The Finish Line
OMFG THE PLAY IS OVER.
(What the fuck is wrong with this dude’s hands?!)
So, THAT was an experience.
I spent a lot of time over the weekend trying to figure out exactly how I felt about my postpartum return to theatre geekery. I can honestly say I’m 100% glad that I did it, but…man. It sure kicked my ass a hell of a lot harder than I expected, both physically and emotionally. And I have to be straight with you: if you told me I had to go to rehearsal tonight instead of spending the evening with Sadie, I might do something really violent to your person.
I guess I always feel some degree of relief upon ending a show, but “relief” doesn’t really cover it here. Internet, I was kind of losing it there towards the end. Like, freaking out multiple times a day. Over everything. And basically behaving as though every little imperfection in my day (misplaced cell phone, forgotten sippy cup, running late OMG I WAS ALWAYS RUNNING LATE) was an indication that 1) the world was ending, and 2) I was an unfit mother and a pathetic excuse for a human being. So, yes, I was a joy to be around. Just ask Brad!
And then please escort him to the nearest distillery, where he can crawl into a cozy oaken barrel and drink his way out.
I had been doing a really good job of nipping freak-outs in the bud ever since the baby was born. You sure do learn quick that 99% of parenting means being completely out of control at all times, and — to my surprise — I was doing a pretty good job (for me) at rolling with the punches. Up until last week, when I could have taught a fucking seminar in LOSING YOUR SHIT: EVERYTHING IS WRONG AND WE ARE ALL RUINED FOREVER, HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!
I absolutely hate that side of myself. And I absolutely hate that it resurfaced as a result of doing something I love.
And this is where I get all twisted up in my gut, because I really struggled with doing this show. But I kept telling myself to hang in there, and things would seem better once the show opened (and they did…a little), and — as some of you said in the comments — it’s important for me to keep pursuing my interests, not only for me, but for Sadie. So when I’m honest with myself and admit how fucking stressful doing this show was, and how fucking relieved I am that it’s over, I don’t know what that means. Part of me thinks: Settle down, lady! Just accept that you want to be home with the shorty right now and go with it! But another part of me nags: Wimp! You’ll get lazy and lose momentum, and the next thing you know the “baby” will be 13 and you’ll have no outside interests apart from driving her to and from the mall.
Hot Topic: where millions of babysitting dollars go to die.
I am mostly sure that this latest pseudo-crisis is the result of a brain that is still buzzing from the breakneck pace of the past month, but a substantial part of me is genuinely worried that my life has changed to the point where theatre isn’t the thoroughly joyful experience it once was. Where I used to look at an audition notice and see opportunity, I now look at an audition notice and see schedules, lost evenings, booked weekends, and heavy compromises. I’m scared that I’ve outgrown something I spent almost all of my life madly in love with. I don’t think I’m ready to break up with theatre, but…maybe we need some time apart.
And now, in the manner of a recently exed girlfriend poring over photos of happier times, here’s the good stuff:
Me (over at the desk) at rehearsal in early April. Something about the bare, taped off stage makes me swoon. I love this part of the process.
Sitting on one of the post-high school performance panels. Isn’t it cute how I’m pretending to know stuff?
After the closing performance on Saturday (with missing cast member photoshopped in). When I look at this picture, I’m really, really happy I did this.*
If you click on the review, it gives you a better idea of what the show was about. And although my role was peripheral and mostly there for plot advancement purposes, I’m proud to know I had a hand in the show. Maybe seeing this show came just at the right time for someone. Maybe it helped someone feel less alone. Maybe this experience was less about me and my enjoyment of the process, and more about bringing something positive to someone else.
When I think of it that way, I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything. But oh my goodness, Internet. Am I happy to see more of this face:
I missed you, kid.
*You should know that when I emailed Brad the link to the review, he responded with:
“Yay! I’ve always thought of you as calmly competent… especially when you’re freaking out about being a complete failure and slamming doors.