‘Gosh, it’s been a while since your last post! You must have been busy lately!’
Understatement of the century, right there.
I’m fully aware that this is the definition of a first-world problem, but there are simply not enough hours in the day lately. Between Set Me Free, Stone No More (an adaptation of the Winter’s Tale and the Masque of Oberon), and my MA dissertation, I’m swamped. Add to that the extra-curricular Wars of the Roses project for RSC Open Stages, prepping for my summer job in America, trying to sort out my student visa for next year, and maintaining my job as a private tutor, and things get a little bit insane. Is it back-breaking physical labor in the scorching heat of some god-forsaken desert? Nope. Do I have some kind of terrible disease that I have to physically fight every day? Negative. Have I ever experience true, soul-crushing hardship? Definitely not.
If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I love every second of my life lately. I’m doing work I love, with amazing people, in an amazing place. And I get to go back to America to work in an amazing place with more amazing people in a few weeks. Then I get to come back to Exeter and continue doing amazing work with amazing people at one of the best drama departments in the UK. Some days, though, I get unfairly negative about it all, and that’s when my dad steps in to help.
When we were kids, if we complained about something not worth complaining about, my dad used to say, ‘I’m sorry, but did you walk to Syria today?’ See, the twelve-year-old version of great-grandfather, after seeing his family home blown to bits and his parents annihilated, had to escape from Lebanon with his baby brother. So they walked to Syria.
Besides proving that the blood of rock-solid survivors who make tough decisions and get shit done runs thick in my veins, my dad’s old question never fails to help me put things in perspective. At the end of the day, if I can honestly say, “No, I did not walk to Syria today,” then I’m probably doing okay.
My great-grandfather walked to Syria with his baby brother. I’ll definitely survive my MA.