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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hanrahan

The Very Lengthy Home Stretch [original blog post 1/13/2020]

Readers, this Sunday evening finds me in a familiar place: in my 24 hour laundromat, munching on Oreos and throwing my fuzzy spiral of thoughts into a sort-of blog. Remaining true to the theme of this blog (I am nothing if not consistent), I find myself at a loss of where to begin. Perhaps the spinning of this rickety chair and yumminess of these cookies will provide some brief moment of clarity for the sake of you, sweet reader pals.

The last time I wrote, we in the basement were closing in on the end of the fall semester. We celebrated our final explorations of European scenes, threw every ounce of effort into our auditions for the scene side of showcase, and devoted what remained of our fall energies into our training before we parted ways for a much-anticipated break.

a very chilly photoshoot on top of the rock!

For me, this break was an all-too-short breath of fresh air. It was a sample of the light at the end of this long and arduous training program: a life where the days belong (in at least some part) to me. I cooked, I read, I worked, I rested. The third Hanrahan sibling joined us other two ruffians for four days of romping around the city. We looked at fish in the New York Aquarium, ate loads of food, encountered a possible shellfish allergy (on my end), sang our hearts out at Marie's Crisis, watched loads of Buzzfeed Unsolved, and finally scooted our butts home to Johnsburg, Illinois.

so sweet so warm so good

It had been over a year since I'd been home, and wow did I miss it. The amount of joy I found in just being in our huge backyard, picking up dog poop, was almost silly. The fresh Christmas tree smelled so scrumptious, the kitchen had just SO MUCH COUNTER SPACE, and my dad had been so kind to put up our Christmas lights for my sake. Between bopping around to see our grandmas, spending time with our sweet family friends (and their two sweet beans), and wandering the Art Institute with my mom, I felt a kind of peace that tends to lack in my hectic life in the city. The return to New York was bittersweet. (flashback to the laundromat to note that yes, I did just spy a sweet teenie mousie and I hope it has a great day.)

And before I even knew it, the second semester began. I'm only at the end of the first week back, but boy did that week contain multitudes. With the start of the second semester, we have thrown ourselves into intense Chekhov study and (yay yay) have reintroduced mask-work to our lives. The greatest difference with this semester, however, is that we no longer have the gulf of a winter break separating us from our industry showcase. Add in that the showcase has been moved 5 days earlier, and there is an overall frantic feeling surrounding our preparations for the big event on February 19th. Every moment of work for regular classes carries with it the additional knowledge that this date is always approaching, and we have so much to do before then.

And now we are caught up. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings entering my final semester in the basement. I didn't feel a strong pull towards formulating any resolutions for the new year. However, I am bringing some new attitudes into the semester that may or may not help me survive these last challenging months of training and showcase preparation. These attitudes can maybe be summed up best as an attempt at self-advocacy that goes beyond all that I have been building in the year and a half since I moved to New York. A sort of radical kindness and respect toward myself that will hopefully help me break through the barriers that remain between myself and the artist/person/friend that I dream of being.

Threaded through any of these New Years attitudes is another sentiment. To echo a thought from above, I'll reiterate that I am thrilled at the prospect of finishing my schooling and entering the wide and chaotic unknown of not being a student for once in over two decades. God oh God do I need to be in charge of my own life.

wrapping our hearts in love this semester

I hope that any of this makes sense. If it doesn't, it at least offers a look into my scattered and frazzled brainwaves. Here's a list of things that I am feeling some great love for these days:

  • Schitt's Creek - Why Have I never watched this before? Just delightful.

  • iPhone Reminders - Would I be functioning without them? Would I remember to put on both of my shoes? Let's not find out.

  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse - A beautiful book by Charlie Mackesy. The art is stunning, the story is wonderful, and I definitely just cried reading it before I came to do laundry.

  • Meditation - Trying to welcome it back into my daily routine. Grateful for when I do.

  • The Crockpot I just thrifted for $12 - The stew game of this apartment just skyrocketed

  • Slippers - The wandering around while not being barefoot game of this apartment just skyrocketed

  • A working boiler - Can you ever appreciate working heat as much as when you don't have it? (luckily we have it again)

Thanks for slogging through another pool of thoughts. What are your non-oppressive and self-celebrating New Years resolutions?


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