My initial elation at working on my first professional theatre production (Rabbit Hole at The Gladstone Theatre - get your tickets now!) has slowly given way to something else entirely. I don't think I realized how much of an adjustment leaving work would be. My body is scared and it thinks the best way to protect me is by shutting everything down so that I stay safe at home in bed. I've been getting sick. I wake up in the morning with a lump in my throat. I feel stuffed up and have trouble eating. My stomach is constantly rumbling with problems of a bathroom nature; the details of which, I am sure, most of you would prefer if they were kept to myself. I get anxiety attacks and at times it feels like a twenty pound weight is crushing my ribcage. My mind wanders. I forget what I was doing the day, the hour, the minute before. Last night, I showed up at the theatre not only carrying two very different shoes (one was a high-heeled pump, the other a ballet flat), but they were for the same foot.
My mind and body are rebelling against this new lifestyle change.
I am going into shock.
I'm sure some people are thinking (because a little part of me thinks it too) well, why not give in? Just get sick and stay in bed for a few days until you get better. Unfortunately, I can't do that. I can't just take the easy way out anymore and go hide under the covers like a gopher who's afraid because his shadow is so big. I can't rest on my laurels. I can't live on a plateau when I know the view is even better if I just keep climbing a little higher.
(How many more mixed metaphors can I squeeze in here? Let's see...)
I've learned from past experience that the stronger my physical, visceral resistance to something is, the greater and sweeter the reward I receive when I finally manage to overcome it.
My soul knows that I am creating the right path for myself. Evey time I show up to rehearsal and begin to say my first few lines, suddenly, I don't feel so sick anymore. Now if my mind and body could please catch up...