Life outside of Groupon’s Reach, Day 135
Yes, I miss NYC.
Traveling to Southeastern Washington State, in the Tri-Cities region, I have a little more than six weeks remaining to rehearse, audition, and perform in a benefit event, a probable recital at a local vineyard, the holiday concert for the Mid-Columbia Symphony under Nicholas Wallin, and Handel’s (complete) Messiah with conductor Justin Raffa at Central United Protestant Church. This particular time offers me a chance to focus, practice, relax, and sleep in a stunningly beautiful homestay with a more than generous and fun host. Yesterday, her personal assistant asked me on what day I prefer to have my suite cleaned, and I filled up the vehicle provided for me with gasoline I didn’t have to buy, after making dinner from the food purchased on my behalf. As Annie said, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”
So no, I have not a single legitimate complaint. I do, however, miss my more active lifestyle and must find ways to keep myself fit and yes, entertained. I have plentiful sleep and rest, coupled unfortunately with more than plentiful available food and no magical infusions of self-control or discipline to refuse it. Haunting me daily, the filled-to-capacity storage closet calls to me with the alluring promises of Cheetos and chocolate. My heart complains of its lack of exercise, and I whimsically wonder if Dora (my Cannondale) misses me half as much as I miss her and the Hudson River Greenway. Despite the less than sophisticated, sweat-dripping crowd that populates my gym in NYC for only ten dollars a month, I would do just about anything for a solid cardio and weight workout at Planet Fitness today. Groupon hasn’t reached the Tri-Cities region yet, which makes affordable gym deals and inexpensive but fun and unusual events difficult at best to find. Truly, although my friends here keep me as busy and entertained as possible, the white space on my calendar gives me an oddly uneasy feeling, and even hunting for fun late night activity after rehearsal seems a bit futile, especially on weekdays otherwise easily filled in Manhattan.
What to do? Well, something! Alternatively, I sit on my behind eating too much candy and snacks and gain fifteen pounds, watching television like the sadly accepted view of an American couch potato. Ooh, even better: I can get drunk every night and find random flings to keep my attention off of my boredom and the potential career gains I might otherwise make with disciplined study and exercise. Yeah, not my plan.
Yesterday, my dear friend Justin helped me jump-start my starting-to-atrophy body back to life with a steep and challenging hike to the summit of Badger Mountain. I loved it! Of course, panting and sore joints accompanied the more challenging than expected climb, but it tuned my mind and body toward an attitude of stubbornness about finding what I need away from the city. Missing cycling far more than I could have anticipated, I began a hunt for an unused bicycle to borrow for the duration of my stay. Sadly, I discovered that many unused bicycles also suffer from neglect; however my friend Sam (I had the pleasure of making several friends last May when here singing the Verdi Requiem) promised to bring a borrowable bike to tonight’s rehearsal, and I truly can’t wait to give it a try!
For the rest, I have to learn to embrace quiet and occasional solitude. Countless opportunities for growth await me here if I use this time wisely to practice, audition, and even learn the steps necessary to work on my own publicity and possibly even my website. Truly, this region provides too much temptation to eat and drink, so I will have to funnel that impulse into trying good food and going wine tasting with new and old friends (the first pursuit of which I enjoy tomorrow!). As one of my favorite artists, Janelle Monae, would say, “I can’t complain about it, I gotta keep my balance and just keep dancin’ on it… whether you’re high or low, you gotta tip on the tightrope.” Wish me luck.