Today marks two years since we left Philadelphia to join the Totem tour. What have I learned in this second year?
- I no longer get as excited, or as worried, about each new apartment that we stay in. In two years and 14 apartments, there were some places I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven, and others I thought I couldn't live through. In the end, none of them mattered all that much. No matter where we are, it's only for a few more weeks.
- I have mastered the system for getting library cards in each new city. Each place requires a simple proof of residence - so as soon as possible (sometimes before we even arrive) I make sure something is sent in the mail to our new address. Postcard, package, it doesn't matter what it is - the library will accept it. Cards for city libraries are great, opening the doors to extensive collections and usually 50-100 checkouts at one time.
- It is actually possible to be bored with watching a Cirque du Soleil show. In my case, I joined this tour with a lifetime of groupie / Cirque passion behind me, so it took a good long time. At about 18 months - after seeing Totem perhaps 50-75 times - I finally thought, OK, enough. (!!!) ...full disclosure, I still go to watch the show... just not quite as often as I did at the beginning.
- I am needier than I realized before... for professional relationships. for personal friendships. for urgency and importance and external motivations. I'm having a harder time than ever controlling my ego.
- Yoga makes everything better.
- Tour friendships are fragile and circumstantial. In every city it changes, who I see most often, and how much we talk. The key seems to be always staying open to new connections, and forgiving the ones that drift away.
- In the end, no matter who else comes and goes in our lives, Greg, Baz, Ayla, Isa and I have each other. This is the constant, the fivesome that we nurture. The tour families who have been doing this the longest seem the most settled in this way - quite self-reliant and accustomed to their together time.
- It might be apparent from this blog entry - I am less starry-eyed than I was two years ago, or even one year ago. Greg and I have both settled into this lifestyle and it does not feel glamorous anymore. But time has not changed the things we most appreciate being here .... the travel, the adventure, the steady work, and the creature comforts. There are times that I look out at the city skyline, or see the light striking the blue-and-yellow chapiteau, that my sense of wonder at all of it comes back to me. Most days, though, we are just here, living our lives in odd circumstances, trying to provide for our children as best we can, and stumbling along.