Friday, June 23, 2017
I listen to the soundtrack for Hamilton every single day.
I'm pretty sure I drive my co-workers crazy, because not only do I listen to it every day, but I also tend to play it on a loop.
Of all my celebrity crushes, my biggest is on Lin-Manuel Miranda.
I loved him long before Hamilton.
I, as you know, am a musical theatre geek, and I first fell in love with Lin when I watched a PBS special about his first Broadway musical, In the Heights. The documentary was basically a behind the scenes look at someone making their first musical, the vast amount of work that goes into a show that could close in a week, but in the case of In the Heights go on to win the Tony award for best musical in 2008.
What I took from this documentary and carried with me for all of these years was that this man, this Lin-Manuel, who is one year younger than me, was never going to be able to live up to this billing. I adored him-I found him to be so well spoken and charming and fascinating-but I knew, in my wizened age, that lightning doesn't strike twice. Producing one amazing musical, one book of such importance-nothing that this man ever did could live up to this "coming out," as the documentary put it.
So, what goes through my mind every day when I listen to the amazing feats of a founding father that I knew was important to banking but, like everyone, I didn't realize his true importance until Lin wrote 46 songs that explained it all to me-what goes through my mind is, why was I so certain that this was impossible? What happened to me that made me believe that dreams need to end upon your first success, and if they don't, if you dare fly toward that sun again, you will surely get burned?
I'm not sure. I know that the birth of Betsy was the culmination of all of my dreams, and the birth of Felicity was the icing on top of the cake. That I could have one daughter was a miracle. Me, the girl who dreamed so hard of having a family, who talked about her imaginary children like they were real for as long as anyone remembers, and the girl who never had a boyfriend, ever-that girl somehow managed to have all of her dreams come true.
Dreaming beyond that seems impossible. What dreams I harbor now are for my girls to be contented and free and blessed. Growing up with them, which make no doubt is exactly what I'm doing, is fun and my favorite part of my life. I exasperate my family and most of my friends because, as I have grown fond of saying, "I want to be invited to the party but I don't want to go." I want to be seen. I even want to be heard. But beyond that, I can't function. And I can't even find proper words to express that. Words have never failed me before, but when it comes to what my future is supposed to look like outside of my girls, I am at a total loss.
Enter Hamilton. Again.
Pick up the pieces. Keep moving forward. Write and write and write.
And someday, this will all make sense.