How do you feel? what are you feeling right now? Are you sure?
I often catch myself getting my feelings wrong and then having to deal with the consequences. Like last week when I had a solo show that I hadn’t performed for the last 22months due to Covid restrictions.
When we premiered 2 years ago, my boyfriend and I had just gotten together and he had never seen me on stage. I was very nervous about how he would like it and when he told me that he was overwhelmed and in awe of my transformation into the rather dark character, I was pleased relieved and proud.
Acting is part of my lifeforce. I grow and stretch through it and it is very important to me to be able to share my passion with my partner. That winter he watched the show 4 times and glowed with pride that I was his girlfriend.
Fast-forward to now: We have been and still are happily together for over 27 months and he is still convinced that I am the best actress ever, ( Yeah, I know, still rose-tinted, but I must admit that I love it)
So last week when I finally had the show back on. he told me in the morning that he would love to come to watch me again that night and to feel proud about me all over again.
Shortly before I had to get ready for the stage, he asked me if I would be very disappointed if he wouldn’t come after all? He didn’t feel like socializing(my students were part of the audience). I told him that it would be no problem at all and that I totally understood where he was coming from. And I totally believed it.
But then my feelings kicked in.
I felt sad that he wasn’t feeling a strong pull to watch the show a 5th time. (Unfair, I know, but actors can be peculiar in that way.) Then I remembered that he once showed up as a surprise guest after having said that he would stay at home and I thought, “Hey, maybe he’ll suddenly feel the strong urge to see me on stage after all”. This cheered me up a bit only to feel resentment welling up again when he didn’t show up a second time that night. (Which is outrageously unfair since he never even hinted at anything the like in the first place.) It was just my hopes and false expectations that made me feel let down. I had underestimated my feelings and then had been too chicken to admit that I had been wrong. Being mad at my boyfriend wasn’t fair at all. But I must admit that I felt angry and disappointed even though.
After the show when he asked how it went, I told him that I had misjudged my emotions and he was totally sweet about it. The next morning I still felt rebellious and hated myself for it since it was so unfair. So I finally gave in and journaled about it. And it really did help. I had slowly been sliding into making my boyfriend responsible for my own happiness and thus abandoned myself. I immediately felt better and stronger when I resolved that I was the maker of my own happiness as he was of his. That’s our whole secret. We just need to remind ourselves every now and then that we love to spend our time together, but that we are still separate individuals who can make ourselves very happy independently of each other.
So that’s my life lesson from last week. Bet I will forget about it every now and then but happy to know that I also have the power to remember my freedom.