Reflections from the Summer/WHERE I’VE BEEN ALL THIS TIME

Hiiiii, long time no see. Or long time no write.

This summer and the past few months have been quite the whirlwind and so I have regretfully neglected this blog, but now the summer is OVER and fall is coming and I’m so excited and ready to get back into my routine of sharing on this blog, writing, creating, and soul searching.

But first, an update on what’s been going on in my life the past few months since I stopped posting regularly.

First off, what mostly consumed my life and kept me from writing is my job. I work at a theater that acts as a school year round, but then come summer time is the leading organization to develop new work from all over the world. This summer we developed 2 new puppetry performances, 3 new musicals, 8 new plays, 11 new cabaret shows, and a whole lot of other stuff in between.

There were over 700 artists coming through every single day and the social opportunities were popping and I was basically on campus all day every day with plenty of rehearsals and shows to attend as well as doing my normal work day.

I knew the summer was going to be crazy since that’s all anyone ever talks about around here, and I had a blast and had a lot of thoughts come up about my identity as an artist.

Instead of going into great detail here’s a LIST (my favorite) to show you a little bit about what I’ve been up to/where I’ve been/what I’ve learned.

  • I went to California for a few days to visit my family and watch my baby sister graduate high school!
  • I met a boy?! and started dating?! and kinda fell in love?! yea what? which has been so unexpected but also wonderful and has taken up a lot of my time and so I’m trying to find more balance of what kind of time I need to continue to do my things that make me, me while also enjoying the human need for LOVE.
  • I struggled with pushing myself out of my comfort zone. There were so many people that I met this summer that I knew I needed to meet to network, etc, but couldn’t push myself to assert myself in conversation or ASK for help or advice which led me to feel awful about myself because the opportunities were IN FRONT OF MY FACE and I felt like I wasn’t taking them. I struggled A LOT with this and am still figuring this out. I only feel slightly better about it because now all those people are gone and I can relax knowing I don’t have to “force” myself to meet people.
  • I read stage directions for a new play by Beth Henley which was the highlight of my summer because I never thought I would be in the same ROOM as the playwright genius and lovely woman that is Beth Henley.
  • I struggled with artist envy because I was in a place where I was surrounded by incredible and successful artists and I felt very “stuck” in my office and I realized that in order to be happy and feel fulfilled, I NEED to be IN the room, not outside of it, and it was very hard to feel like I was so close and I was IN the place where it was all happening yet I still wasn’t doing what I wanted to be doing.
  • I saw a lot of new and awesome theater and was so inspired by the incredible acting and playwriting I witnessed.
  • I was inspired to keep writing my one woman show and almost finished it (and am still working on it!).
  • I performed with a live band! and performed a short piece from my one woman show at an open mic and sang at almost every single open mic during our Cabaret Conference and realized that even though performance sometimes stresses me out, it is where I BELONG and I feel so happy doing it.
  • I was inspired to create my own cabaret show and find more songs that I can connect with.
  • I went on a solo trip to Ireland and Portugal during our week off and laid at the beach for 10 hours a day and soul searched about how I’m always wishing I was somewhere else than I am but realized it’s not about WHERE you are it’s about HOW you are.
  • I discovered mini fridges are the source to happiness.
  • I was putting so pressure on myself to get out there and make it happen for myself as an artist but feeling so STUCK and held back that I made myself crazy and almost thought about “giving up” on being an artist but then read the War on Art by Steven Pressfield and heard JT Rogers speak in person about how these thoughts are totally normal and all you have to do is KEEP doing the work, no matter what your thoughts and doubts are telling you.
  • I got 3 yeast infections (for the first time ever) every month for the past 3 months and still are trying to figure out what the heck went on down there
  • I didn’t work out AT ALL over the past 3 months and ate whatever I wanted. Which is very different than how I’ve been operating this past year of working out 5 days a week and being pretty health conscious and I realized that I look pretty much the same and I’m wondering if eating healthy and working really even makes a difference? What’s better, freedom of mind (allowing myself to do whatever I want without worrying about eating healthy/working out) or being strict and feeling maybe more energetic but not as free? Interesting.
  • I just came back from Dallas, TX visiting one of my best friends for her birthday!
  • I moved into our staff house off campus and am a lot happier to have a bit of separation from campus and have a giant and comfy full sized bed and an AMAZING view of the water from my bedroom window.
  • I became obsessed with the Bachelor franchise. I’ve never even seen the Bachelor before, but heard about it during Arie’s season because I had a friend on his season and then watched all of Becca’s season and am now watching Bachelor in Paradise and I gotta say it is my current guilty pleasure obsession.
  • I’M PUBLISHING A POETRY BOOK! It’s been my dream for awhile to publish a book of my poems simply for me to have in hand and to be able to share with others and am planning on publishing it within the next month or so, so stay tuned!

That’s all for now! Thank you, if you’re still reading this and thanks for baring with me as I went MIA.

I’m excited to have the time to return to myself to keep figuring things out, step by step, day by day cause that’s all we can do.


Mermaid Ley






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