• Jason Haskins

Pick up the phone, the universe is calling


Once upon a time, in my younger years (read: my 20’s), I held a strong belief in fate, destiny, and romantic comedies. No matter what happened in my life, especially during times of despair and rejection, I firmly believed everything would work itself out in the end. Broken heart? Don’t worry, the stars will align once again. Rejections in the writing and acting world? No fear, you’ll get the job you’re meant to get.


I would get depressed over these actions, yes. I was likely a pain to be around during these times, because I was generally grumpy, sad, and didn’t want anything to do with the idea of fun.


These days, I’m mostly grumpy.


Okay. That’s not really true, but I have become disconnected with the starry-eyed vision of the world I once held firmly in my heart. It happens as one gets older, when you start to tell yourself that there is no magical ending, there is no final deus ex machina to tie things happily together. And you tell yourself the world is cruel, no matter how you try to spin it.


That’s the cynicism talking, thanks to years of rejections, broken relationships, and a heart that has been wounded.


Lately, however, I’ve been trying to listen to the universe again, to be more open with the world around me (and not be the closed off and secluded man I've turned into the past five years).


The details surrounding the cynicism will spared and saved for a later date, whether they are sprinkled within plays or take up chunks of a novel. For now, I will say there have two instances in the last week that have reminded me that life is a long climb – especially when you’re shooting for the stars – and that it takes time. The stories each spoke of reaching desired goals with steps up a staircase and laying a foundation brick-by-brick. Some instances, giant leaps are possible. Most of the time, the process involves taking it one stair at a time. Or placing many bricks in a row to be able to begin the next level.


Connecting with these stories, there was a realization of ideas and beliefs I’d lost over the years. And I thought of the successes I have achieved, whether it's self-publishing a novel or having plays produced or even sustaining friendships that have lasted nearly 20 years. Messages from these stories, about not only to keep fighting and stand tall, but to also listen and take part in the world around you, began to ring true in my muddled mind.


Work is needed and sometimes the obstacles will be heavy and full of spikes. And you also need to put yourself out there, to take the risks and kick open the doors that are slightly ajar, ready to close at the slightest gust of wind.


Have I lost all the cynicism and past defeats that have weighed me down? No. Chipping away at that will be a process but it’s one that’s begun in full-fledged earnest.


Sometimes all it takes is listening to what the universe has been telling you even as you’ve tried to turn a blind eye to it.


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