I can feel the weight of my heart in my chest. It hangs heavy off my ribcage, swollen and sad.
This evening I go back to New Jersey for the last time. Who knew I’d ever be this sad about leaving New Jersey…
Life is different now. Mostly in very good ways. I have my Equity card, I have at least one agent meeting and the contact of numerous casting directors, a whole group of new friends, and the potential for a future life for the show. I even have a potential boy in my life for when I return. Yet there it is, the dull, thick beat of my heart, already pumping my blood with the flush of loss and sadness.
There is much to come. There are many exciting steps. Yet I’m going to mourn this loss. The comfort of the nights with these amazing people. The solidity of a show and a role and a performance I am certain are great. The pure feeling of knowing I made this happen myself, and I was worthy of it.
Part of me doesn’t know why I’m so sad. Why am I already on the verge of tears, before I’ve even left New York? Why can’t I relish the fact that more is likely to come? Why can’t I sit here in the moment and feel the joy of getting to do the show tonight? Why is this hurting me like a breakup?
I am scared of this sadness. I am scared of what is to come when this is over, scared that the time will balloon into that thick, monotonous toil of “normal life,” of struggle and disappointment in the heat of a NY summer. I am scared that I will be overwhelmed by it, scared I will cease to feel that pure, total happiness I’ve discovered in the last two months.
It’s going to stop being easy in a week. I’m going to have to actively structure my life. I’m going to have to take care of myself. I won’t have the comfort of a nightly show, or the carpool to get there, or the prepared snack someone else will make for me. I won’t have a built-in fan club.
And I won’t be performing. The feeling of the lights rising on Act I, Scene i, everyone’s pupils adjusting to see me, truly see me, as I am and as I want to be. As an actor, as Jonatha, as someone strong and powerful and talented and brave and beautiful and perfect for what I need to be.
So of course I’m wallowing in this at the moment, waiting for the boy to text me back or for it to be time to head down to Penn for my 5:07 train. And of course I’m listening to a “Someone Like You” genius playlist.
C’mon, heart, lift. I can’t move like when you’re bloated with tears.