It best describes the way I feel after I leave an improv theater. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm in the show or I'm watching the show; I can't sleep for at least two hours after I leave such a hallowed space. It leaves a firework show in my brain long after it's finished.
Tonight I had the insane opportunity to work a shift at a theater in Hollywood that I never dreamed I would get to work at. Three winters ago I attended a show at this theater just a few days before Thanksgiving. I had just started taking improv classes in the Bay Area and desperately wanted to see a show while I was visiting my best friend in LA. Most shows that week were sold out so I had to buy tickets to a standup showcase. Still, it was thrilling to spend an hour in an old damp theater where so many amazing performances had taken place.
I never (EVER) thought I would be able to take classes in LA. But lo and behold; one thing led to another and I managed to get through all the core class requirements at the school of my choice.
Gratitude is something I've admittedly struggled with in my life 90% of the time. I was always taught to be grateful for the things I'd been given... but it's hard to actually practice genuine gratitude when you've truly always had what you need. I've spent many years of my life struggling to be grateful while knowing that I should be. Most recently I had an amazing teaching job that caused me to constantly beat myself up because I didn't think I was being grateful enough for it.
Choosing to make less money by interning at a theater and working on creative projects has caused my sense of gratitude to multiply tenfold. Yet this year has been one of the most challenging of my entire life because the unknown is painful. Being artistically rejected (auditions, being cut, getting notes after a show) is worse than a punch in the gut. Not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from hurts; especially when it could have been avoided by, say, staying at your job. Yet this Thanksgiving, I still manage to feel full of thanks for life and the path I've chosen.
I'm grateful that I have the chance to grow as an improviser. I'm grateful for a husband who is supportive and cheers for me as I put myself out there (I'm pretty sure he also winces a lot). I'm so, so grateful that I get to scan tickets and take out trash and watch shows that make my brain light up like a million sparklers.
I'm feeling electric.