How to Be You by Neil Patrick Harris
Glamour Magazine, September 2014.
As his smash Broadway run in Hedwig and the Angry Inch comes to a close, Neil Patrick Harris shares the secrets of work, love, and living by your own rules.
Here is a small excerpt from the article:
9. If you want relationships to last, live by “for better or worse.”
Honeymoon phases end. They just do. We’re animals, and animals aren’t inclined to copulate with just each other for the rest of their lives. So here’s a challenge: How do you keep redefining your relationship? I think you have to find new elements that turn you on, and not only sexually. Having kids was one of those great moments for me. Watching David become another level of person, mastering this other domain, made me look at him with a whole other set of appreciative eyes. That sort of made me re-fall in love with him.
That’s another important thing to realize. Everyone falls out of love with everything. You fall out of love with your house. You fall out of love with your job. You just have to figure out ways to keep [the love] alive. That can mean taking a trip together. But it’s just as valid to say: “Let’s take a minute. I’ll be in this room; you’ll be in that room.”
10. Let people be who they are. When Harper was one or two years old and barely talking, she would put on Disney princess outfits (which she still does, by the way). Everyone would coo and take pictures. Gideon felt left out, so he put on a dress too. We all cooed and aww-ed and there was no weirdness. But after about four minutes, you could see it: He just didn’t like it. It was too girly, too frilly, and he just took it off, like, Nah, this is not my thing. Lately he’s been wearing construction vests and hard hats, and he asks construction people if he can work with them. He couldn’t be happier.
11. Don’t let anyone else decide when you can be happy. Well, except sometimes. I go to therapy, and my therapist encourages individuality over codependency. You’re allowed to be in a good place even if your partner might not be. But it’s hard when that other person is someone you love. It’s true that when David is happy, I’m in a really good mood. And when David is unhappy and things aren’t great, I tend to be pretty cranky.
12. Know that you may never find work-life balance. When I leave Hedwig [on August 17], I’m looking forward to getting in the headspace of my kids. I won’t have to check out because I have that thing that I gotta go do at that time. I actually miss waking up with only five hours of sleep and knowing that I might be a little haggard but that’s OK. Like Barney Stinson, I think we should live life as if it’s a great adventure. And if the chapters aren’t good, make up your own ending.