Today’s prompt asks: Take us back to a moment this year when you experienced pure, unadulterated joy.
Well, you can imagine my joy when I opened up my reverb email today – because this was one of the prompts I suggested! And even though I suggested it less than two weeks ago, the moment I immediately thought of happened more recently than that.
This past Sunday was a big tech day for my show. So before rehearsal, I was helping out with the transportation of props and set pieces, etc, from our rehearsal hall to venue. One of the things I do as a board member for my group is handle publicity, and one of the things I handle wearing that hat is painting a big sign for our town green and installing it a week or two before the show. Sunday was that day.
So there I was, driving Greg’s SUV, with this giant sign filling up the bulk of the car, squeezed in with other theater-related stuff, me stuffing the Arby’s that I grabbed in the drive-thru down my throat as a I drove to the green to put the sign in, and I just had this moment of joy.
Here’s why: I’ve been involved with this particular group for 15 years. I’ve done shows with other groups as well, but this really is my community theater home, in the town where I grew up. (I only live about 20 minutes away now.) (Pathetic, I know, but whatevs.) I’ve done all kinds of shows in all kinds of capacities, but I’ve also been handling publicity this whole time, which means since I was 23 years old, I have been hauling that sign to and fro, painting, re-painting, installing, taking out, in all kinds of weather.
So much of my life has changed since I started with this group in 1996, since I said, sure, hey, I’ll do props for Rumors, what the hell. This little group has seen me through the highs (getting married, having Jane) and the lows (my father dying), with a million hours logged in our rehearsal hall and various stages in between.
The responsibilities in my life have grown leaps and bounds as well. I used to do five or six shows a year – one right after the other – and now, juggling work, Jane and home, I’m lucky if I do two. And really, I am lucky that Greg is alright with me running out the door at night three times a week for a couple of months a pop. Unlike how things were prior to having Jane, it now affects him too, and keeps him at home while I go play with my friends.
But when I’m doing these shows - and, specifically, last Sunday, when I was dragging my old friend the sign to its appointed place on the town green – I feel like the same person I was when I was 23. The core me I’ve always been, all along, and always will be. And that version of me is pretty damn joyful sometimes.