While the outpouring of kind and meaningful words about AdLib closing is humbling, it doesn’t keep the doors open. For 5 years I gave to this community. Never once did I draw a salary. I gave until I literally broke. Years and years I worked on cutting through the noise online and in person. I worked endlessly trying to elevate everything we did to a professional level. Took pride in making AdLib the place for stronger, boundary-pushing, inclusive place for improv.
I can no longer fight this fight. So here I am broken. Trying to see what shattered pieces of my life are left and figure out how to put myself back together. Salvage any small part of what made me feel complete except I keep cutting myself on the edges of this broken image. There’s so much pain that I don’t even want to attempt to pick up the pieces.
Creating what I did from absolute scratch was impossible and yet I did it. Figured it all out. Took risks knowing I’d be judged, criticized, and at times mocked. I made friends, I made enemies, I made something in-between. I never expected others to give what I gave. It’s part of what makes me unique. More and more I put myself second, third, and eventually last on the list. The amount that people, community, and improv kept taking became exponential. In the end, it is too much.
I know the one thing I need to do as I transition and that is put me first. I’ll start with my health and from there we’ll see. I didn’t want others to endure what I endured in order to find my voice so I created an oasis where that would never happen. Now it’s my turn to create something for me. If I choose or even can create in the future it will be for me first. I’m done asking “how will this help those who haven’t had the opportunity?. I’m just not able to do it right now.
I have no idea how I’ll reinvent myself or what the next phase looks like. It seems pretty impossible to do that right now since I’m currently writing from my bed because I’m out of energy from sitting up for the past couple of hours.
While I was being swallowed whole by my responsibility, I don’t know if this would have been the path I would have chosen. Right now, I am in a situation that has forced me to call “scene” on this part of my life. I had no choice. Maybe later I’ll feel like I did have a choice.
My life right now doesn’t feel as if I’m in control.
I can’t drive. I can’t choose what time I get to go to the doctor’s or therapy because I’m dependent on other people to get me there. I’m unable to navigate stores or shops. Lighting, darkness, carpet, grass, tiles, they all impact me. I can’t even get some space because a simple walk outside requires me to have someone with me in case I fall.
Choice doesn’t seem to be an option right now.
What I can choose is to stay off social media. Respond to the messages and emails that matter. Start walking the path that puts me first.
The community I built within my walls was inclusive, equal, and collaborative. I purposely built it that way because I provide a safe haven for others. Now it’s time to build and provide a safe haven for me. For now the pieces will stay shattered on the floor and if I decide to pick them up it will be with protective gloves specifically designed for me.