shell-shocked

August is almost over and I spent most of it in a daze.

Yes, this is still a post about No Filter and the aftermath that has sent me reeling into unknown territory. I’ve been listless, practically inert, this whole weekend. I am suffering from the pains of what is known as sepanx (separation anxiety) and having to look at my life in relation to what I have accomplished with No Filter.

Everything has changed and the world is a totally alien place to me now. The person I was is totally alien to me now. The old routine, that thing I’m supposed to go back to when the show was over, doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. It makes no sense. It just doesn’t. How do you go back to that when this is all that you want from now on?

I thought I’d be okay. I had everything planned out. Get back to my old routine. Write for magazines, online, and rebuild my finances, get stable again. I’d be able to see my No Filter family once or twice a week. Everything was going to be fine.

But that’s not what is happening. Instead, I am lying on my bed, looking at photos, reading WhatsApp messages, and looking over the hashtag of #SandboxNoFilter on Instagram and Twitter to re-live those moments. I’m thinking about the new projects I’ve got and wondering if they will be as meaningful as No Filter and how to make it so.

Toff warned me about this early on during rehearsals. “This isn’t always how it is in theatre, Wangs,” he said. “This is special. This is different. This is not how things are usually done. Don’t expect it to be like this always.”

Last rehearsal ever of the first run of No Filter. This is what lead me here. This has forever changed me.

Last rehearsal ever of the first run of No Filter. This is what lead me here. This has forever changed me.

I was already warned. But I couldn’t stop myself from being changed by all of this. And I think this is what is known as shell-shock. Surviving an explosion and everything around you is chaos.

The world is different now. It’s changed and I’ve changed and I’m seeing things in a different way. I won’t say clearly. It’s too soon to tell if this new perspective on things is the one that works best for me or if I’m just still on a high from having been a part of something like that.

I’m finding that I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard from other members of the cast and crew who are experiencing exactly the same thing. So we aren’t alone. And we are now making moves to get in touch with each other and meeting up to talk about this feeling and how our lives have changed drastically over this experience.

Another excuse to hang out together. But then, they are the only people who will really, truly understand.

I’ve always thought about how they teach you about failing — to not be afraid of failure. They teach you that it builds character, strengthens your resolve, and gives you lessons which will improve you. They teach you to not fear failure. But no one teaches you about success.

No one tells you about what it is like to get what you want and how to hold on to that and not let it consume you; how to not let the changes ravage you in the process. I’ve put myself down so many times so as to not become arrogant, to protect myself from my own vanity. I never wanted it to get to my head and I always focused on the reason I do what I do and it has nothing to do with fame. But this is one thing I cannot run away from. No Filter was a success. We did more than we set out to do and we had the best time putting it all together.

I did not prepare for the aftermath of success. I didn’t know you needed preparation for that sort of thing.

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