13 Days. #Lifechange

My alarm clock went off at 6:45 this morning, and I cried.

I’m not kidding.

“Not Throwing Away My Shot” started to play on my phone, my brain turned on, my eyes opened, and I literally burst into tears.

I’m officially “sobbing when my alarm goes off in the morning” tired.

And it’s not without reason.

I’m exhausted.

I’m “we’re 10 days from opening a Sondheim show, working three jobs, haven’t had a decent meal in days, don’t have time to do my laundry, haven’t vacuumed my house in two weeks, I think my cat has forgotten what I look like, and I have to schedule time just to see my girlfriend” tired.

I’m “I’ve lived in the public eye since I was 13” tired.

I’m “my body is rebelling, things are swelling up, I can’t sleep, my anxiety is out of control, and I’m getting sick” tired.

And I’ve had enough.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve lived very openly. Between my dad’s political career, my desire to perform on stage and screen, my own political and advocacy aspirations, and the career path I followed for many years, I’ve always had a very public life. And I’ve done some incredible things with many, many amazing people. I’ve been in movies, on stage, met stars and presidents, and have traveled more than people twice my age.

But now, I’m tired.

I’m tired, and I’m burned out.

When I realized that the thought of holding auditions for my winter show made me groan, I knew something was wrong. When I started to resent the show I’m in, I knew something was very wrong. When I burst into tears at the thought of having to get out of bed, something snapped.

I’m DONE.

I can’t – no, I WON’T – keep going on like this.

It’s time to stop.

I said a few days ago on social media to watch that space for an announcement about a big life change – Well, this is it.

I’m done living publically.

I’m in my last show.

When Into the Woods closes on November 5th, I’m taking an undetermined amount of time off from public life. No more rallies. No more acting. No more running big festivals in town. No more TV appearances and radio spots and 18 hour days and never having time for a personal life.

I want to be anonymous.

Well, as anonymous as one can be in a small town where one is already well established.

So, starting November 5th at the final curtain call, I’m saying NO.

No to commitments that would suck my time and energy. No to just about everything I’m not getting paid to do.

I’m going to spend the winter painting my apartment, cuddling my cat, drinking far too much tea and coffee, visiting my sister in NYC, hanging out with my girlfriend, working on my Shel Silverstein shape study at the art studio, and staring at the fucking walls until my brain no longer hurts and I have nothing left undone on my to-do list that’s become more of a “someday, I wish” list.

I want to be able to say yes to my friends when they want to hang out.  I want to say yes to activities at my beloved UUCV.

I want to say yes to evenings in my apartment, cooking dinner and sitting in a hot bath with a cup of tea and my Don McClean and John Denver station playing on Pandora.

I’m saying yes to me.

And if that means saying NO to public life, then so be it.

So come see Into the Woods. It’ll likely be the last time I’m on stage for a good long while – very possibly the last time ever.

13 days left.

And then, hopefully, I’ll never cry when the alarm goes off again.

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6 thoughts on “13 Days. #Lifechange

  1. Take that time. Do it, girl. You deserve it!

    I wish I could take my own advice. It starts in middle school. You’re 11 years old and they ask you want you want to be when you grow up. You scramble to say something – the pressure is on and you blurt out the first thing that pops into your mind and 99% of the time, its not what you actually want to do. I must have said doctor because all through Jr. High and then into high school, that’s what my courses consisted of. Getting me to a place where I can major in bio once I got to college and then go onto medical school. I started out premed. I tried, i really did. I hated it. I wanted to quit. So I did. I transferred colleges and took my first non-science related course and I fell in love. But I still worked my ass off to be the best at everything and when I wasn’t the best, I punished myself by making myself work harder. I’ve graduated – I still don’t know what I want to do with my life other than the vague “help people.” because I like to pretend I have a cold heart and a black soul but I have one of the biggest fucking hearts and give people way too many chances. But now, I’m almost 23 and I’ve barely started living but I feel like I’ve ran 100 marathons non-stop and all I want to do is sit, not think, and stare at a fucking wall.

    So, I say do it! Do what I have yet to do! Say yes to your friends, take that bath, spend time with the people you love, and say yes to you!

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    1. It’s been a week, and I’m loving it. I rearranged my pantry the other day, made apple butter in the crock pot, and have started to deep clean my house. I’ve been to a movie, and a live show — two things I haven’t had time to do in over a year. Take the time.

      As far as knowing what you want to be when you grow up — you’ll figure it out. And it might not look the same forever. That vague “help people” is not vague at all. That’s what I know to be true as well. And over the course of the past 20 years of my adult life, it’s taken many forms. I’ve worked for non-profits, in a nursing home, in a church, for a performing arts center — all helping people. You don’t have to have one career. You can have many incarnations. You’re only limited by the boxes you put yourself in. Eliminate the boxes, and the whole world opens up. You’ve got this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like me when I actually had a week to do something for myself. I deep cleaned my house and my car. Like what? Is that what adulting is? I’m happy you’re taking time for yourself!

        Your comment is so refreshing to hear/read. So many mentors and advisors and adults in general say “Pick one thing. That’s what you can do.” and I want to scream “Why?!” Why can’t I pursue all of my passions? After this internship in DC is over in December I’m going back home and I’m surrounding myself with my family and after I breathe for a week, maybe two, I plan on tackling the “what’s next?” question.

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