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I will act and it will be beautiful

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I haven’t been sleeping well for weeks. I find myself awake at 5am, 4am, 3am, my mind racing and unable to calm itself. On Thursday night, I had a powerful dream:

I have just joined a community theater group. It is the first night of our production. I am playing a character named “Action” in a play about protest and social change. I realize that I don’t know any of my lines. I don’t know where to stand or when I come on. I don’t know anything about acting. I am completely unprepared.

I sense that there is no director, no one willing or able to guide me or offer me support. I feel alone. I realize that I cannot act tonight. It’s not that I am too nervous or shy; it’s that I am simply not equipped to do it.

The group is frustrated with me. I have let them down. I feel embarrassed. Part of me thinks I should just quit and walk away forever.

But another, louder part of me knows I am very capable of playing “Action” and knows that I yearn for it. I console myself by remembering that this is just the first night. I can see that soon enough I will look back on this misstep and laugh. I will not let this deter me. I will act and it will be beautiful.

Since then, I’ve been sleeping just fine.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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