Let me tell you - that experience was both necessary and terrifying.
I'll preface this whole post with the assurance that I have a serious love for the organization, my coworkers, and perhaps most importantly the amazing children and young people I was able to work with at the theatre. I am leaving purely because the company is altering its structure and my position was going to change dramatically - putting me into an administrative role, without the consistent work with the children. And I know myself well enough to know that I would not be happy doing that kind of work all day, so I need to move on.
If I'm completely honest, the worst part about leaving is my worry that my (former? Ugh, I hate that) students won't understand why I left and will feel betrayed or insignificant. That could not be further from the truth, so I'm going to write to them here...
Hey you guys,
As you now know, I am leaving my job at the theatre.
The most important thing that I want you to hear and understand and believe is that you are absolutely phenomenal human beings and artists. It has permanently changed my life, working with you, and I am so extremely grateful.
My biggest passion in this world is being there for young people, and you all have helped me realize this. Not just "being there" for the theatre stuff (although it has been an absolute privilege to see you sharing your art with yourselves and your community) but also being there to hear about your lives - your school successes (and, if we're honest, troubles as well), your life worries, your big questions, your friendships, and anything and everything in between.
But guys, can I tell you something? I am scared. I have never left a job in my life and I have certainly never left one without a back-up plan. And I am so worried that I will never be able to find something I love doing as much as working with you all.
However, before this letter turns into a total Debbie Downer... I'm still planning on being around in some capacity. I have asked to remain on the list for teaching and stage managing and I really am hopeful that I'll be doing some of those things - I'm already slated for the mainstage Christmas show, and I'm still planning on coming back for the second weekend of 'Whimsy,' so you haven't seen the last of me by a long shot. But I did want to be able to explain why you won't be seeing as much of me - and to make sure that you know it was not something that was in my plan, but it's what I needed to do in order to make sure I continue with my passions in life and remain true to myself, who I am, and what I want.
Some of you I have literally watched grow up - from the age of 6 or 7 - and I need you to know that, even as children and young people, you make a huge impact on people's lives. You have the ability to change things for the better, even for adults, and you have certainly done that for me.
This was not at all an easy decision, but I do hope you will try to understand it.
I hope you know that I am still and always will be here for you. Send me a message - I'd love to write you a recommendation or come see your latest show or just meet for coffee.
I love you all, truly. Thank you for making an incredible impact.