The summer has officially ended for me. No more camp or conservatory, no more running after kids or ignoring the mountain of work behind me. I'm back in the office and things are suddenly really real. Like the fact that I have 2 and a half weeks left in my full time job and I still need to convey SO much information to the girl taking over my position. And that it is all of a sudden mid-August and school is literally right around the corner.
I love the summer because it exists almost without time. Everything is sun soaked and bright and days pass from one to the next without too much notice. This summer, I found myself teaching a fair amount, even though I hadn't planned on it. I'd planned to hunker down in my office and tackle some projects. Instead, I spent my days surrounded by children of various ages and Teaching Artists I truly admire and enjoy spending time around. I got to be creative and share some of the things I've learned as a performer with the next generation. It was magical and exhausting and I loved every minute of it.
This summer really affirmed for me that I am making the right decision by stepping out of my office position--I'd much rather be out there, getting my hands dirty, working with students and teaching (though, to be completely honest, I will really miss the security of a salaried paycheck and health insurance). There is comfort in knowing this and in feeling right in my decision to leave my current job. But it is also a little terrifying. Not the bad kind of terrifying, but the kind of terrifying that school children feel on the first day of the new school year--the terrifying that comes with stepping into the unknown. I literally don't know what is going to happen in the next year or even in the next 6 months. I have some things that I hope will happen, some things that I am trying very hard to make come to fruition, but other than that, my life is a blank page. It has been a while since that was the case.
My mother is worried about me, and with good reason. Her oldest baby is about to be unemployed. But not really. I have a work plan (and a backup work plan) and I'm not afraid to work hard to make sure I continue to pay my loans and still function as a human. My siblings are both moving out this month to go away to school, leaving just me and my parents in the house. As soon as I found out that my brother was going to be moving out, I asked my dad if he wanted me to move out too. I mean, I am the oldest, it makes sense. "No," he said. "I like having you here." I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't swell a little bit. Because, in a way, allowing me to continue to live at home is a little vote of confidence in me and a silent way to say, "We support you fully." I feel blessed to have parents who allow me to do this, to follow my heart and let it take me where it will.
Last week, when he realized that it was just going to be the three of us ("The three amigos!") in the house come September, my dad looked at my mom and me and said, "You know, it has been 22 years since it was just the three of us. I'm excited." Me too, Dad. Me too.