What I did this past winter….

Ok, so I realize it’s been a while…
I’ve been in the process of a significant transitional period.
As you may recall, I was residing at my parent’s place since I returned from my gig in West Palm Beach.

Christ, I hadn’t “lived at home” since I was in high school (I will not state how long ago that was…but  it was quite a while back!). And though “living with one’s parents” comes with its expected obstacles and challenges, given the brutal, oppressive winter we just went through, I realize I was meant to be there during those few months. And on a level, I was happy to be.

No hyperbole, coming off of the severity of Sandy last fall (I was at ground Zero.5, I call it. The big difference between Jersey City and Hoboken at the time was that the water receded from Jersey City, unlike Hoboken), this winter hit Chester County, PA with an unrelenting consistency. Seriously, it seemed the epicenter of every f-ing storm that came (I think we’re at 15? or so? – no joke!), was directly in line with West Chester, Philadelphia and what is now known as the “I-95 Corridor.”
Shoveling became my daily ritual; where to put the snow became the quandary of the week. Piles were so high that snow-blowers (I used ours for the first time) could only throw the snow so high. When they became useless and we had to resort to shovels again…we were limited by our throwing power.

Back aches and tendonitis seemed to take permanent residence in my body, it feels.

Through the worst of it: the ice storm, we were without heat and power for almost a week. We burned wood, snuggled around the fireplace like we were in some Dickens novel and tolerated it until the house lost what retained heat it kept. That last night was truly brutal; at the risk of sounding insensitive, I don’t want to imagine what the homeless must suffer through. I only know, I couldn’t sleep while the biting cold pierced my face;  completely residing under the pile of blankets conversely, was suffocating. Pick you poison.

Then I had the commute to 2 schools in New Jersey from the other side of Philadelphia.
My mornings at Rutgers (class begins at 9:15) required my waking up at 5am, being out the door by 6-6:30 at the latest; traffic being such a variable, I couldn’t chance it. Wednesdays required me to get a hotel as I couldn’t justify driving back from Rider U. only to make the 5am jaunt back up to Rutgers. Added to that the issue of safety – at that hour, not only is it the coldest, but there is also the greatest propensity for “black ice” on the roads; terrible, terrible accidents all over the area (you may recall the 50 car pile-up on the PA Turnpike this winter? that was right in my commute).

In addition, starting in early February – I finally found a place – AND MOVED!

WHO the F*^% moves in FEBRUARY!!!??????
This Guy!!!
Jesus – that was arduous to say the least.
Planning trips not only around my teaching schedule, auditions, and of course, the weather; it was something akin to producing a play. Juggling so many factors to think of it all would make you cry.

Irony Alert – after the move – I found myself not only battling loneliness (a new neighborhood) but I also found myself really missing my parents. Yes, living with them (albeit briefly) was annoying at times (man, that man constantly wants something!!), but I am so lucky (SO LUCKY) that my parents actually are also my friends. Sure I love them, but I also LIKE them. Does that make sense?
In addition, it also felt good to do all I could for them. Christ, they’ve done (DO) so much for me – the least I can do is make their lives easier in some small way. I worry that I can’t do as much for them now that I’m gone. Sure, I visit fairly regularly – but it’s not the same…
Random observation  – whenever I arrive back in PA, the first words out of my father’s mouth, “When are you leaving?”
When I am heading out the door with my last bag to return to NJ, “When are you coming back?”
You gotta love the guy.
She ain’t bad either! 78 years old and had an exhibit in the Philadelphia Flower Show – AGAIN!!!
Can’t wait to see the pics!
So proud of her.

God, I love them both.

Teaching – yes, I am teaching 3 courses this semester; one of which is a brand new course: American Contemporary Theater.
I actually schedule a field trip for this one  –  HUH???!!

Yep, we all went to the Walnut Street Theater to see a show together.
What am I thinking??!!! I’m only an adjunct!!!
Here’s the thing – it all came together!
Fortunately, it’s a great class, great students – and we all made it work (thanks again, Blair for being the class transport!)

My other classes are Acting classes (Basic at Rutgers, Intermediate at Rider) – great students (for the most part)…some wonderful moments and growth present in both classes. My only hope is that they are able to see what I see and own their progress. A few instances of resistant attitudes but fortunately, nothing too disruptive. Though I have realized my greatest frustration in the classroom is stifled growth. To see students willfully hold themselves back is mind-boggling to me (while they may not know that that is, in fact, what they are doing…it is, in fact a “choice” to not do the work…a result of resistance.)

When I look back on the past few months I cannot help but marvel at it all.
Does life get easier?
Why can’t it?
Might I be able to get more of what I want?
Is it just about patience?

I’m now pretty much completely moved in. There are a few non-essentials I need to get out of storage, but I’ve been living here (in Hoboken) for the past month. Getting to know my new neighborhood, new commute. It’s nice, while it’s more residential than where I lived in Jersey City, it’s just as accessible to the city.

I’m back in a scene study class, back involved with Amios and have been auditioning (which has been going well – close to booking something). So, of course, that whole struggle begins again, raising all those old questions.

I feel I’m still growing into my type…We’ll see….is it all just about timing?

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