We went to Rider last night to see Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame give a lecture to the largely student-centered audience. Rider has a very good musical theater program, and so there were many aspiring actors/actress present, and he spoke for about 45 minutes extemporaneously about the importance of being present, knowing what you want, making choices for yourself, knowing your own value, asking for what you want, using your life to create beauty, being present--he covered a whole hosts of topics, but the main thing I took away from it is the idea that you have one life, you have some universe-given talents, and you can either use them to create, or ignore them and suffer. This is essential advice for me as I struggle all the time with wondering if I'm working hard enough on my writing and if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. He said that it's never too late to start over; but he meant that to a group whose average age was 19--I'm not sure what a person in her forties is supposed to do. On the way home, it occurred to me that I had about six years of my life so far when I was doing what I really love to do--teaching and writing--and the rest of the time, my working life has been about being able to support myself in a way that allows me to use some of my creative energy, but doesn't really address the things I'm passionate about and good at, like writing fiction and teaching how to write. But what does a person do? I could consider hobbling together a few adjunct teaching jobs; lots of writers do that or I could abandon my life now and try to work wherever I could get a tenure track teaching gig, like maybe in Kutztown or Boise, ID. The latter doesn't seem like the most attractive option. Or I could try to get a teaching job at Rider or I could search out writing retreats and give myself a week or two a year devoted to writing or I could continue the way that I have but work harder at spending time on my stories; that seems the most reasonable and the most exhausting, as it doesn't leave a lot of room to watch reality TV.
I am sure there are many better photos of his visit, but here's one I managed to capture.
The other great thing about the evening is that he didn't talk that much about the show, so I didn't learn how it ends (other than that his character gets killed off, which I already knew). So we can keep watching BB and now, I can't wait for the season where his character is introduced.