breathe. take it easy.

My mom, sister and I are headed to Chicago in November to visit Laura and Drew, but more importantly, to see "Hamilton!" Needless to say, I'm just a few levels below "rabid foaming at the mouth excitement," and have been spending an absolutely irrational amount of time listening to the soundtrack, creeping the New York cast on Snapchat, and reading about every single casting decision made for the Chicago show. Last week, casting for Alexander Hamilton, King George III, and Angelica Schuyler was announced, and I was beyond pumped to see that Karen Olivo will be joining her second Lin-Manuel Miranda production in the role of Angelica. She originated the part of Vanessa in his 2007 production "In the Heights," and has been a longtime favorite of mine. 

I've been listening to "In the Heights" for the last week or so as I've had time...zipping from work to appointments in the car, walking between meetings, tuning out as I stare off into space and eat a five-minute lunch. Things have been beyond manic for me personally, and this week is shaping up to be the pinnacle. Tomorrow I'm spending the entire day at a writing workshop, then I have a show at the Guthrie with Open Call. On Thursday during the day, I'll be speaking to hundreds of Twin Cities professionals in my new role as the United Way's Young Ambassador representative, and will spend the evening all dressed up and hopefully not melting in 100-degree heat at the Como Zoo Gala. On Friday I'm serving as a mentor for Gopher Business Days, a high school case competition I got involved with through my board work, and Saturday will see me back at Orchestra Hall for the Sommerfest season closer.

All this, coming on the heels of a few busy weeks and sandwiched between Eva's bachelorette party last weekend and a Friday AND Saturday wedding next weekend, has me fairly sure I need to take a leaf out of Thoreau's book and go all "Walden Pond" solitude on the world. I've been migraine-ridden and extra-irritable and sleep deprived and just generally unpleasant lately...the flip side of a life spent doing too many cool things. On the way home from Eva's bachelorette party, I'm pretty sure Claire could see the tension starting to creep back into my shoulders, and she gave me exactly the reality check/pep talk I needed. 

All these things going on in my life right now are so fun and exciting, and being invited to participate in (most of) them is a huge advantage for my career, as well as a sign that I'm well-regarded by people who will matter as I continue to advance. That said, I'm too introverted to ever be the kind of person who can handle two or three events in a day...I need some relax and recharge time. So I had that last night, and it was heavenly. Claire and I got our nails done, then I headed home, threw in some laundry, ordered takeout, and vegged on the couch with Hal for the entirety of "The Bachelorette." We snarked on the show, decided we should probably have a reality tv show of our own (or at least a podcast), and closed down the night with Jason Robert Brown duets. I was in bed by 10 and felt like a different was so unbelievably necessary. 

How does this come all full-circle to "Hamilton" and "In the Heights?" There's a line in "96,000," a song from ITH, with the following lyric: "It's a weekend, when we can breathe, take it easy." I haven't done that for SO long, and yesterday was a fantastic reminder that it's critically important for me to do so every so often. Although "there's a million things I haven't done," like Ham, I need to slow the fuck down and realize that it's not going to all happen at once. So that's going to become a new priority for at least the next few months...among all the concerts and plays and operas, the benefits and work events and foundation opportunities, I am going to give myself the gift of taking a break a bit more often. Here's to finding the balance, climbing the ladder, and remembering to breathe through it all.