March 4, 2014
Tonight I joined hands with the most incredible cast of people I’ve ever worked with and took my final bow under the stage lights. I’ve been dreading this moment since December 4th, 2013, when the DT 2014 cast got together for our first table read of the show. Ever since that day, Dinner Theatre has consumed every facet of my life. I can honestly say Tarzan has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. I knew that the closing night would be difficult, because I would be saying goodbye to a lot of really awesome people who have been a blessing to me daily over the past couple of months. It’s for this reason that the cast hung around the BCM until 1am giving teary-eyed speeches and exchanging long hugs. It’s also why it’s now 4am and there is a large group of us doing homework at our director’s apartment.
Saying goodbye is never easy.
But for me, it’s always the day after goodbye that is hardest. If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know that I’m not very good at sustaining balance in my life. I’ve always been a very hot or cold person and whatever I do, I do full throttle. You won’t find me riding the fence in many areas of life. I suppose you could consider it binge-living. I go days without sleep and then sleep for days. I can skip several meals in a row or eat several meals at once. I like to discover a passion and pursue it with all I have.
For this reason, I have let Dinner Theatre become my life’s center this semester. And for this reason, I know that waking up in the morning is going to leave me with an empty feeling as I search for the next thing to fill the gap.
What is life after DT?
It is cleaning the hurricane wreckage that was once a bedroom, going grocery shopping and eating real meals, catching up on a semester’s worth of school work, returning to my normal work schedule, re-introducing myself to my roommates, and letting my body heal from the bruises, pulled muscles, concussions, and black eyes that it’s received in the past 2 weeks. It’s learning how to be alone again, even if just for an hour a day. It’s quiet and it’s rest.
Quiet always makes me uneasy and I know I’m not the only one. I learned this during one of the shows this weekend. My character had been killed off during Act I so I was killing time waiting to return to the stage for curtain call. I could always keep up with where we were in the show by listening to the music. As I was talking to our campus minister, Nathan, I realized I hadn’t heard any music for a while, which made me nervous. Nathan laughed and said that quiet is every parent’s cue to check on their children too. We aren’t comfortable with quiet because we are left to wonder what’s going on. There’s an uncertainty that always seems to accompany quiet.
I’m not ready for the quiet that will come tomorrow, because I’m not certain what I’ll put my passion or joy into. Even though it’s not really quiet at all. Spring Break is in 4 days. I have a midterm and a quiz before then. I have the biggest campaign project of my PR career immediately following. I have to prepare for a summer in Texas and a semester abroad. I have several weekend trips planned leading up to graduation. All the things I have muted while focusing on Tarzan. So, really, I don’t get to rest, which I find comfort in.
But that’s mainly because I have a very narrow view of rest. I was reminded by Brandt Akin last week that rest doesn’t have to mean sitting alone in silence. It doesn’t always mean ceasing to do or go or be.
“Rest means to be utterly satisfied with what has been done.” – Tim Keller
God created the world and rested on the 7th day, not because He was exhausted and couldn’t face another day. He rested because He was satisfied with what He had done.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day…and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” – Genesis 1:31-2:2
God rested because He saw that His work was good. When I wake up tomorrow morning, Dinner Theatre may be over, but I can rest easy knowing that we put our all into this show and it was good. It was more than good. I’ve never in my life experienced such a reaction to a production and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. But it can’t go on forever and I now know the satisfaction of a job well done. I can wake up and face the music..or the quiet..of tomorrow, because with every ending there’s a new beginning. And I can’t wait to dive in to whatever comes next.