1. Relief - I wasn’t sure I could do this. Sure, I doubted my ability to keep up with the others in my improv class but, secretly, my biggest fear was staying by myself in Chicago for three weeks. I'm a homebody and during my three-week adventure I had to fight my urges to go home. I missed my family terribly and felt guilt at leaving them alone for so long. I'm relieved that this particular struggle is over and I'm going home.
2. Gratitude – yep, gratitude refocused me and kept me sane in Chicago. When ever the angst threatened, I remembered to be thankful to God, the Lilly Endowment, the Church of Christ, Congregational in Millis and my family. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and, despite my anxious moments, I tried to take advantage of every minute. I discovered how to navigate the subway system, how to use Uber and the best way to make Google Maps behave when you are trying to find your way around downtown Chicago. I explored the Art Institute and the Field Museum, saw a touring Broadway show and ate deep-dish pizza (I’m not a fan.) All these things were only possible because I was in Chicago and I didn’t go home for the weekend.
3. Hope- After working hard for three weeks (and, yes, it was hard work…there was even home work every night!) I am enthusiastic about the possibilities. I know that I can use what I've learned to help my ministry. After I process, review my notes and pray on it, I’m sure that I can even write something that will be helpful to other clergy about improvisational comedy, the Second City process toward sketch writing and ministry.
4. Sadness- It is hard to let go of something you know will never come again. While I do hope that someday I will return to Second City to complete the final week of the program, today, I go home. I’ve made some good friends over these past three weeks. Yes, I was by far the oldest person in class (including all the teachers!) but I really fell in love with each and every person in my group. I am grateful to them for making this experience a joy and I know that I will be hearing a lot more from each one of them. They are a talented bunch.
5. Joy - How could I leave after three weeks of laughter without joy? I saw some AMAZING shows. If you are anywhere near Chicago and you don’t see “Soul Brother Where Art Thou” at Second City- you are a fool. I also spent a night in amazement at Improvised Shakespeare. One of the most fantastic things I’ve ever seen. Beyond the shows – it was the classroom experience that gave me joy. I learned how to rap (yes, me!) I played a bunch of games that tested memory and one that I failed horribly at that tested my ability to keep a straight face. I created scenes and characters. I wrote and re-wrote sketches (NOT SKITS.) I acted in other people’s works (usually cast as the mom or grand-ma but a few times I was a teenager!) This was a joy and I carry the laughter in my heart as I leave.
Thanks for being with me on this leg of the journey.
On to the next adventure…. We leave for London on Thursday...