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Yesterday I started to write a post about how unhappy I was. I decided to delete it and write this instead.
Why look for answers
When none occur?"
Company, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
The reasons I wanted to do a show about Stephen Sondheim boil down to this: his lyrics speak to me. His melodies do too, and in combination with the content of his shows, but sometimes just hearing what he has written makes me understand something that any more or other words would never be able to describe.
Yesterday, I was tired. That's what producing a show that you're starring in. rehearsing for another show in your second language, catsitting, being a social media manager, working at a restaurant, not sleeping, and not eating can do to you. As it tends to, my exhaustion came out in tears and half baked ideas that, to me, make me look like less than the person I am.
Part One: Sorry-Grateful
"I don't want you to do things for me any more" I said to my mom, well into my breakdown at her house where I had arrived from rehearsal to prepare for a performance in forty five minutes. "I want to be a real adult!"
"You are a real adult," she said "you just need someone to help you"
I am not good at asking for help, and oftentimes, I don't allow myself to even acknowledge that I need it. Sometimes the good friends/colleagues/family in my life force it on me, but I almost never ask. And in return, I probably don't tell them enough when they save me in those big and small ways.
I'm sorry I don't express how grateful I am to those people enough.
Part Two: Regretful-Happy
The performance I mentioned yesterday should have gone differently from my end. But you see, having just had my little breakdown of being just too tired to do anything any more, I had to do something and I chose to put on a face. To tune out whatever I was feeling and go ahead with my life. It was in the interest of time- I had about thirty minutes at that point before I had to go out in public. So I put on that face and went out the door.
If you've been fortunate enough to never have to put on a face to hide what you're really experiencing, let me tell you: It is very tiring. I spent most of my energy on hiding my emotions and the result of that was I didn't get to live in the moment as a performer or an audience member. The excellent readings of plays I got to hear totally captivated me and left me a few moments of reprieve- I got to feel someone else's feelings instead of my own (because that's how I identify with characters, through empathy, I guess).
Then a series of wonderful things happened: I had a song improvised about me. I performed with my dear friends. I got to watch and participate in karaoke.
And I didn't really feel anything and I don't remember it as well as I would have if I had been able to take off the face.
I regret not living in those moments, but I am incredibly happy that they happened.
Even though my experience of the night was altered by my emotions at the time, I spent today trying to recall things about it that I can use in the future as inspiration to live in those moments. I also thought about what I could do differently in my life to make sure I don't have to do this again, and I actually ended up learning something about myself.
Firstly, I'm really happy that people only had nice things to say about me when they were asked for information to fuel the song that was improvised about me, even though they knew I was out of the room and couldn't hear them. It's nice to know that I'm on people's radars at all, besides my moms'. (And it's nice to know that my name is not only met with endearing insults a la Charlie Peters)
Secondly, I'm happy that I got to try some of my material in front of a larger but very supportive group of people (I did a test run of the show in front of five people on Saturday night). It's going to help to focus and reassure me that I am capable of helping my audience through a two hour show.
Thirdly, I'm very happy that I got to see my friends. Because I used to not have friends, or rather, someone in my life was telling me not to have friends. But last night, despite how much I was agonizing over what people must be thinking about me (which I do a lot, even though I ultimately end up not caring, I just hate not knowing if someone likes or doesn't like me) it was still really great to see them.
What I discovered in my reflections is that in most of my friendships, I always initiate every interaction. And I realized that probably contributes to my exhaustion. People rarely talk to me if I don't talk to them first, even if they might have something to say. And I don't like that. I realized just a few days ago that the reason my career has been going so well is probably because I am not focusing my energy on keeping a romantic relationship alive by myself, which I believe is what happened the last time I was in a relationship. So I've decided to take that into account in my friendships too. I needn't keep them alive on my own because ultimately I will be better off for it.
Part Three: Why Look For Answers When None Occur?
Another thing I am frequently faced to confront is: why am I sad?
I think I've figured that out in this case, but I want to try, someday, being okay with not knowing the source of every little thing in my life. Why am I afraid of that? Why does that make me angry? Why does that make me cry?
Sometimes, things just do or it just does. And maybe the next day, it will be different. I want to get less frustrated with myself when I don't understand something. I want to be able to say "That happened" or "This is happening" and just give whatever that is some space instead of demanding my over-tired, under-fed self to figure it all out right then.
But you know what sums up this entire blog post?
Why look for answers
When none occur?"
Thank you for reading.