Wow, it's been way too long since I last posted. April is notoriously crazy in my life - it's the month of shows, shows, shows. And this particular April was worse than ever. As I've said before, I work at a high school, and this year... we had some big drama at school. And I don't mean drama like break-ups, or girls fighting. I'm talking cops, charges being pressed, meetings with the administration. It was very, very difficult for me. I obviously can't get into details, nor do I want to, but let's just say I just started sleeping again after having horrible stress-induced insomnia for over a month. I lost many hours of sleep, cried many tears, intercepted many phone calls, tried to respond appropriately to all parents and students and co-workers and bosses.... The list goes on and on and on. Michael flew into town for the performances of my show, just in time to hold me through the tears. I actually held myself together really well until he came into town. Somehow having "my person" there with me broke down the walls of strength I had somehow managed to build through it all. It was really lovely to have someone safe to weep to and to allow to hold my heart while it broke through all of this. I truly love these kids with every ounce of my heart. To watch them hurting, struggling, making life choices that will change their lives forever - oh, my heart. My heart breaks. My heart is full of hundreds of teenagers, hundreds of children, my children. I may not be a mother by definition... but I am in my heart. It's very difficult to try to keep everyone safe, to teach everyone to the best of my ability, to love them so fiercely for the small amount of time that they are with me. It's difficult to do these things and to stay joyful and know that they are not mine - they are His, they are their parents', they are their own. All I can do is love them and teach them the best way I know how. I just pray that God gives me the grace to do these things well when they are in my care.
All that being said, it is now the lovely month of May. One of my favorites. Mary's month. The month of summer starting here in California - pool time, beach time, flip flops, windows down... I love it. Shows are closed, both at my high school and the production of CATS I was pit singing for. Thank goodness. Both were beautiful experiences, fabulous shows, and full of amazing people - but I am so thankful for time off. There are many exciting things coming and I am so looking forward to the summer!
Being in the pit allowed me to read a lot in between songs. I loved being able to finish some books finally! I got through Gilead, which I appreciated but did not enjoy personally. It's a quiet and slow book, and I think maybe at another time in my life I would really love it, but right now it didn't resonate with me except for one thing: The narrator spoke of our ability to cry with another in their suffering and rejoice with their triumphs. He pondered why it was so much easier to weep with the suffering than it is to rejoice with the joyful. It was just a really lovely reminder for me to deliberately choose to rejoice with those who are joyful, to celebrate my friends' triumphs. It is so easy to feel envy. I want to choose joy.
I also just re-read To Kill a Mockingbird in about a day and a half. I'm trying to re-read all the classics I read in high school but never appreciated because I was too busy writing essays and answering test questions. I absolutely loved this book the second time around. Such a beautiful novel.
I just got done watching the season finale of Once Upon a Time and I'm so unhappy about it. First of all... the episode was literally a knock-off of Back to the Future. Literally the same exact plot. Down to the falling out of the tree. If you've seen both you'll know what I'm talking about. And the last ten minutes? I was so happy with how it was ending until one stupid plot twist that I am SO angry about. It's only a TV show. I need to get over it. You just end up getting so invested in these people's stories, even if they are fictitious. Woof. Need to keep reminding myself it's only make-believe.
My brother talk to the dog and make a sandwich in the next room. No need for music right now, when I'm home with my family. It's perfect just the way it is.
Oh, so much. So, so much.
I am thankful that throughout my difficult April, I somehow by the grace of God kept my head on straight. I didn't have a single manic episode. I didn't even have any panic attacks, anxiety attacks, bouts of depression. I didn't even feel hopeless or helpless. Now THIS, my friends, is a huge victory. I'm talking HUGE. Taking my normal dosage of medication, but still barely getting any sleep and dealing with heavy stuff.... But choosing joy. Choosing to wake up and be strong. Choosing to keep looking to Christ and walking one step at a time. This is huge. Thank the LORD.
I am thankful for this amazing group of high school kids who change my life just by being themselves. I am thankful that through a lot of difficulty for every single one of us, that we put on an amazing show. My co-worker (the show's director) (who also happens to be one of my best friends) and I turned to each other after the finale on closing night and just said, "Magic." Truly, this show was magic.
Also, so thankful for my experience in CATS. My last experience with this show was less-than-pleasant, and this time, I really had a wonderful time. There were many nights when I was exhausted and just didn't want to go to work, but the people I met were just so lovely. It's a rare find to do a show and meet a bunch of talented, genuine and kind theatre people. It's very special and I treasure it.
Kitty kisses from my favorite cat - Skimbleshanks!
Pit singers and wig stylist - we all sat in the audience and put on green cat eyes to support the cast on closing night! We meant it as a joke but everyone wept because they were feeling so sentimental!
Michael and I climbed on the set for a while and the lighting operator put on the best lights for us for this picture. Like I said... the people at this theatre are so incredibly kind.
Thankful. Now I am thankful for some time off. I am still figuring out my life... more to come on that. But for now, it's 8:45 PM and I'm in my pajamas. From last night. I lounged. ALL. DAY. Glorious.