• Brian Martin

Laundry Time

FEB 6, 2020:

This week has been a particularly challenging week for me. Not necessarily because of anything I’ve done in the past several days that has helped me further my journey in terms of the kind of progress I can chart on a graph. In that sense, everything is moving along quite swimmingly. I’ve acquired an agent, I have an audition coming up in a couple of days where I play the part of triplets (I didn’t get the last role I auditioned for, but that’s show biz), I’ve signed up for more courses, I’m still practicing guitar and meeting musicians while continuing to work on my playgirl body (cue laugh track now).

No, the challenge came in the form of a three-page introspective describing my most embarrassing moment, assured by the instructor of my Foundations course that I would not have to discuss the substance of it with anyone either inside or outside of the classroom. As I am certain most people my age would agree, it would not be too terribly difficult for one to write an entire novella based solely on a series of one’s own humiliating moments, but to pick out a single event above all the rest as being the most mortifying proved to be slightly more of a contest.

Having said that, once I committed myself to the process of mentally confirming that somehow this pound of butter (metaphorically speaking) was in some way different than the one lying next to it in the dairy aisle of shame, I was able to get it done.

Now, of course, I would never share my most sensitive writings in an open forum such as this one (probably), but I will tell you that I was quite startled by the surge of various, but distinct dispositions that rippled through my insides as I began to write about this one particular instance. Emotions like rage, anger, fear, blame (is that an emotion?), sadness, and even disgust. No doubt, the whole point of the exercise, but these sentiments still took me by surprise considering the amount of healing time that has passed since this specific incident.

As part of the process, we were tasked with endeavoring to authentically re-exhibit these feelings as individuals in front of the class while folding a random basket of laundry (I know, sounds like some kind of weird voodoo shit, right?). And yet, as I took the time to fold these items and relive my experience through each article I handled (including what appeared to be MC Hammer’s pants?), I began to realize the emotional changes all over again and it was, quite frankly, very exhausting.

So, what’s the lesson here? Well, for me, I think it’s that exploring my creative soul is not much different than opening up a Pandora’s box and using my body as a conduit, just like (as my classmate so adeptly put it) a fifth element. Rico from my gym club once called me a wounded warrior because I continue to work through the pain of my shoulder injury, but it’s not the physical pain that’s at issue, tedious as it might be, because just like the dry cracked skin I normally get around my fingernails during the winter season that becomes increasingly more sensitive every time I accidentally tap them on something, you learn to deal with it (although a few choice words may be uttered in the exchange).

No, the road to self-discovery holds within it a different kind of pain. One that is concealed by something more than just lotions and band aids, but when you dig deep enough to unearth its crusty time lapsed shield you free the origins of everything that has made you who you are. For better and for worse but bringing that rare originality to the surface is entirely the point.

Muhammad Ali was once quoted as saying, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” I wonder if he’s ever folded laundry.

Until next time.

P.S. If you enjoyed the read please click the like button, and/or share with your friends. I could use a few more myself. ;)

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