In a previous post, I talked about having three jobs on the horizon and fearing that instead of lining up consecutively, that they would all land concurrently.
Reader, of course that happened.
The “main job” is a producing gig for a large toy company. I’ve been enjoying it even more than I’d anticipated. While it’s primarily business presentations, these involve some short toy demo videos, the creation of which allowed me to be on a set for the first week or so, which always feels like a coming home. The next phase has been working with the quite large logistical puzzle of arranging schedules for all events that are happening. This is the realm of the Executive Producer, who has been doing this for two or three decades, but I’m getting a close-up look and the chance to problem-solve as I transcribe information to various documents.
This stuff might not sound exciting, but it’s all NEW, and learning new stuff releases dopamine. Throw in some some important deadlines for stakes and you have a kind of dopamine, adrenaline, endorphin cocktail —one I’ve been riding high on that for the last week.
Dopamine highs are fun, but also “dangerous,” in that what comes up, must come down. When dopamine levels rise, the brain senses you’ve been getting a lot, and gives you less. So after high-dopamine experiences, one can experience a “crash.”
This is very familiar to me. A play closes, a shoot ends, I turn in a draft or leave a party. I’m feeling good… and then there’s a feeling of emptiness, and very quickly (for me at least) that emptiness fills with ANXIETY. I second-guess, question, relive mistakes or social mis-steps.
Even this weekend, I’m experiencing this on a small scale. I made a mistake on Friday, born of newness, and the EP had to pull me back. It was something that won’t be hard to adjust in the future, and I think was fairly small but in my head I wonder was it small? Maybe it wasn’t small!
Going through this, I’m grateful that over the last week, even with early call times and late nights, I managed to maintain my 20- minute morning meditation sessions. They don’t “fix” my feelings, but they help me step outside my experience. They’re like a little “time out” where I can remember that what I’m going through is cyclical and the “stakes” for getting things wrong or right are partly of my own creation. I remind myself to keep the importance of things in proportion, to work hard, but protect my health by pacing myself, to value a learning mindset over beating myself up. And to choose kindness whenever there is opportunity.