For any of you that don’t really know me, I tend to keep things pretty close to the vest when it comes to personal life. Especially when it comes to my presence on the internet. However this year left me in a particularly difficult situation. Basically my life took a 90 degree turn in December when my fiance (relationship of 5 years) ended our relationship. Now before everyone jumps down my throat about “Don’t blame it all on her!” blah blah blah, I’m not. I’ve been alive long enough to know that I am not perfect, and that I am sure some of the blame for our downfall is mine, however this is my blog and since I’m typing it and she was the one who said it’s over, she ended it so there… Anyway, I went from planning a May wedding to being homeless essentially for 3 months. I went from having a clear path in front of me to a fog of “Where am I going to sleep tonight?” and “What am I going to do?” not to mention the emotional trauma that left me even more messed up than I already am.
I can still remember the night I had to leave the apartment where we lived. I drove off and stopped at the end of my block and just sat there, engagement ring on my dashboard, and laughed because I didn’t know whether to turn left or right because I had nowhere to go. It was around 10 p.m. and frickin’ cold so I couldn’t just sit outside. I didn’t really have a friends place to crash and I hate imposing and I would have been pretty ashamed to call someone up and ask for a place to stay, so I ended up pulling into a shopping mall and slept there in the back of my car for about an hour before beginning the drive of shame to stay with my parents. It was a pretty low moment for me and just laying there felt like the right thing to do.
What followed was a lot of soul searching. Was it all my fault? Did I do something wrong? Is this how it’s going to be for the rest of my life? I also fell in love with the forever alone meme since that’s how I felt most of the time. Did I mention I was directing a show at a high school while this was going on? This year we decided to Into the Woods which if you are a musical theater person you know that is not an easy show. It took every ounce of my will to get ready for those rehearsals, and to keep a brave face up while I was debating on calling someone to sleep on their floor, crawl back to my parents house to relive high school glory days, or rock the back seat of the car again.
But that is over now. I now have a new apartment (admittedly it has no living room furniture, but I’m a bachelor… deal with it), and this Thursday our show is opening. I’m not going to sit here and say it is the greatest production of Into the Woods I have ever seen, nor am I going to say it was an easy process, but it is ready and completing this show will mark the survival of one of the darkest, toughest and most draining times in my life. I have done a lot of productions with a lot of high school students, and each one has their own special place in my heart. This one however is the production that I am most proud of. This production was about survival. It was about getting hit with a metric ton of adversity and being able to still stand up at the end of the day and say I am still here. This post didn’t start out talking about the show, but the more I think about it the more proud I get with regards to my students. There are a fantastic bunch and on Saturday when the show closes I will be very sad to see them go. Most of the cast will never see this post, but I want to take a moment to thank them for all of their work. It was not an easy road, but having a place to go where I could just make music with some talented young artists was the only saving grace I have had for months. I cannot even begin to thank them enough for that.
So today is a day to start something new. I am a different person. Am I a better one? I don’t know. Maybe I’m a little colder, a little more bitter, but I am still here. If this trial taught me anything it taught me that there is nothing you can’t overcome if you just believe that it will. If you’re one of those people like me who suffers in silence, just keep thinking there is another side to this. Things will get better. You are strong enough to overcome, and you will. Do I have all of the answers and closure? No. Does it still hurt a lot? Yes. But I am here and confronting those questions head on which, at least feels like the right thing to do.