Monday, June 2, 2014

Finding my Corner of the Sky

Emily's Note: Thank you all so much for your understanding and support with my last post about being tired of blogging. It showed me a few things. One, how much I love my Internet friends and the blogging community. Everyone (for the most part) is so supportive and willing to be there for each other and it's exactly why I do love it and stick with it. Second, how being honest and true to what I'm thinking and feeling is always the best way to go. I feel better about being honest, and everyone seemed to be glad I was honest. So thank you so much! Right now, I'm going to blog as often as I can, but not stress about posting everyday and see where it goes.

In the Broadway world there are two musicals which come to my mind when I think about the "quarter life crisis." The first one which is newer is Avenue Q and is basically Sesame Street for adults. The character Princeton graduates college with a BA in English with no clue what to do next and has to pay bills. Can't we all relate?

Except for the whole thing about characters being puppets I guess.

As much as I love Avenue Q, I've been thinking about the other "quarter life crisis" musical, Pippin. It originally was performed in the 70s and last year it was revived on Broadway and won best revival at the Tony Awards. Essentially, Pippin's story line starts out similar to Princeton's. Pippin (Charlemagne's son) has completed school and he's ready to take on the world and do something "extra-ordinary" with his life. (It's about much more than this... But for the purposes of this post this is what we're going with.) We did this show my senior year of college and I was the stage manager. Usually with musicals I'm involved in, as much as I love it, I always get to a point where I'm thinking "If I hear that song one more time I'm going to kill someone!" But I never got to that point with Pippin

The most classic (if not now showtune cliche) song from this musical is "Corner of the Sky" where Pippin shares how he wants to find his perfect place in the world. He wants to know where he belongs and do something amazing. 

As many other Broadway fans before me, I find myself singing the same song. No, not just belting it while driving around in my car with the windows rolled down while other drivers give me strange looks. (Although one did tell me I sounded good. True story.) But having the same sentiments of wanting to find my place. My own corner of the sky.

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Gotta find my corner of the sky

But then the other lyrics and messages of the show creep into my head.

Spoiler alert: if you haven't seen the show and don't want to know the ending, stop reading here. I'm sure you can get the original performance on Netflix DVD or there's a bootleg YouTube version somewhere. Watch that then come back.

Pippin tries everything, but nothing seems to work. Then he meets a girl (as one does when you're in a Broadway musical) and starts a boring everyday life. But he doesn't want this life. It's so ordinary! So he runs away. Then, in the finale, he turns back from becoming "the sun" and goes back to the ordinary boring life.

But if I'm not tied to anything, I'll never be free.

I have a love/hate relationship with this part. I love how he doesn't pick glory and fame and all of the things in life which seem to sparkle and shine, but living an ordinary life. How being ordinary is extraordinary.

It's the picking one thing part which gets to me. I have a hard time with the choosing one thing and sticking to it in order to be free. I'm stuck in the part of the show where Pippin is shouting how he's so amazing and can't be held down because he's so "extra-ordinary" and how he'll never find "it."

Never! Never! Never!

Because let's face it, being a renaissance woman isn't very realistic. Can anyone really go from experience to experience wanting to see and do everything? Or do people like me (and Pippin) need to just pick one and be tied to something in order to be free?

Linking up with for Mingle Monday!


  1. That's a really tough question. I think ultimately, everyone needs to have something in their life that they love. Maybe it's not always going to be our career- although it's amazing if it is. Maybe it's being a parent, or a volunteer, or that art class you take once a month. But at the same time, if we search for ONLY extraordinary things we miss out on a lot of more quietly fulfilling things also. It's a really fine line that I believe everyone has trouble with.

  2. First...we were part of an amazing experience all those years ago. I am glad you took something away from those weeks of talk and rehearsals. Second...Pippin, and you, have choices. Lots and lots of choices. There is no "one perfect thing" for anyone. Realize that Pippin didn't attach himself to a "thing" (aka boring ordinary life) but to a person. It was not being a farmer that caught him but the love of another person and seeing life with that person as something freeing...being tied to her allowed him to be the best Pippin he could be. Now, not all of us find that one person but, at least for me, it is my singing, in people and in relationships that I find peace and freedom. My job is fine, my "career" was fine, my life is fine...but I find true freedom in sharing my gift of song, in building true relationships with others and with my God. Don't limit yourself! Pippin didn't. He found what he loved in Catherine and her son and accepted that this corner of the sky was a place he could be extra-ordinary. Also, you already are!!! Embrace that!!

  3. Emily I think going from experience to experience is the process of life. We learn and grow by what we experience. You are living life to the fullest now. My advice is quit searching and just live. There are alot of experiences in your future and God has the plan for you. Much love and give kisses to Bandit.


Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.