I moved to Chicago with the intention of starting over. Wiping off the cliched slate and attempting to move forward instead of in circles - it's a hell of a lot harder than I originally envisioned. I naively thought the move itself would remove my past, quell my defenses, and generally make me better. And while I know I am in a better place, feeling safer than I ever have; I realize I still have to deal with this shit. Distance is not my savior. Performing again on a regular basis does not redeem my personality. Finding a new home does not make every last nightmare evaporate. But I am dealing with my life. Finally. When you leave your home, leave your family, your best friends -you are forced to sit with yourself and cope.
Admittedly, I'm not one who cries. But I've wept more since I've arrived in Chicago than I have in years. And we're talking straight up wailing, heaving on the floor style weeping. And for awhile, I thought this meant I was weak and still stagnant. But then the realization trickled over the course of technical rehearsal week and opening night at the theatre - it's not weakness, it's just living. And I have been numb for a very, very long time. I'm no longer somewhere where someone can swoop in and pick me up off the floor. I have to find the strength in my hands again, push my pale face away from the cool of the linoleum and keep going.
The fatigue of fighting to gain self-confidence and being okay with what I see in the mirror is wearing, but I am not lost anymore. I am honestly coming to grips with how incredibly lucky I have been. I am starting to see what I have instead of what was taken from me. It's looking at the possibilities that is starting to keep me sane.
So I am starting over knowing that I still have work to do. But I am finding strength in what lies ahead of me, instead of trying to garner my courage from the fight of my past. At some point it will all become moot and I will only be myself in the present. And that's all anyone needs.