The hunt for happiness can feel like an endless Easter egg hunt. The thrill of the chase is exciting, as I desperately search for what is hidden, hoping I will walk away with a collection of colorful trinkets to fill my basket. Sometimes I find something beautiful or colorful. But sometimes I find something sweet, so sweet it that results in a bellyache later. Sometimes I’m convinced my basket has a hole and whatever I place in it will fall out and leave me empty later. Sometimes I question whether the notion is real or just a game to keep me running around and peeking in every crevice I encounter. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too late and someone has already snatched up my hard-boiled bliss.
Spring has sprung and I’m waiting for my spirits to follow suit. If you’ve been reading, you’ll know this year has had its trials and as a result, I feel like I’m carrying a little extra baggage with me around the Upper West Side. I love yaptracker.com, but if I use it to actually look at my track record as a singer, I can’t help but see it as a failing report card. Every time I click “No offer” or “No audition,” I have to ignore a tiny voice that whispers, “I wasn’t enough,” or “Another one bites the dust.” Sometimes I imagine what it would be like if every aspect of life had a tracker like the one for young artists. I’ve had a lot of drama—actually, “drama” makes it sounds more thrilling than it is—in my search for the well-hidden relationship egg and through the disappointments, I chuckle to myself thinking about a date-tracking app. Date-tracker could have the same options, like “No call back” “Rejection with encouragement,” or “Not interested this year.” However, that report card wouldn’t be any better than my yap report card right now, so perhaps a lack of documentation is probably for the best.
I mainly wish to combine the two searches because I feel having one egg in my basket, either the personal or professional egg, would be a lot less discouraging than looking down into an empty basket. Perhaps I could be content seeking one if I knew I’d found the other. I could eat one handful of jellybeans and be patient in the search for the Cadbury egg.
I’ve been on these hunts for years, and I think the hardest part is that there were times this year when I thought I had found I was looking for. I thought I was going to have the opportunity I’d hoped for or found someone I could classify as a “good egg.” But offers fell though and some eggs turned out to be rotten, so I’m back where I started, only feeling a little more worn and exhausted from each setback.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take the search anymore, like I needed to start over with a new basket and lower expectations, I had a moment of inspiration. I’ve been feeling really down lately about my struggles with the current opera I’m rehearsing. I’m covering the lead and performing a small acting role and at times, I wished this opportunity (the best to come along in months and months) had not come my way. However, I arrived at rehearsal today, feeling as frustrated as always with my own lack of progress, when I saw a chair had been set aside especially for me. On pink paper, my name was on a seat in the row of principal performers. It was pretty and pastel and it was going in my basket. The letters said “Laura Parker,” but the label told me I was wanted, I was making progress, and the hunt had only begun.
This trying time in my life is going to include more cracked eggs and disappointing decoys, but I will continue to put any trinket in my basket along the way to keep from feeling empty. Friends, family, yoga, improv, and my love for New York City will be the plastic grass providing a colorful foundation for the eggs that have yet to be discovered.
I wonder if Peter Cottontail is single…