Well, I might not be writing here SUPER often, but I think about it a lot, and…that counts for something, right?
So! After a pretty intense week of workin’ all day and rehearsin’ all night, the show opened! Yay! And then I immediately came down with a hellacious fucking summer cold. BOGUS. My body apparently has a limit, and that limit is two and a half weeks of running back and forth from work to rehearsal with brief stops at home to pass out for a few hours. The Monday after opening, I actually got up at 6am to do yoga (I KNOW, FUCKING HILARIOUS, NEITHER BRAD NOR I CAN STILL BELIEVE THIS HAPPENED), and ran strong all day–straight through dinner and a show for date night with Brad–and then around 10pm I just felt so TIIIIRED. Like, I-simly-can’t-muster-the-energy-to-put-my-pajamas-on tired. So I took the next day off to recuperate, and then…what’s that? Scratchy throat? FUUUUUUCK.
Thus began a real fun week of constant zinc ingestion and denial, powering through work and the show, miraculously not feeling too horrible…until immediately after the Sunday matinee, when my body seemed to know I had two nights off from performing and was all I’M OUT, HO. My head suddenly transformed into a lead balloon and I sounded like death until…well, until about now, actually. I managed not to sound to pathetic for the show last night, but now I must endure the phase of the summer cold known as “coughing and blowing my nose for three damn weeks.” Woo!
Stupid fucking germs aside, I am having THE BEST time in this show, which probably does not surprise you at all. I love this shit, it’s what I do, it’s where I feel at home. But MAN, the trade-off is hard when a full-time job is in the mix, and my heart has felt the strain of all these nights when I have to leave Brad & Sadie (which feels so WRONG) to go do the show (which feels so RIGHT). It’s a difficult tug-of-war of emotions that leaves me feeling confused every single night. I can always rely on my gut to tell me what’s right and wrong, but in this instance, it ALL feels right and wrong. HALP.
What makes things more difficult is Sadie’s reaction to the whole situation. She love love LOVES her evenings with Daddy, who has filled the hours with so much more activity than she ever sees during Mama-Sadie time: movies, dinner dates, rides at summer carnivals with dodgy safety standards, volunteering to be in a local TV commercial (check back here for my full-on pridefest if Sadie makes the final cut when it airs), baseball games, boat rides, impromptu milkshakes after dinner – she’s having a fucking blast, Internet. But she misses me. She remembers when I’ve been gone for a string of nights in a row. She tells me—plainly and without tears—that she doesn’t want me to leave, and the sincerity implied by the absence of dramatics makes it SO. MUCH. WORSE.
I tell her I miss her too. I tell her why it’s important for me to do what I love. She understands as well as she can, but…she’s four. It’s hard. And I feel selfish and wrong and mean, but those few hours in the theatre make me feel amazing and alive and whole in a way that nothing else can. My family is what I love, acting is what I love to do.* There’s a difference. It’s just not always clear to Sadie. Or me, I guess. I can already feel the giant waves of simultaneous relief and sadness that will hit when the show ends; each night when I drive to the theatre, I’m all at once achy from missing Sadie and buzzing with pre-show adrenalin. WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, BRAIN? ARE WE HAPPY OR SAD? I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT ME TO FEEEEEEEEL.
Adding to my summer o’internal conflict is some work-related stuff that I’m gonna have to be a bit vague about. Things in that arena aren’t as rosy as (perhaps I was naïve enough to believe) they once were, and I’ve been trying to make some changes—both big and small. Some have worked, some have not, some are still in progress. But CHRIST it’s so HARD to know where you belong in the working world sometimes when you know you heart is somewhere else (on stage, with Sadie, in my writing). This is such a dumb first world problem, but as a resident of the first world, here I am. Most of the time I think there isn’t any way I’ll find a place in the working world that will meet all my criteria, especially when some of that criteria is my responsibility to fill (I have to fucking accept that no one will pay me full-time wages yet allow me to work part-time hours), and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by issues that are, well, FUCKING OVERWHELMING. Less hours means less money for Sadie’s future but more time with Sadie but a less-fulfilling job but maybe a more-fulfilling home life I DON’T KNOW I DON’T KNOW I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT and all around me, time is ticking away.
But in a way (a sick, sick way), there is a familiar comfort this conflict and these struggles. When I look back over my life as Sadie’s mom, I know I have ALWAYS had my guts torn asunder by something or another, and when I look over my life as a grown-ass adult, I know I have ALWAYS had plenty over which to wring my hands. And if I think hard enough, I can remember all those struggles that had me analyzing and overanalyzing and filling my brain to the brim with self-doubt, guilt, and regret, but when I take the long view over the past five, ten, fifteen years, I see
And I see
And I remember
And I feel only
It’s just living through the days themselves—what should be the very best part of this whole deal—that ties me up in knots. Maybe all I need is perspective?
And now, a picture of the bird we freed from our chimney in July, because if I don’t show you now, I may never get around to it. This probably goes without saying, but Sadie and I both wanted to HOLD HIM AND SQUEEZE HIM AND KEEP HIM FOREVER.
(I did not.)
*I would be remiss if I missed the chance to point out that Brad is also what I love to do, so there you are. I will never get so caught up in feeling feelings that I miss out on a doing-it joke; I think you know this by now.