Screw You Guys, I'm Going To China!

(ed. note - I hope no one thinks I'm being mean with this title, I'm just bastardizing a South Park quote because I think it's funny. It's funny, right? Right. Keep reading.) Va... ca... tion...?

What is this foreign work you speak of?

The last time I had a vacation, I was 16 years old and I went to Florida with my family (FYI Universal Studio kicked more ass than Disney, even though the Terminator ride broke down). Of course, you could claim that I went on a family vacation two years ago when my mom, my sister and I drove through the Rockies and ended up in lovely Nelson, BC, but that was more of a workaholic's vacation. I had my laptop with me and I distinctly remember spending an awful lot of time writing press releases for the Ottawa Fringe Festival and reworking drafts of a script. I also remember my mother often gently trying to persuade me (i.e. getting annoyed but trying not to show it in front of company) to get off the damn computer and come spend quality time outside, which I did... I sat on a deck with the Rocky Mountains rising above me and a lake spread out below me... and my laptop hugging my knees.

I'm sick. There is something definitely wrong with me. I'm addicted to work. Everything is work or becomes about work. Going to see a show is about work. Taking a new class to gain a new skill becomes "something I can put on a resume". About 95% of my friends are also my colleagues. I run Evolution Theatre with two such friends. We often say that we're just going to hang out, have lunch, watch a movie, or maybe plan a wedding... the discussion inevitably comes back to work.

Don't get me wrong. I love the work I do. I am blessed and grateful to be able to do what I do. But (and I can't believe I'm saying this) maybe I work too much? Is there such a thing? Yes, I guess there is.

I'm going on a trip tomorrow and, with lots of publicity work for Evolution Theatre's next show ahead of me, I started feeling massively guilty for doing anything that was for myself. Going to class or rehearsal, even eating and bathing were practically taking a back seat to what I so desperately thought "needed to be done". Like I said, I'm sick.

You know what, it did need to get done and, better yet, it did get done, but at what cost? My health? My sanity? My peace of mind? I learned a valuable lesson this week. I'm absolutely useless to anyone if I don't take care of myself first. I especially thank the folks in my Playback Theatre company for putting me back on the right track. Once I finally gave in to being at rehearsal, which was where I really wanted to be, and let go of the guilt, I suddenly got better. I was refreshed and recharged and that's why all my work got done this week.

So when my old roomate (and one of the 5% of my friends not involved in the arts - though Gruppo Rubato is trying to change that with Airport Security - check out a staged reading of it this weekend!), who is also a flight attendant, invited me to go with her to China of all places, I jumped at the chance. Yes, I really am going to China. Tomorrow. I leave tomorrow.

And I'm going to do something crazy... something drastic... something so beyond me...

I'm going to disconnect from the Matrix.

Yes, you read that right. No laptop, no iPhone, no Twitter, no Facebook, no email, no *gasp* flat iron. I'm leaving it all behind. It will just be me, my friend, and my poofy hair. As of tomorrow morning, I will be unreachable and not working... Ok, I'm going to cheat a wee bit because I'm going to be reading a book about Roller Derby but it's a NOVEL, so that's alright.

(And uh, BTW, if I'm not back in two weeks, could someone please call the Embassy in Beijing and make sure I'm not rotting in a Chinese prison somewhere... kthxbye!)

My guess is I'll be going into massive electronic withdrawal at some point over the Pacific Ocean. As long as I don't end up re-enacting the toilet scene from Trainspotting though, I should be ok.

So please go ahead and miss me. I know you will. But I'll be back refreshed, recharged and with plenty of photos to share on all sorts of new media outlets. And that? Is really, really nice.