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The Untitled Gary Hilborn Project - A Blog


"Tarpon" | a photo by Gary Hilborn - All Rights Reserved

Author's Note: This post was written on July 26, 2018, as I was about to embark on some major life changes.

Re-entry. That’s what it feels like. We shook the sand out of our flip flops this morning before putting them into our bags. We were awake early - closing up the house and saying goodbye to the beach vacation that had been on our calendar for months. It was here, and now it’s gone. Everything is ephemeral. Just like our friends’ wedding and our trip with Dana’s family and our Fire Island getaway and…now, his birthday. Every. Thing. Is. Ephemeral. It all comes and goes in a whoosh before you know it. Now we’re back in the city - two hours of travel and a million mental miles away.

Mine is next. Our days fall right on top of one another - just a hair over a week apart. Next Friday, I’ll be forty-three. Remember when I was laboring over my impending fortieth? I do. It came and went. Whoosh. Everything is ephemeral - even your forties. I know I’m still on the uphill climb to the peak known as forty-five. But sooner than you know it - whoosh; it, too, will have come and gone.

So that’s why I’ve decided to live more intentionally. The single thing...the single biggest thing that was causing me anxiety (an existential panic if you must know) was the whoosh of time. I was going to work every day to sit in a beige box to sell paisley clothes. And then - like the frog in a pot of water - the temperature began to rise. It was all well and good at first. I was making a steady income, and I had great health insurance, to boot. (That came in extremely handy two years ago when I was hospitalized for massive DVT and bilateral pulmonary emboli.) But then they just kept turning up the fire, and I was feeling trapped. Time kept whooshing by, and this isn’t what I set out to do. I have dreams, man. I have things I want to accomplish. Whoosh. Another day. Another month. Another year. I almost died. Time is short. No guarantees. Whoosh. Everything is ephemeral.

I started planning my exit almost a year ago. “It’s time to go,” I told Dana. “I can’t do this, anymore.” That was right around the time Pietro left the company. What a guy. He was always good for a laugh when things got too tough, and he never asked you to give more than he was willing to give, himself. Ever since his departure, it was a slog. And his replacement! I’m not going to devote precious whitespace (nor my time) to stories of woe surrounding her year of terror. Let’s just say she left in her wake the firings of two, long-time employees - both of which are my very dear friends.

So yeah, it was time to go. And now, it’s happening. There are, literally, only days left on my commitment, and I am counting those motherfuckers down.

And now, I’m bracing for a different kind of re-entry. “Bracing” isn’t exactly the right word. I’m...anticipating? That sounds better. That embodies the optimism this change is bringing. I’m standing on the edge of forty-three years of age. It’s funny; I’ve been rounding up and saying I’m forty-three for so long, it actually feels revelatory to remember I’m still (if only for one more week) just forty-two.

I’ve charted a course back to the kind of life I’ve been replaying in my head for at least five years, now. Maybe I never stopped. And I couldn’t be happier. It’s a life full of rehearsals and script analysis and cast parties and techs and auditions and memorization and costume fittings and work and work and work and work-for-free and work. I’m adding layers to that life - producing and directing and writing. This is a re-entry to a way of being for which I feel custom-fit. I’ll slide right in, and I’ll feel fine. Welcome home.


featured photo credit: "Tarpon" by Gary Hilborn. Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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