MORTICIA AND GOMEZ DECIDE
So there I am, coasting along. In a world I didn’t even know existed just a few months before, I am now doing plays and readings regularly.
The fantasy became– how can I act as much as possible while keeping my “day job.” It’s 2010, 11, 12 and I still hadn’t allowed the thought of leaving my job to creep into my consciousness in any way.
What was creeping in though was a sort of ennui around work. But I kept talking myself out of it. I had a great job, doing meaningful work, with people I love. How many people can say that? And it was creative work. Incorporating the arts in programming was a big part of this. I came to see that you cannot truly heal someone with care that is devoid of the very things that fill you with wonder, joy and excitement when you are healthy. The “business” of health care might tell you otherwise but I’m standing my ground on this one.
This was all writing on the wall, so to speak. But as if written in some kind of hieroglyphic graffiti, I still didn’t understand it.
Now we come to the summer of 2013. I’m out at the Ucross Foundation, a site for artist residencies in Wyoming, with a group of amazing women that make up an arts and health advocacy group. They come from all over the country and we have been meeting in one place or another for over 10 years. More on this another time as this group’s influence on me deserves its own entry.
I had been aching for this trip for months. To be with these people. In this beautiful place. It was as if I sensed what was coming.
Sure enough, that’s where it happened. I said it out loud — I think I need to leave my job. I cried every time I said it.
You know, once you say something like that out loud, there’s no going back. I had acknowledged the possibility of another life. Now I had to make a decision.
To help me sort this out, one of our group suggested choosing two people/characters (real or fictional) and have them each take a side. I immediately envisioned The Addams Family and Morticia and Gomez in particular. Their dark ridiculousness was just what I needed. Morticia, who cuts the rose buds off so she can just have thorny stems. And Gomez who is always scheming and concocting, while playing with his train set. Through them I let the pros and cons rip.
This was fun–and wonderfully distracting. I mean instead of walking down the street in a constant state of conflict, I was playfully creating their dialogue (and, I’ll admit, cracking myself up). Their arguments would be peppered with their ever-romantic mon cheries and cara mias. Morticia, the practical one, would wonder how I could leave a job that placed me in such close proximity to a morgue. Gomez exclaimed the absolute necessity of throwing common sense to the wind for a dream.
Back and forth they went.
Until Gomez won.