On Missing and Returning

"Transitions - they never get less poignant." - a beautiful mentor in an email to me the day I left Chicago
  1. I'm missing a city I didn't know was home.
  2. I'm missing a family I didn't know was mine.
  3. I'm missing the support and comfort of people I'd only known 3 weeks or 3 hours that was somehow stronger than that of people I've known 3 years.
  4. I'm missing a rehearsal hall that used to be a Shriner's ballroom (a rehearsal hall currently occupied by Debra Monk).
  5. I'm missing the chance to push myself to my outer limits for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.
  6. I'm missing the wolf pack mentality that comes from group vulnerability.
  7. I'm missing a lack of superficiality and an abundance of authenticity.
  8. I'm missing green room kitchens and endless jars of peanut butter.
  9. I'm missing standing in a circle and moving on a grid.
  10. I'm missing closing down the bar with a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and his brilliant lady-director partner because I refused to leave the cocoon of recognition and dignity they had wrapped me in.
  11. I'm missing the fully body laughs and the uncontrollable tears.
  12. I'm missing the ability to invest in, dissect, complain about, and worship the world of the theatre without the fear of assumed pretension.
  13. I'm missing the 23 actors of my ensemble, with whom I formed unbreakable roots.
  14. I'm missing one of those actors more than I thought I would.
  15. I'm missing the immense capacity for understanding and connection I felt from him.
  16. I'm missing the time he said I looked like Audrey Hepburn.
  17. I'm missing the time, in my last hours in Chicago, he scooped me up in his arms and kissed me and I've never felt so surprised or warm.
  18. I'm missing the boy - or am I missing the boy's city, the things I discovered, the feelings I felt?
  19. I don't know.
  20. All I know is while I was there, I was missing a sense of home, of a life that was mine, of roots and routines instead of a temporary subletted summer.
  21. But when I got back "home", to my room of my own, I realized my roots were no longer here, my routines no longer comforting.
  22. In 10 weeks I had been uprooted and transplanted.
  23. And now I'm back.
  24. And this home I missed is betraying me, hanging me out to dry, leaving me on the outside looking in on the life I used to live.
  25. And I'm lost and lonely and missing - missing so much.
  26. I'm missing a city I didn't know was home.
  27. I'm missing a family I didn't know was mine.
  28. But they will be there when I get back.
  29. They will root me down again.