I have spent the last week or so preparing Halloween costumes for both myself and my boyfriend. This has included trips to multiple Halloween and costume shops, scoping out consignment stores, scrubbing the blue and red dyes from the surfaced of my bath tub, and practice runs on make up. Tonight is the Halloween party that we have preparing for, and it made me realize something: 2016 is finally drawing to a close.
This year has been one constant battle to not lose my cool. I have been in a position that I
am was unhappy with since February (but I can’t delve into that too much). Ultimately this year has been a test for myself both personally and professionally, and I feel that I have grown so much.
I spent so much of this year unhappy. There were so many tears shed and breakdowns experienced. My boyfriend kept me above water through it all, and I am so grateful for him. Recently, I hit rock bottom. I was so depressed and couldn’t stop crying. That feeling of anguish just kept itself lumped in my chest day after day, and it was unbearable. Then all of a sudden…it was gone. That hopeless feeling was replaced with drive and optimism. Things that used to make my mood nosedive don’t affect me anymore. Things are finally looking up. It’s not as if I’m discounting the importance and severity of things, but they can’t be worse than before. I just feel so much better about my present situation. Instead of letting things consume me, I’m taking control and pushing upwards. Life is too short to feel awful.
Nearly a month ago, there was the threat of Hurricane Matthew. My mother had purchased tickets for my boyfriend and me to see my favorite musical RENT back home. Home is a little over two-hundred miles away from here. They were hit by the storm before we were thus allowing for clean up while my city was hit next. As the storm loomed closer, a mandatory curfew was placed on the citizens in my county. The storm was supposed to bring about crazy wind, rain, and power outages. The reality became clearer that I was not going to be able to go home for that Saturday’s matinee.
My boyfriend and I prepared to hunker down in my apartment. We taped my windows and dismantled/stored my computer before settling in with tea, “Glee”, and coloring. We went to bed just as the storm arrived. I was nervous that I was going to wake up to a lack of power and a tree on my car. The next morning, I woke up and realized that my fan was still spinning. We had power! It didn’t even so much as bounce during the night as my appliances’ clocks were still set appropriately. The rain had turned into a drizzle and the winds had subsided. With a cup of coffee in hand, we turned on the news just to find that the curfew would potentially be lifted by 2:00pm. I couldn’t believe it. I had been looking forward to seeing RENT the moment that the tour was announced. I needed to see it.
The curfew was lifted. We were on the road by 6:00pm.
RENT has been a part of my life since I was fourteen years old. It changed my life the moment that I saw it. It felt so surreal when I found myself sitting the theatre for the Saturday matinee of the 20th anniversary tour. I cried the moment the first note was played [and admittedly lost it during the reprise of “I’ll Cover You” (as always)]. That performance made me feel joy, stripped me away to expose the vulnerability, and ultimately lead to me feeling hopeful but most importantly: whole.
RENT healed me. The broken pieces were brought back together, and I finally felt like myself again. It turned me around and set me straight just as I knew it would. I am so grateful that everything somehow worked out, and I was able to drive home for that performance. I haven’t felt this good in so long.
“There is no future, there is no past
Thank god this moment’s not the last.
There’s only us, there’s only this
Forget regret or life is yours to miss
No other road, no other way
No day but today!”