They say it makes the heart grow fonder. I needed to take a little leave of absence last week – a bit of space for myself, so I could maybe come back to writing a little refreshed, or with fonder feeling.
Things have been much busier these last few months than they had been 6 months ago, as my industry slowly stutters to a re-start. A few gigs are getting on the books for late summer, for the fall. Things are nothing close to “normal”, but it feels more “normal” than it has for a long time.
I’ve been having kind of a hard time, though. While it’s great to have performances to look forward to, I’m dreading what that means to my overall quality of life. As much as I don’t want to admit it, the absence of weekly travel and everything that surrounds it has been something of a silver lining in Covid life. And I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to go back to it.
I’ve been reading a lot of articles about readjusting to life after the lockdowns – the social anxiety, anxiety about re-establishing patterns of behavior, anxiety about facing a changed world, anxiety about actually putting on pants without an elastic waistband…you get the picture. I’m definitely anxious about returning to the level of travel needed to sustain my work and livelihood.
I’d spent much of the last 4-5 years permanently jet-lagged, exhausted and in a constant state of triage, and as much as I loved seeing the world, making new friends and making great music, it was wearing on my body and my psyche. So I feel terribly ambivalent right now as I begin to see may schedule take shape in the upcoming months, excited for the work but dreading the travel.
Absence did not make my heart grow fonder.
Have you experienced unexpected joy in losing something?