I went to an audition today for a ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ spin-off. The creator of the show (who is also playing the lead) asked me to improvise a new scene with him like we were on a first date. He started by saying,
“So, Kelsey; what do you want in a relationship?”
I. Totally. Froze.
I felt like one of those idiot girls on ‘The Bachelor’, scrambling to say something that shows they’re eloquent, serious “wife material”, but ends up looking like a vapid bimbo attempting to read from a 99-cent Hallmark greeting card.
He could sense I was caught off guard, so very gentleman-like he quickly said “I’ll start…I see my life as this circle: one half is my career. I want to be the BEST that I can possibly be in my career of choice. I want to hustle, and create, and succeed and provide. The other half of the circle is love. I want to fall into deep, true, all-encompassing love with someone. I’m ready for it.”
And no joke, in the middle of the audition, I started to cry.
Problem: This was supposed to be a comedy.
He asked why I was crying and I made a joke about allergies. I left.
On the seemingly endless drive home, I replayed the question over, and over, and over again: “WHAT do you want in a relationship?”, “what do you WANT in a relationship?”, “What do you want in a RELATIONSHIP?”.
And lying in bed later that night, in a moment of clarity, I realized three fundamental truths at the exact same time:
- I want a love I can luxuriate in.
- In many ways, I am ready to grow up.
- In all the other ways, I am ready to regress.
Let me explain:
I want a love I can luxuriate in. To me, what this means is I want to feel a love so deeply that it is beyond the normal everyday- it is a luxury. A luxury makes you feel simultaneously like you are experiencing something special and perhaps a bit too good for you, but also comfortable and entirely relaxed at the same time. I want a love I feel in every part of me, that challenges me just enough to become a better person, while also appreciating me for who I already am.
In many ways I am ready to grow up: I am ready to commit. I am ready to find a partner who is as excited as I am at the prospect of mini-us’es running around the planet. I am ready to deal with life’s major challenges with someone- to worry about money and solve it, to take care of someone when they’re sick, to show another person’s family that I am invested in including them in my future. I am ready to plan. To make a home, however modest. To build a life.
But in all the other ways, I am ready to regress: I am ready to admit that I am, and always have been a hopeless romantic. I still love the things I loved as a girl- I still love a happy ending. Still crave that sort of “someday my one true love will find me” kind of hopefulness. I am ready to go back to the kind of blind trust I had before “life” happened that all would be well and I would find the truest kind of love. I am ready to admit that I love knowledge; love challenging myself with books and facts and words I’ve never heard of that literally bring new meaning into my life. I love bringing passion into my work- love singing and storytelling with my whole heart and I’m ready to leave behind the “grown-up” worries of “how will this benefit my career?” “whose mold do I need to fit to ‘win’ this part/contract/job?”. I am ready to look at the opportunities and people presented to me with fresh eyes and childlike trust that if I meet that opportunity or person with love, it will be returned, and even grow.
Is that so much to ask?