Hello, lovely reader. I hope that the world is treating you exceptionally well today.
After a brilliant (but very tiring) month at the Fringe directing Tumbling After, I have now safely returned to the wilds of North London. At the end of August, when the shows started to wrap up and the suitcases started to drag their exhausted owners towards the station, my team and I found ourselves having a typical end-of-the-Fringe conversation:
“Oh my God, I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed.”
“I hate packing. Where did all of our socks go?”
“Won’t it be weird not to go flyering every day?”
“Has Rob got, like, ALL of our socks in his room or something?”
“I can’t believe we got through so much Berocca.”
“Guys. Seriously. WHERE ARE OUR SOCKS?!”
What our festival-addled brains could not yet process was the fact that we had completed a mammoth task. Achievement Unlocked: Did Really Well With A Fringe Show. After months of hard work, early starts, bruising, caffeine and hysterical laughter, we were finished. We got lots of nice reviews, many lovely audiences and a very fortuitous sponsorship deal from Arnicare. We did flipping well.
Finishing something like a project, trip, job, or even a relationship is usually a turning point. When something that we’ve built our lives around – however temporarily – comes to an end, we are forced to make decisions about what happens next. Necessity is the mother of invention, and life change is the mother of difficult choices.
One of the biggest problems with turning points is that wherever we decide to turn next, we feel the loss of potential. However amazing something is, once it’s over the excitement of possibility is gone. I was very ready to come home from the Fringe this year. I had a lovely time, but by the end of it I was tired and eager to get on with my ‘real’ life. Now that I’m back, I am finding it weirdly depressing to think that something I worked on for seven months is finished. Where did all that potential go?
Potential becomes reality. Turning points are much more obvious in hindsight. A month at the Fringe puts your liver through its paces. These statements may all be perfectly true, but we also have to remember that you can treat any decision as a turning point. Not in a scary, butterfly effect-esque way, but in an exciting one: any choice you make has the potential to give you a better reality. Pushing yourself to go to the gym when you don’t feel like it makes you more disciplined. Remembering to call a friend back makes you more reliable. Giving up on approximately twenty missing socks makes you less materialistic (as the Tumbling After crew discovered the hard way).
Of course, we’ve all come home and remembered that ‘real’ life is just as busy, just as exciting and even more fascinating than the Edinburgh Fringe. The potential of Tumbling After has been realised, and now we get to explore the potential of a bunch of other stuff. Life is nice like that: when one thing ends, something else is probably about to kick off. Exciting, no?
Have an anecdotally good day.