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Today is Not a Dress Rehearsal for Your Life. This IS Your Life.

Julia E Hubbel


Life is not a dress rehearsal — Rose Tremain, CBE FRSL English novelist, short story writer, and former Chancellor of the University of East Anglia.

Anyone who has ever stepped onto a stage, whether as a tree in the annual kindergarten Christmas play, a ballet dancer or as a presenter understands the concept of dress rehearsal. Or, for that matter, the terrifying prospect of asking your boss for a raise. (Hint: Wear Depends.)

Here’s what the term means:

The dress rehearsal is a full-scale rehearsal where the actors and/or musicians perform every detail of the performance. For a theatrical performance, cast members wear their costumes.-Wikipedia

For years, I felt at some deep level that the situations I encountered, the people I met, the issues I faced were little more than practice. Some day my life would actually begin, and it would be absolutely nothing like my life as I knew it. If I just kept practicing hard, Real Life would appear.

Or I would walk through a portal into a different world, a la Clive Barker, and find myself in brand new circumstances.

It would be vastly better. So much so that my current life would pale by comparison. I wouldn’t make mistakes. Feel stupid. I’d get it right the first time, every time.

by Roberto Delgado Webb on Unsplash

I’d be so much more confident. Prettier. Smarter. I would get better work. Find the love of my life. I’d be effortlessly slim. I simply wouldn’t have the same problems.

Everything but everything would change.

Because the rest of the world would somehow get it.

Now mind you, get it was rather elusive. I suspect at the time, my version was that others would get it that I deserved a better life. Get it that I deserved to be treated better. Get it that I shouldn’t have to be sad, or chubby, or feel inadequate.

Notice that the requirement for getting it revolved exclusively around me. I wouldn’t have to change. Everyone else would.



Julia E Hubbel

Not writing here any more. I may crosspost. You can peruse my writing on Substack at .Also visit me at