Well, it figures that I write a great post about how wonderfully confident I see myself, an adult all grown-up and secure, and then I have a shit-tastic day right away after.
I live next to an art gallery, a beautiful old building converted into a place to hang beautiful pictures. It has an alarm system – those pictures need protecting, even in a town so small that anyone who knows the pictures exist has a code to disarm the system anyway. That alarm, when it does go off, sounds like a giant alarm clock from Hell.
Especially when it goes off at 1 in the morning.
And again at 5.
Which it has done for the last two nights.
The explanation is that mice (of which the building, being old, has quite a few) run around and set off the motion sensors. And then it takes ten to fifteen minutes for the maintenance man to get out of his nice warm bed and turn off the alarm. And another ten or fifteen minutes for me to get back to sleep. Which adds up to at least half an hour off of my much needed REM sleep.
If I had a key I’d just run over and turn it off myself, but since I don’t I lie in my bed and bitch and moan about the ‘fucking alarm system’ and the useless nature of said system. After the second alert last night I rolled over and said “Don’t fucking set it again!” If I had a key, I’d probably go over there around 10 at night and disarm it, just to get a good night’s sleep, and then alarm it again in the morning.
Anyway, because of the giant alarm clock from Hell I woke up grumpy. Very grumpy. Try as I might I couldn’t really shake it. I’m playing a very chipper woman – the City Lady who gives presents to little poor children – in the Christmas show, and first thing this morning (of course) we worked that scene. Every time we stopped and the director gave me notes I had to bite down on my resentment and anger, my ‘unteachable spirit’ and my bad attitude. By the time we left for lunch I was in a right pissy mood.
I spent the first forty minutes of my lunch break crying. Everything from pity-party tears to sobs that rise out of you, crunching your body in the process. My eyes looked like I’d just taken a huge hit of pot, they were so red, and my nose was thoroughly plugged, but I did feel better. It’s hard to acknowledge and accept myself when I’m having a bad day. It’s easier to beat myself up for not being at 100%, which just makes me feel worse in the long run.
After the good cry and an equally good (though not as soggy) lunch, I repeated a mantra to myself. A positive rant, as I call it. “I am having a bad day. That’s okay. I am still a good person. I can’t be as big and open as P.F. wants, and that’s okay because I am still doing the best I can do for where I am at today. And that isn’t failure. I’m not failing, I’m not pathetic, and it’s okay to be weak. I am okay. I am still a good person...”, over to myself until I began, a little, to believe it.
As I stepped out the door to return to rehearsal P.F. himself was driving by and he gave me a ride. He asked me how I was doing and I said, on the verge of tears again (I feel very emotionally unstable today), that I was having a bad day. He was very understanding, and told me that it was okay if I wasn’t ‘finished’ today – ‘rehearsal is a process’, he told me. ‘We don’t open tonight, or even next week.’ And he told me he wasn’t concerned because he is confident that I know what he wants and I will get there before the show goes up.
Actually, everyone who saw me before my eyes returned to normal was very comforting and understanding, which goes to show me that my assumption that isolation is the best coping mechanism is quite flawed. It also helped me to actually believe that having a bad day is okay. Others accepted me where I was at, and that helped me to accept where I was at, and then I felt a whole lot better.
And so, though the day started out pretty shitty, it has turned into a not-so-bad day after all.
Date of Origin: October 17, 2007