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  • Writer's pictureLauren Morris

I'm allowed to have boundaries

This blog is more a reminder to myself...

I parent with boundaries. It's important and setups expectations with the understanding of consequences. Since I parent from a positive behavioral place many times rewarding the behavior that is positive vs punishing the negative is the route I choose. That being said, the whole point of childhood is to learn where the boundaries are and what happens when they are crossed.

Somehow that doesn't always transfer to my adult life. Boundaries shift throughout our lives and are in constant flux. Many times people cross boundaries without even knowing because we are not expressing they are even in place. There are also times when the boundaries have to change and any changes or transitions can put people into varying head space and adjustment.

When I first started AdLib I would let students take up a lot of my time in and after class. I would also ask blanket opinions of everyone who worked/performed alongside me. I wanted to make sure everyone felt heard and that I was a good teacher and leader. That AdLib was legit.

Thing is that lack of boundary bled into my family life and added a layer of expectation that wasn't sustainable. I learned to speak up in the classroom and stop something before it became a time sucker and keeping the open door policy.

Sure sometimes those fun late night parking lot conversations happen because I love improv but it's a choice and not out of lack of boundary.

AdLib is a business and therefore needs boundaries as well. Sometimes my personal boundaries and the business boundary clash and when they do I have to sit with it and make logical decisions. 90% of the time the decision goes to AdLib over personal. That being said, I still have the right to have boundaries and there are some hard and fast ones I have that I'm just not in a position to move. I say this because again I'm reminding myself that it's okay and in fact healthy to have boundaries.

Most people come from the right place when they opt to give me input on the business side of the theater. Hell, even the artistic side. I listen since people have a variety of ideas and perhaps there is one I have not thought about. That being said, it goes no further than that and in fact, I'm allowed to say, "I appreciate you thinking about and having passion for AdLib but right now I'm not open to opinions or input on this issue. In the future if and when I am, I will ask you". Reminder to myself that I'm not being mean or blocking, I am putting a boundary in place.

The nature of improv is that there is a lot of intersections. Friendship and teams intersect. Business and art intersect. People wear many hats. It feels very much like an open forum for anything because of the very nature of what we do. Truth is there is a time when I have to put on one hat over the other. At the end of the day it's my sole responsibility to keep the lights on so everyone has a place to create. The decisions I make are for the collective and not the individual. This is true of all theaters. It's also why being part of a theater cast team isn't for everyone. Theaters have to meet the needs of the whole.

With our recent growth there has been some new boundaries set in place. There's some adjusting. There are some old boundaries I'm still not in a place to move. All of this though is okay. I'm allowed to have boundaries.

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