Sunday, March 9, 2014

Being Alive

"Somebody, crowd me with love. 
Somebody, force me to care.
Somebody, let me come through;
I'll always be there, as frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive."

Yes, these are song lyrics. No, they're not on the radio. This is the last verse of "Being Alive" from the Stephen Sondheim musical COMPANY that I am currently directing for Elkhart Civic Theatre at the Bristol Opera House. It's been a long and sometimes grueling process over the last few months, but it's not without its rewards. This weekend, we opened our show and the audiences truly enjoyed what they saw and heard, and I was proud of my cast and my production staff for bringing their very best to the table.

But the lyrics. Oh, the lyrics. There is so much power in words, we don't realize it sometimes until they're set to music. So much of this show is about what it means to be part of a relationship with another person, and how you navigate emotions within that relationship. It makes me sit back and examine what my most important earthly relationship means to me.

In my life, God comes first above all else, then my husband. By committing your life to that one person, you sacrifice a lot of things (one of the themes in the show) but if it's right, you don't even notice those sacrifices for the bigger picture. You stop keeping score. You stop thinking in terms of 'missing out' and start living for the life you've built with one another. You understand that your happiness is not dependent upon another person, but upon your own outlook. You begin to realize that "alone is alone... not alive".

Married life is not a series of joyful events in rapid succession until you cease to exist. It's a covenant between two people who have decided to take the good and the bad and to remain on the same side of the field, tackling together anything that dares to get in their way. It's in the "little things you do together" that make life worth living.

I spent twenty-five years of my life alone... even when I was with someone else. Then an incredible man changed my life by loving me, unconditionally, even when what I was was detestable. Because of him, I've grown, changed, evolved, gained confidence, become loyal, learned to love myself, and I've realized that, regardless of what this life throws at me, he and I are always on the same side. I love and respect him more than any words, set to music or not, could ever express.

My joy comes from living in those little moments when we can, together, just enjoy being alive.

Stephanie Jean


  1. I love this! Yes, oh the lyrics! What's even more uncomfortable than "somebody, force me to care" is that moment when you recognize that someone else needs you to be that somebody to force someone to care...but it's worth it. Thank you.

    1. I just saw this reply, so many months later, and I apologize! Thank you for reading, and for your kind words!