(Fair warning: This is more of a general “where I’m at” post and not so much a “things about playwriting” post. Feel free to skip this one.)
The next blog post I write will be from the Twin Cities. I will have moved and settled by then and will hopefully be writing and working on plays and on me. I still can’t really believe it. These last seven months have been an intense, transformative, stressful, rollercoaster of a time. I had my heart broken continuously into a million little pieces while my career sky-rocketed. I had what I thought was my dream job and watched as that illusion quickly faded. I moved to a brand new city all on my own for the first time ever and experienced many other “first times” I was less than ready for.
I thought I’d be ready to fly out of Alfred and never look back but in these last days, I’ve felt really nostalgic. And I’m really happy to have spent (what we thought were) the ending days of the pandemic in a small town where I went to the same restaurant and bar every week. I stand by that if I was partnered, I could’ve stayed here for another 5 years. Maybe longer. While I didn’t like that everyone knew where I lived, I’ve never lived somewhere I’ve felt safer.
The last couple of months have felt like a complete rebirth. Like I needed to shed off my old skin, my old ambitions, my old ideals about the world in order to really step into who I’m supposed to become in this lifetime.
A question I’ve asked myself lately is “so what now?” And I think I’m finally ready to answer that question.
Yes, I’ve been irreparably hurt here in Alfred but I’ve also taken this time to heal. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people talk about healing on social media. It’s all glow up this and self-care that. Healing is painful. It’s supposed to shake you to your core. To really heal, you need to walk through fire, get burned, and then figure out a way to heal the burns without getting resentful. It isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be.
Y’all I walked through that fire. My cat died. My grandfather died. I walked away from a dream job to take another dream job that I also walked away from. I got divorced and a lot of other mini-heartbreaks that just kept coming. I’ve had to redefine my dreams, re-think my aspirations, completely rebuild my life. From family problems to playwriting problems to TV writing problems, I had to question everything.
It felt like the universe was asking me “Are you who you want to be or who you think you’re supposed to be?”
Everything from my astrology to my human design to the diety who has chosen me tells me that I am not someone who will have everything figured out all the time. That I am here to experience great periods of death and rebirth, intense transformations throughout this life. I’m here to heal and grow and change, constantly. These last seven months have been exactly that. The universe is pointing me towards where I need to go but I’m stubborn so a couple of hard blows had to be thrown my way to get me to see everything clearly.
Despite everything I’ve lost, I’ve also gotten to keep working on two plays super important to me, Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too August Wilson) and Black Mexican. I got staffed in a writer’s room. I got to work with amazing theatre artists, including my students who I wrote an amazing play with. On my own, I’ve written four full-length plays so for this year (White People by the Lake, Can You Not, Baby Goodbye, and Meet Me) and have two that will be finished by September (Call Me Colonizer and Inheritance). I wrote my first pilot (Tejan) and my first TV episode this year. I’ve found great, great joy in my work, even when it didn’t seem like it. For a while, all I could see was the bad but I’m happy to take a step back and see the full picture now.
I will miss the people I’ve met here much more than I expected. I have seen extraordinary kindness and radical forgiveness here. I’ve had great fun and have learned lessons I will never forget. I am so thankful to those who have extended patience and grace as I figured this incredibly chaotic time out.
But now it’s time to step back into it, harness the power I’ve set aside, and remind everyone who I really am.
So if you’re still wondering: The answer to “so what now?” is “Whatever the f*ck I want.” It’s not a matter of if anymore. It’s a matter of when.