I'm envious of writers who can churn out personal stories immediately following an event, experience or weekend. I need time to filter my thoughts and figure out where I really stand. This weekend's Listen to Your Mother event was no exception.
As we stood on the stage and waited patiently to take our bow, I could feel the nerves coming to a halt. Finally! Turns out they had been lingering since audition day. I kept telling myself it was just something silly - just sharing a little story - one that I've shared with you on this teeny blog. It isn't silly - it's my personal story. It's a big deal to write a personal story. To write that story and share it with friends, family and a bunch of strangers.
The show felt like a blur but I thought that after reading my piece, I could sit back, relax and listen to the other mothers. Instead, I was on the edge of my seat, crying (no surprise) and nervously cheered on my cast mates. I wanted them to shine - and they did.
After the event a woman came up to me and said "I have a story like yours. My baby wasn't planned." She had tears in her eyes. Then I started tearing up and neither one of us knew what to say. She said she just wanted me to know. I thanked her and held back tears.
At the after party, I rambled to our producers about the experience. I thought I did better than expected (I was always really nervous during rehearsals) and one producer chimed in with "It's a really big deal."
I wouldn't have believed her that morning but after reading my piece, I nodded along in agreement. It was a big deal. Listen to Your Mother claims to give Mother's Day a microphone. For me, it did so much more. It shook something loose that I didn't even know was stuck. I feel my story had momentum, closure, validity, a community and a voice.
I can't wait to hear the 2014 Listen to Your Mother show. Hopefully, being in the audience will mean that I won't be a hot mess but judging by the emotion of this year's show, that's pretty unlikely.