So Now What?

April 29, 2009

Moo is still sleeping.  The house is cleanish.  I’ve watered the plants and fed the bird, checked all the celebrity gossip sites and even caught up on the news (yikes).

Also, I went to three auditions, performed in two shows, and turned 35.

 My quest is officially over.  So now what?

People keep asking me, “What’s next?”  And I keep asking myself the same thing.  I know that I want to take a break over the summer.  I know that this is an ideal time in our lives (economy notwithstanding) to try and add to our family.*  I also know that I don’t want to stop.  I obsessively check all the audition updates, and the local theaters’ web sites to see if they’ve posted their 2009-2010 seasons yet.

I dream of Sweet Charity, City of Angels, Oklahoma… and I dream about baby names.

I thought I would get to the end of my so-called quest with some kind of huge revelation:  A-HA!  You suck!  Give it up, get over it, and throw yourself into mommyhood!  Or A-HA!  You do not suck!  Directors are beating down your door and now you’re a professional actress!

I mean, I didn’t really think either of those exact situations would occur, but I did think that I would find – clarity.

Maybe I should review the questions I posed to myself at the beginning of this adventure.  After 14 years of letting fear get the best of me, I wanted to know the answers to these questions:

Do I have what it takes?

 – Well, that’s kind of a lame question, Mama.  Do I have what it takes to get cast in two community theatre shows?  Yes, apparently I do.  Do I have what it takes to get cast in a professional theatre?  Dunno.  Doubtful.  Definitely need some singing lessons.
Do I have the guts to try?

– Just barely.  Three auditions = three imaginary stomach flus, three nervous breakdowns, three episodes of extreme rudeness to husband.  But I did it.  And I learned that unlike when I was younger and believed that for success to count, I had to DO IT ON MY OWN, it’s okay to accept the support and encouragement of your friends, family, and kind blog-readers.  So from the bottom of my heart, thanks for the kick in the ass.

Is this still my dream, or is it time to let it go?

Definitively, it is not time to let go of my old childhood dream.  I love theatre as much as I always have, and maybe even more.  Even more, because this time around I’ve introduced Moo to theatre, and together we’ve become intoxicated by the joy of running around in circles, singing showtunes, waving your arms in the air, and (especially) wearing sparkly costumes.  Herbie, too.  Well, except for the sparkly costumes.  I’m proud that I’ve ushered Moo into this joyful world, thrilled that she loves it so much, and so happy that I will never have to hang my head when Moo asks me why I studied theatre but never performed, because I did find courage, I did perform, and I did get to see her clapping for me in the audience.  Maybe one day I’ll be clapping for her.

But as for what comes next?  …..?????……

I have always longed for clarity.  I remember once, many years ago, I was starting a new job as a waitress at Houston’s and I was scared to death, intimidated by the wall of liquor bottles, the towering plates I had to carry, the potential sneers from angry customers.  I sat on my bed working myself into a nervous frenzy and finally decided to lay down and try to rest before my shift began.  I had just moved to LA from New York, fleeing my floundering dreams and a bad relationship, and I was always on the edge of a panic attack.  As I lay back on the pillows, I repeated over and over, “I just want to be happy.  I just want to be happy.”

I had a dream that I was sitting at a computer, writing.  I paused to look over my shoulder and saw the man I loved with all my heart still sleeping in the bedroom.  Then I looked out the window and thought about the dance class I’d be taking later that afternoon.  Then I went back to typing.  I was perfectly happy.

I held onto that dream for a very long time, trying to find the right combination to unlock that fleeting vision of pure happiness.  I tried different jobs, different men, different colleges, different wardrobes, diets, outlooks.  I finally found the right man.  And it was only recently that I realized that no where in that vision of so-called happiness was there a little Moo.

 Maybe clarity only comes in timely little bursts, a peek through the window, not as a sustained state of mind.   And when I pause now to gaze out the window in the midst of my typing  – the child I love with all my heart sleeping down the hall, the man I love with all my heart puttering about the house – I realize that I am full, I am hopeful, and I am happy.

And I’ll just wait and see what comes next.



*Henceforth, if anyone asks me (ahem*family*ahem) about this particular issue, I will pretend that you have asked me about the weather and will answer thusly.  It IS getting hot, isn’t it!


3 Responses to “So Now What?”

  1. Katie Burke Says:

    YES! I love this!!! I am so happy right now; I love reading anything on the topic of falling in love with one’s own life and just … living it. As you’ve so wisely noted above, whatever is the right next step will find you.

  2. I think You are similar to me in most cases, Ha Ha Ha

  3. ml Says:

    THIS is a great post – much like when you first started. This writing is very honest/direct and very enjoyable to read. Do not stop – beyond motherhood/wife and dancing/singing skills, you have great writing talent that should not be wasted!

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