Let me be honest about something.
I have been on display a LOT.
Choosing to major in theater, to auditioning for shows, to getting the solo, to wearing costumes in public, to making jokes, to being a giantess since age eleven… I have been seen frequently by eyes. And often times those eyes belong to complete strangers.
People think this makes me an extrovert.
People think that I love being in the spotlight, and I do… but this is the thing that people don’t understand.
It is a craft.
I have spent years developing a sense of security on stage. I have learned how to sing with abandon so I could stop being afraid of my vocal break. I have learned to get over my body dysmorphia so I could be on stage in my underwear for the sake of comedy. I have spent hundreds of dollars on learning the techniques of having ease on stage. I HAVE EVEN HAD LESSONS ON HOW TO WALK, YOU GUYS. There was a FULL rehearsal in college dedicated entirely to teaching me how to walk properly on stage. Someday I will tell that story.
See… being in the spotlight? That’s my safe place. That’s my escape. That’s where I get to pretend to be someone or something else so I can mentally get away from it all, and make a buck while doing it.
Here’s the thing… being in the spotlight… for REAL?
That is a different kind of art. I have never learned that art.
That’s why all of this “fuss” over me (#wedding) is making me sweat.
Because here is the thing… you’re not just on display for your friends and family to see you in a pretty dress and pretty make up. Oh, no. All of your shortcomings are on display as well. (I.e. not understanding why certain invitations did not make it into important peoples’ mail boxes…. or explaining that you just can’t eat bread right now because of bloating and emotional control… or having to explain that the reason your eyes are so puffy is because you haven’t slept in a week, and when someone says “Why did you run yesterday?” you panic and have to yell that you needed a safe place even though you’re really tired, and you’re going to make yourself sick… and… and… and….) You are asked question, after question, after QUESTION. You are offered food. SO MUCH FOOD. I’ve been yelled at for not eating food like six times in the last week. Sometimes, people just don’t want to eat food. Sometimes food makes you want to cry because, oh yeah YOU’RE FREAKING STRESSED AS HELL. Also, I eat food. I eat a lot of food. I just don’t eat meals. But I eat ALL day. I’m very active. I couldn’t be active if I didn’t eat food. Mk?
And the advice… Jesus help the man who tells me one more time to take time for myself for relaxation and pampering… (So… you hand me five hundred dollars and I quit my jobs for two weeks? Great, good plan. I accept cash and venmo.)
This is the thing…
Finding the joy and gratitude in being on display is extremely difficult for me. Because yes, I’m grateful. But I’m also conflicted. I’m not the kind of person who posts on Facebook saying “Come See My Show” … it’s just not personally my thing. I prefer people to do what they want. If they want to make the decision to support, great. But that’s their choice. I’m not going to strong arm them into it.
It feels the same way with the wedding. Why can’t it be their choice? I’m not going to tell ANYONE what to do. Just because I’m choosing to spend my life with someone, does not mean a bajillion people have to do things for me like throw me parties and make me crafts. I don’t need it. Just show up if you can, have some wine, laugh with me, and then go live your life. Why can’t it be that easy?
It’s not… it’s the look, and the feel, and the family, and the money, and the photos, and the hurt feelings, and the stories, and the crockpots, and the oven mitts, and the eyelash glue, and the organizing of other peoples’ lives… (And by the way, I have a hard enough time being a director and organizing other people’s lives when I’m being PAID to do it…. so Lord knows I’m going to suck at it when it’s for free)
Everyone always says that being a bride for those last few months can be really tough. But you don’t really get it until it happens. It’s really REALLY tough. Like, I thought running 13.1 miles up and down hiking terrain was tough. This is harder. Because, when you go run 13.1 miles, or you go on stage and make jokes, or you sing a song for a special event, you don’t have to worry about anything but doing your job that you already know how to do. You can just enjoy it. On your own. And feel grateful when a friend or family member gives a shit when you did a thing. And then you move on with your life.
So…. stuff I’ve learned so far…
I don’t like the spotlight if I’m not giving a performance.
Gratitude is a practice.
Belly breathing is important.
Weddings are a million dollars.
People love to give advice because they love you, and you have to remember it’s because they love you.
Chicks dig being involved in shit.
I can throw back an incredible amount of white wine.
Family is awesome. It is also exhausting.
Weddings are weird.
I could keep going…
But I’ll save that for the next two months.