So I’m approaching a milestone birthday in a few months. Yep, the Big 4-0. And even though I witnessed it happening to friends and even my own husband, I was surprised when I myself started to feel the onset of something like a midlife crisis. The urge to shake things up, try new things, break out of my rut. Not that I’m about to sign up for pole-dancing classes or dye my hair pink. Calm down! But I HAVE done some out-of-character things recently, like signing up for my first 5K and auditioning for a live stage performance called Listen to Your Mother.
In case you don’t know this about me, I am a total introvert. I work at home by myself and sometimes go days without putting on real clothes or makeup and seeing other adults besides my husband, the mailman, and my kids’ teachers at school pick-up. For years I blogged anonymously and later it took all my nerve to put a photo of myself on my web site. I have never, ever done any public speaking except for my grad school thesis presentation in front of about 20 classmates. Even then I was a ball of stress and flop sweat.
So it’s unlikely at best for me to voluntarily sign up to read my writing aloud, first in front of just 3 people at an audition but then, if I got picked, potentially 300 people!! However, I’ve been to 2 LTYM shows in DC, and they were wonderful. For ME, seated comfortably in the dark audience. For the women on stage in the glare of the spotlight and strangers’ unwavering gazes for 90 minutes? Maybe not so much. But from the first time I saw those brave women up there sharing their heartwarming and heartbreaking stories, I thought, That will be me someday.
I’ll cut to the chase: SOMEDAY IS HERE. I’ve been selected as one of 15 cast members for Baltimore’s inaugural Listen to Your Mother show! I KNOW. The honor and thrill of that is still sinking in.
I’ve got a long road ahead of me until the night of the performance in April. I’ve got Susan Cain advice to study, rehearsals to attend, lots of new people to meet, teeth to whiten, hair to get blown out, outfits to pick out. But did I mention I’m turning 40 soon? So, what the hell. BRING IT.
Will you join me on the evening of April 26 in Baltimore to witness my public speaking debut? It’s sure to be a great show. A cast of talented, expressive, brave women sharing their stories about motherhood. Tickets are less than $12, and the director, Taya, has decided to donate a whopping 25% of proceeds to the House of Ruth, a local shelter for battered women and children. And also? First round of post-show drinks are on me. Who’s in?
LAUGH O’ THE DAY: When I rattled off the things I want to do during the next year (which also include visiting friends in Africa. Can I do a Kickstarter for that?) my husband said, “That’s quite a bucket list. You’re turning 40, not dying!” As far as he knows. Whether I drop dead of fear before I take the stage on April 26 remains to be seen.