The thing I think I'm most looking forward to about not having a day job -- besides just the fact of maybe having enough damn time -- is that I won't have to always try to figure out how to make the distinction between my work and my job, between work and "work," between my work and other people's work. I'll no longer get twisted up in sentences like, "Yes, I'm working; I have the day off." Work will always mean work. When I'm working I will be working.
I guess I'm finally at the tail end of a long transition that began in 2002 when Jay and I separated and we stopped doing Y'all. That period of time -- 10 years with Jay and Y'all -- was so jam-packed with art and love and poverty, sharp turns this way and that, intense experiences of every imaginable type, highs and lows, and over and above all of it an obsessive tenacity, that it took 12 years to feel my feet under me again.
To be honest, it's kind of silly to even speak in these terms, of transitions being over, because haven't we learned by now that nothing ever stops changing? I could just as easily say that the transition ended when I went back to writing musical theater (for whom I have my friends P & H, who called LIZZIE out of the cobwebs and created a reason to re-write it, to thank), or when I moved back to New York (T, who said "Come back," and who gave me a place to land with no end point, no conditions), or when I met C (my ultimate savior), when I married him.
I said goodbye today to the folks I've been working with at the prop shop in Brooklyn for 4 years. When Austin bottomed out and I decided to come back to New York, not having any idea what the hell else made sense to do, I emailed everyone I knew here and asked for help. An old friend, CM, emailed back and said that she might have a job for me. Within a few weeks I was commuting every day to a dusty industrial neighborhood in north Brooklyn to work 9 to 5 in a shop that rents furniture to TV and movie sets.
And just like that, I was back in New York with a place to live, a way to make a living, a musical that was being produced, and then new love, marriage, a reconfigured future.
It's not like I ever forgot how grateful I was for that job when I needed it, but today when CM and I were saying goodbye and she cried a little it became suddenly apparent to me that nothing good ever happens except because I am surrounded by people who care about me. Such a simple, sort of obvious idea, but I'm very moved by it today.