Meet the Team: Stefan

Stefan and I met in grad school almost four years ago, and have been dating for over three of those years. Since agreeing to date me, I fear he’s gotten the raw end of the deal, starting with my annoying habit of monopolizing the television to watch every Yankee game, and ending with, you know, diabetes.

He will be the first to acknowledge that the seriousness and life-changing-ness of living with diabetes snuck up on him. Initially his support was centered around the concept of “it’s not that big a deal”, but when he realized, you know, that it actually was that big a deal he shifted his approach to my new favorite saying of all time:

You got this. 

If I ever get a tattoo, that’s what I’ll get. Three simple words, conveying utter support, confidence, and an acknowledgement that, you know, I do have this. Don’t you also love the way he, with just three words, manages to support me by celebrating my strength, without establishing himself as my “savior” or responsible for my success in any kind of conventional gender binary? (Even though he definitely shares some responsibility for my success).

He’s a feminist like that 🙂 .

He’s also the man responsible for my favorite, favorite piece of wisdom in this entire journey with diabetes. One night, early on, as I was crying in bed, feeling like a pissy, sorry-for-myself louse, I whined that I was “broken”. To which he responded:

You’re not broken. Right now, at this very moment, there are 10,000 systems in your body, all of which are functioning perfectly to keep you alive. And sure, maybe one of them isn’t functioning so perfectly, but the reason you can breathe and look and smell and feel and cry is because the other 9,999 are working. Systems you can’t even imagine, working so intricately.

Pretty good, huh? I shamelessly stole that and added it to one of my favorite posts on this site. You know it’s also going to be in the play. But credit where credit is due: that was all Stefan.

He’s also a brilliant writer and artist, having helmed a fantastic web series, out now, which most unfortunately features me but which you should DEFINITELY watch regardless. Sneak peek photo below, now go watch it!

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Beyond that, though, he’s also a pretty private person, which is why, for his sake, I’m going to stop my effusive love fest right here and cut to the chase:

Given that my FringeNYC Play is going to be the most personal, painful, and (arguably) challenging work I’ve ever done, I am so, so, SO thrilled to announce that Stefan, who has been in on this since day 1, will be directing it. It’s kind of a no brainer, right? I think he’s going to be an incredible director, and will help realize this play about a topic he knows so intimately. He’s thoughtful, gentle, sensitive, bold, and confident, which is exactly what I need in a director.

We’ll know the show’s dates sometime mid july, otherwise for now we continue to stockpile props (which means a number of strange medical related goods being delivered to our apartment day in and day out), and I’m continuing to refine the script, all the while facing my daily barrage of “why the hell did I decide to do this” second thoughts. It feels vulnerable and painful and scary….

Which probably means I’m on the right track.

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