An Open Letter to 2011

2011_sand

Dear 2011,

WHAT THE FUCK?!

Did you really need to share so much disappointment, frustration, sadness, shame, loneliness, and embarrassment this year? At least you kept things real and raw.

Congrats on making all the other months seem less terrible by making just this one month — July — so much worse than the rest!

Tom Poole’s accident and subsequent death remains to be the low point, 2011. I miss him. We all do. There’s no way to get around it and not much more to say. Let that be the mark of a life well-lived.

Another relationship that ended unexpectedly in July was the one I was in with my girlfriend, Sarah.

But you weren’t done yet. July just kept getting better…

Like when my home went into foreclosure. Well-played, 2011!

Oh, and special thanks goes out to Wells Fargo. I couldn’t have gone into foreclose without you!

Thanks for taking 7+ months to review the necessary loan documentation to qualify me for the Making Home Affordable program in an attempt to save my home. Thanks for misplacing the files I sent in November 2010 and then waiting until the files were all expired in February 2011 to contact me. Your expeditious handling of my account really helped fuck me. Well done.

However, there are the five things that got me through such a shit year.

  • The love and support of family and friends
  • A new bike that took me over 1,300 miles
  • Getting over my fear of the Unified Theatre Auditions and auditioning!
  • Teaching at Young Actors Theater Company,Harmony Theatre Co. & School, and Public Art St. Paul
  • Touring with the National Theatre for Children

Thank you for the difficult road 99% of us have been traveling on, because this year has certainly made us stronger.

Here’s to never reliving you again.

Michael

2012HNY

Do You Belong Here?

IMG_5018I was raised in Watertown, Minnesota, a small conservative bedroom community 40 minutes west of Minneapolis. I didn’t feel like I fit in. Watertown wasn’t “home.” On my 16th birthday though I received my driver’s license and ventured into “the big city,” Minneapolis.

Minneapolis was my Mecca. There was art and culture! People of different colors and creeds! The city had a pulse and I wanted to be apart of it. When I turned 18 I moved to Minneapolis.

Ten years ago Minneapolis owned my heart.

But that was ten years ago.

After touring things feel different. Weird. Like I have no business being back in Minneapolis. It’s a great city with a lot of awesome people, places, and things, but I can’t wait to leave.

Minneapolis doesn’t feel like home anymore. But neither did Nashville, Memphis, or Louisville.

So. Where am I headed next? Who knows. As far as the Twin Cities are concerned, I’m not sure if I’ll be here a year from now. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I have nothing keeping me in Minneapolis.

In May, five months before leaving on tour, I wrote a (currently unpublished) blog about the “5 Things I Love About MPLS.” The list: friends & family, Lake of the Isles, art & culture, First Universalist Church, and all the indie bike & coffeeshops.

When I examine the list now I realize friends and family will always be friends and family — regardless of where you happen to be. And sure, Lake of the Isles is fun to walk around, but it’s a man-made lake and if I had to bet, I’d assume there are other — better — natural lakes that produce the same feelings of elation and peace. First Universalist puts sermons online so those come with me wherever. And all it takes for a city to become a “bike city” is for friendly people to get on bikes. Lastly, other places have art and culture too!

I’ll make the best of being here now. I’ve been busy these past few weeks acting in training scenarios for the Barbara Schneider Foundation, teaching at Young Actors Theater Company, helping around the office at NTC, and even doing a bit of dating. In the next two weeks I’ll be teaching at Harmony Theatre Company and then it’s back on the road!

So I’m not “home,” but I’m back holding my breath waiting to leave. One day I look forward to writing about finding “home,” what it feels like, where it is, and encouraging you to visit.