I saw a play tonight in Bloomington, Indiana with my grandparents.
We sat in the center of the audience of a room that could hold maybe 60 people.
It was a solo show called “Underneath the Lintel” by Glen Berger (who has subsequently written the book for Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark) about a man researching his way around the world and out of his mundane life in an effort to catch up with the myth of the Wandering Jew. The show was fantastic. I left the theatre with a sense of awe. My grandparents did, too.
A phrase kept resonating in my brain: “I was here.” In the show, the actor winds up writing that sentence all over the walls of the room. I was HERE! I found it ironic that I was wishing I could write my own signature on places I’ve been while in a place I am rarely in.
Let’s rewind ten days: I audition for two different Improv theaters and get rejected from both. I feel like I was punched in the gut and, as a result, have been running from dealing with the extreme sense of identity crisis I feel stalking around in my head like a rat in an attic. What the effin hell am I DOING? What AM I!?
I want SO MUCH. I want love! I want marriage! I want to direct! I want to write! I want to travel! I want to teach! I want a life well lived! I want people to see me and think: She’s great, I want to get to know her and hear her stories and learn from her because she’s lived a life I want to lead. I want to inspire!
…And I thought that was through the path of getting on a house team. But, as fate would have it: it is not.
I am HERE, goddamn it! Here in this sodden, slippery, worry-soaked crossroad that is my life! I could have chosen another life…
…Like my cousins. They’re my age. One cousin is all of ten days older than me and is due to have a baby in October. The other cousin (14 month older than me) has a 1 and a 3 year old. They’re both moving in to the stage of their lives in which they focus on nothing but wiping poopy butts, drying tear soaked eyes, and shuffling, bleary eyed, through sleepless nights to attend to nightmares and wrongfully tucked in toddlers. I got a good dose of that life the last few days and felt a flash of fear rip through my uterus. Not now. I am just passing through. I was there…
I thought that was what adults did, not twenty-somethings, and realized with horror that somewhere along the way the children I grew up with were adults.
I am HERE. I am at the wood and stone threshold of adulthood and, well, I’m not ready to step inside yet. If I was I would have married my ex boyfriend from college and would be popping out mini-me’s, too.
What do I do? I can agree with myself as to what I am not, which is a mother, a professional improviser and a married woman. So what am I? What can I do? The answer screams back at me: SO MUCH! EVERYTHING! The world is my oyster and I am the pearl!
I am HERE, at the Thought-I-Knew-It-All-But-Don’t intersection of Freak Out Avenue and Don’t Look Back Yet Street.
I watched tonight, as the character in “Underneath the Lintel” wound up pursuing his crazy passion and, in doing so, losing his job and shedding his mundane life. Watching, I felt restless. I need to get up and go and be and I don’t know how to get the courage to do so because as easy as it is to state what I am NOT it is harder to actualize what I think I am! Ah!
I am HERE at 25. And I’m sick of feeling so confused and worried about what to do next when I get back to New York City tomorrow. And the next day. And next month, and the next five years and, hell, the next 25 years! I keep telling myself to take it all day at a time. Breathe. Another opportunity is right around the corner.
May 9, 2013 at 4:01 am by Natalie Allen