Okay, so I promised an explanation. Like a week ago. I guess I'd better follow through.
After literally months of hemming and hawing and fence-sitting, I have finally made the decision to return to work at the Festival. I will not, however, be returning as a performer, unfortunately. As much as I love performing, something had to go.
It's no secret that last year was really difficult for me. Stressful. Frustrating. Tear-inducing. Overwhelming. And those were often the good days. Bad days ended with me curled in a ball, covered in tears and snot,* and wanting to quit everything.
Simply put, I bit off more than I could chew. Entertainment Assistant. Director of the kids' group. Performer. Mother. Wife. Friend. I can't do it all, much as I would love to. Everything ended up being done in a half-assed sort of way (sorry, but there's no other way to put it). I still have contracts from last year that were never filed. Rehearsals for the kids' group were poorly organized. I was rarely fully present for performance rehearsals. I felt like a failure as a mother, as a wife, and as a friend. It had to stop.
Some things, however, cannot and will not change. I will always be a wife and mother. Those things have to be priority over everything else. And I need to be a good friend, or risk the inevitable tide of guilt whenever my amazing friends do amazing things for me, even knowing that I don't always have the time/energy/forethought to do the same for them. It's the Festival stuff that had to change.
Directing the children's group could not go away, though. Last year, I worked with nine amazing young people, each of whom had more talent in their little fingers than I will ever have. Each one learned to sing, dance, and entertain a crowd of people, in a venue that's famous for being impossible to hold an audience. Through the rehearsal process, I watched these nine children grow and mature in so many ways. These kids are the oddballs, the ones who will never really fit in to the popular cliques in school. Some of them are entirely okay with that. Others feel lonely and sad. But each of them found a place where their differences were showcased and praised at the Festival. There is no way I could take that feeling of belonging away from them, no matter the struggles I face in my own life. So, that was always a given.
Which only left two options: give up my job, or give up performing. And honestly, in the end, it came down to logistics. Performing requires tons of rehearsals, which take up my evenings and weekends. That would leave me home with Miles all day, everyday, but leave no time to spend with my husband. Working takes up my days, providing Miles with a safe, friendly environment in which to play, and leaves our evenings free to spend as a family. In the end, choosing to work just made more sense.
So, there you have it: the overly-complicated, angst-ridden explanation of my decision. Was it thrilling? Wasn't it worth waiting for? :)
*I'm an ugly crier. It's no secret.