When I’m feeling anxious or stressed, I dream I’m teaching. It never ends well: hoards of unruly kids (some real, some with an essence of the real) run around screaming, throwing things at the whiteboard and generally cause havoc whilst I stand motionless, hopeless and demoralised in the centre. A disapproving assistant will look on and sigh.
It was never that bad, for the record. But there were frightening moments when I did feel powerless enough to imagine it could descend into that. And I think, at the heart of things, it is that sense of powerlessness that is troubling me recently.
I have a decision to make. And neither choice will lead me to where I want to be, actually. But at least one would involve movement of some kind. Still, I feel I’m being dragged along with a current and I’m not at all sure that where it’s taking me is what I want. I may need to dive in, but it’s a risk. I sort of feel I have no choice though.
The one year anniversary of me working at the Gielgud has come and gone. I bought chocolates to celebrate. I figured the three of us left from that cohort needed something to enjoy in order to feel good about the day, or else we’d end up just being depressed. It gets harder, going into work. There is still plenty to enjoy about it though. I laugh nearly every night. Occasionally life there delivers little pleasures, like the amusing friendship I have with Nicko Grace; the night out lovely Tam organised with cast, crew and front of house or just simply an in-joke developing between the people I am closest with there. Perhaps in time the significance of things such as ‘right up’, ‘oh yes’, ‘I’m livid’, ‘it’s roasting’, ‘not on a matinee day’, ‘well, perhaps’, Lulu, Biggins, 9 inches, focaccia bread, Box A and banquettes will fade into the lost cobwebs of time and memory. If I wrote a novel about it, I expect no one else could appreciate it all.
To leave is to leave a lot behind, undoubtedly. I have met the most extraordinary range of people who have helped create a hoard of precious memories and made my year the best of my life. But the changes which have happened are too much to keep up with, and besides, I need to regain a sense of purpose. I don’t want to resent it there. It’s time to jump ship and be swept away with that current. Just wish I could be more sure that it won’t take me into far more stagnant waters.
I had the most amazing week in Serbia and Montenegro with Ollie and to return to life without him was so painful. But it’s almost impossible to do anything about that, either. We’re both drifting, unable to catch on to each other for more than fleeting bits of time. Hopefully though, in the grand scheme of things, all this will eventually seem very temporary. It’ll figure itself out in the end. It has to.