Thoughts on 40
When I turned 33, the last thing being celebrated that day was me. And I was completely okay with it.
My cousin Lauren just got married to an awesome guy named Alex the night before (short story short-my other cousin Christian is married to a guy named Robert, who just happens to be Alex's brother. So my cousins are legally sisters. Weird, right?), my whole family was at a brunch celebrating the wedding, my cousin Christian announced to everyone the sex of her first baby, and it was Mother's Day.
I was more than happy to share that day with such good news and good people.
So, 7 years later, my day falls again on Mother's Day. And again, I'm glad to deflect this huge number to another occasion being celebrated.
I think back to my life at 33 and how different it will be at 40.
33-My career was going great and my home life suffered for it.
40-My home life is going great and I have no 'career.'
That is a crude way of putting the biggest difference in the two ages.
At 33, I was in the middle of a long string of acting roles/opportunities that helped shape me as an actor and a person:
Directed at a great regional house
Played some 'white whale' level roles, such as:
Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
The Celebrant in Bernstein: MASS
Enjolras in Les Miserables
Kyle, the UPS Guy in Legally Blonde
My wife had just played Patti Page in Flipside: The Patti Page Story Off-Broadway in NYC.
She was also in Les Miz with me as an amazing Fantine.
All the time we shared apart didn't necessarily make our time together better. I definitely took for granted our relationship and didn't put the work into it. Not like the work I was putting into my career.
Flash forward to now:
We no longer live in NYC. We no longer are actors as a main profession. We are expecting our first child, a boy. We have put the work into our marriage and I can say that no matter what good or bad comes my way, I know I can deal with it because that relationship is well maintained and supports me.
But the lingering thought and feeling I struggle with is, "What am I going to do now?"
I have put so much of my identity in my career. I always wanted to be an actor that was called on for his work. And now I don't work. So how can I be called on?
I have fully embraced this transition of my life and can look at the past year in 3 parts;
Act One-Life until July 30. My career in NYC. My marriage. My family and friends. My college(s) experiences.
Intermission-July 30, 2018 to June 18, 2019. My new life in Philadelphia. My son that is growing in my wife's belly. My very strange existence here as a sometimes actor/church singer/catering manager.
Act Two-my son's delivery and life that waits for me. I have no idea what to expect. I cannot predict what will happen or who I will become. But I embrace the uncertainty and welcome the change. I had a good run of 40 years. I know the next 40 will be more rewarding and more memorable than the last 40. Not saying better or worse.
I will continue to grow and try to become a better man. I have been sober 2 months, I have shed a lot of things in the past few years that were making me a man I didn't want to be. I will try to evolve into a man who doesn't seek his sole identity in the work he does. I will be spoken for in my relationships. I will use my beautiful wife and child as a mirror for the man I am.
I will strive to let go of the feeling that New York City and my Broadway dreams failed me.
That they let me go and didn't care that I left.
That I wasted 20 years.
That I failed.
In Act 2, there is resolution. I anticipate that and welcome it with open arms.