You may have noticed that I have been away from my blog for about a month now. Or maybe you haven't. When you publish something on the internet, it's hard to tell who might be reading or not reading, and regardless of the fact that I enjoy blogging for blogging's sake, I have felt some guilt about being away from this for a few weeks now.
The last month has involved seeing two amazing couples in my life celebrate marriage, being brave enough to fly on an airplane (I am absolutely terrified of flying, as you may or may not know), getting to host two lovely friends whom I had not seen together in a few years, rehearsing for BIG WORK's performances up in Newburyport, MA this weekend, rehearsing for Letters to Medford, a wonderful play that is being revived for the 100th year anniversary of the Medford Historical Society, and planning for a huge annual event as part of my full time day job. It's been FULL to say the least.
When I have tried to think about how to write an update about the last month, I've thought a lot about what we are all used to hearing when listening to someone talk about balancing multiple life roles at once. Usually we hear, "It's hard, but it's worth it. I wouldn't change a thing." I suppose that is true, but so many times it feels like just something we are supposed to say, something we don't believe all the time.
In the spirit of trying to make sure that I'm being as honest as possible with myself and with the people in my life about theatre and creativity and life, I'm willing to break the rules a bit in regards of what I say about the balancing act of it all.
Forgive my somewhat sleep-deprived and stress-induced stream of consciousness soliloquy. Here goes.
I'm tired. Scratch that. I'm exhausted. Even my hair is tired.
I'm low on sleep.
I'm high on stress.
I've been using the word "busy" lately and I HATE the word busy.
I've regretted taking on this many projects at once.
I've realized I couldn't have turned any of them down.
I'm so behind on emails, blog posts, snail mail, voicemails, texts.
I've wished to be able to work part time--working forty hours a week and rehearsing 12-15 hours a week on top of that can drive you mad.
I miss my community that live far away. I miss community that is close by that I haven't had time to see as much as I want to.
I crave silence and alone time to recharge.
I don't know how I will physically and mentally and energetically stay sane and healthy throughout the next couple of weeks.
I am so freaking excited about the next couple of weeks.
This feels like a weird ending to a blog post--usually I try to wrap them up with something a bit more certain and stable. When I read blog posts that conclude with a piece of advice that I can take away and use, I feel good. Comforted. But I think the truth is that a creative life is so much more complicated than that. It asks lots of questions, comes up with some ideas and theories, puts them into practice, and ultimately asks more questions. And I like that. Curiosity is comforting and holding two seemingly contradictory feelings at the same time is good exercise for your soul. Two truths at once: exhausted and happy; doubtful and confident; a desire for community and solitude.
"It's hard, but it's worth it. I wouldn't change a thing." Is this true?
For me, I would revise it slightly.
It's harder than anyone would ever prepare you for AND it's worth it. I would definitely change things if I could--I would not have to work a day job full-time or even at all, and I would most certainly not have any student loans. But I'm really trying to do my best with the givens I have, and I'm glad that I've gotten to make the things I have, meet the people I have, and add some magic of sorts to what might otherwise feel a bit too ordinary for me. I am permanently swinging between saying 'Melissa, why the HELL did you take on this many things?' and 'Holy cow, I am so lucky that I get to do this!' And maybe just facing that facet of myself and letting go of how I *should* approach my life and creative work will be enough to free up the precious energy that I usually waste on guilt and the need for "balance", and instead really harness it to get to do what I want to do.
Thanks for reading. Wishing you a weekend that is both restful AND full of soul-affirming frenzy! As always, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.