I never intended to have this many parts to Reading Deprivation Week. But the week kept going. My response to it was changing and surprising me. The week started off funny because I read the chapter late but I did do a full week of deprivation. Actually I extended a day because I wasn’t ready to go back. I think I was afraid that I would let myself fall back into old habits.
Going cold turkey was turning me inside out and I was a bit of a wreck. I don’t honestly remember what I did that first day. I think I’ve blocked it out. Maybe I stayed hidden in bed? I know I made it to my brother’s for dinner so it wasn’t a complete lose. To have deprivation week come right after my first performance in over a decade was fitting. Since I’ve been away from performing I’ve changed a lot. To find myself in front of a crowd with a microphone in my hand and my script in front of me after so long was, well it’s hard to explain. It felt natural and comfortable like I hadn’t been away. Yet it was my words, my story and that was new. I had never been up there with my words. It was always someone else who had written the piece and I brought it to life. Still, somehow it felt right. That this was the way back. Back to performing. But maybe a different form. When I worked with Jen she had brought up storytelling. And it took me about a week to make that connection. I could say “Sadly it took me…” but I don’t think it is sad. I think I needed that week. If I had gone into that workshop or that performance thinking, Jen saw this in me and now here it is! I would have freaked myself out. It wouldn’t have felt natural or comfortable. It certainly wouldn’t have felt right. I wouldn’t have been aware of much beyond the connection. So I’m glad it to took me a week to connect it. Now I can look back and see the connection. Now it has more weight, because it felt natural, comfortable and like the right way back. I wouldn’t have described myself as a storyteller, but there it was. So will it be part of my next chapter? Yes, yes it will.
I did reenter the non deprivation world. But I did it slowly. Picking my steps carefully. No, carefully isn’t the word. I guess what it was, was that for the first time in a long time I was consciously choosing the steps. My sister in law had lent me “Ant Farm” by Simon Rich right as Deprivation Week was starting. I told her I couldn’t read it right away but that I would as soon as I was able. I read the first half in one night. It’s true it’s not a long book. But I’m still that little dyslexic girl so when I read half a book of any length in one sitting it’s notable. I was lying in bed laughing out loud like a crazy person. As my laughing erupted in the occasional snort I was once again appreciative of the sound proofed common wall. It may not have been the best choice to put me to sleep but it was, for lack of a better term, the right way to break the fast.
Then came watching. This was going to be the real challenge. Watching something but not letting it become this time consuming monster. My friends, Erick and Jeromi, had given me the film October Sky just a few weeks ago for my birthday. They had simply said, “A favorite movie that inspires following that dream to make one happy!” It seemed like the right way back to watching. Watching in a new way. Not to avoid, not to hide, but to enjoy and be inspired. It was all those things. It was perfect.
I’ve put Deprivation Week behind me. I don’t know if there’s another one coming in The Artist’s Way but I do know I won’t be nearly as frightened if there is. If/when there’s an other week I’ll be ready and willing to give it all up because it won’t be such a monster and I’ll know it will be an educational journey.