I just saw my friend perform in a local production of RENT.
You know RENT, right? The musical about a bunch of New York artists who range from poor to actually homeless, trying to get by, dream big, and change the world while surviving AIDS?
It had been a while since I really paid attention to this musical. The movie version came out while I was in university and we all became rightly obsessed with it, and then moved on with our lives. Since then, I decided that the general premise that these artists were being oppressed because they had to pay rent was silly and that the musical as a whole was a little too, shall we say, mush-hearted. A weird thing for me, the mushiest-of-hearted people to think, but there it is.
As much as the story's basic focus on love above all else and plea to live for the moment while rejecting capitalist douchefaces is still very close to my heart, it was associated with the bubble of university, when we all thought that learning how to breathe all the way down to our genitals would somehow save the world.
So I was a little surprised that I basically wept through the entire show.
A LITTLE surprised - I cry super easily, so it's not a huge surprise when anything makes me cry, but this in particular was a touch surprising, just because I thought I had cynicked beyond it.
There is a lot in there that will always bring a tear or two out of my face: love above all else, devoting yourself to your ideals, taking care of your chosen family, reminders that, someday, we will lose everyone we love.
But this is what really got me: the "no day but today" mantra. It comes up over and over again through the show. It hit me hard.
I am not sure how my life would change if I really did embrace each day as my chance to act on the love, life, and ideals in my heart, but I am going to do an experiment.
For the next month, every single morning I am going to remind myself of this by writing the words "NO DAY BUT TODAY" in a notebook. I may journal a bit about what it means to me that day, or I may just write that and move on. Who knows. I will do it by hand, and I will do it for a month. Starting last Sunday.
I will report back.
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