've learned is that through balance and a little more maturity I can in fact be anything I want. The difference is now I know what that is. I want to be a mother, a wife, a lover, an artist, an entrepreneur, a number cruncher, a gardener, a writer. Every day I do a little bit of all of those things, somehow weaving them together to create the person writing this. A scatterbrained, flakey, artistic, anal, business woman with an artistic outlet.
Bio: Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number-cruncher and has been committed to causing trouble since her first moment on this Earth. Her eclectic career has flirted with Broadway, Teaching, Law Firms and the IRS. Currently she is hard at work establishing her Indie Publishing Company Fighting Monkey Press and enthusiastically working with her Author’s Co-op Escapist Press.
Pavarti K Tyler's debut novel Shadow on the Wall is scheduled for release in November 2011. Shadow on the Wall is Book One of The SandStorm Chronicles, the saga of Recai Osman — businessman, philosopher, Muslim and . . . superhero.
You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or her website.