As I sit in my newly unpacked room, the relief that follows the moving process is finally beginning to settle in. This is move #6 in the last twelve months for me. This time, I’ve landed in Lexington, KY where I will be spending the summer learning and teaching on the education team at Lexington Children’s Theatre. With each move, the process gets easier. I think my semester of studying abroad in Australia has really helped me deal with adjusting to new places and meeting new people.
Novelty is a fascinating thing. It is terrifying and exhilarating. It is a challenge and a blessing. New things have just as much potential to trip us up in life as it does to help us move on. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I like structure and predictability. I am an organized and methodical thinker. Order gives me a unique sense of calm. I’m happy to have it in my life. But new things have the potential to send my comfort zone of to-do lists and color-coded files spinning. What if they don’t fit? What if everything changes? What if I can’t handle it?
Having recently graduated from college, I’ve been in a constant state of nostalgia and reflection these last few months. In looking back on my academic and artistic pursuits that make up the last four years, I found an important connection between the art of theatre and dealing with novelty. Theatre teaches us that anything can happen. Even a scene that is well-rehearsed can change in the moment of performance. Predictability only goes so far. And the same is true in life. We can (and should) have goals, create plans to achieve them and execute those steps. But as important as that process is, planning has its limits. And novelty isn’t going anywhere. The world around us is changing constantly. But theatre can give us coping mechanisms to deal with the unexpected and the courage to jump right into something new.