That’s my daughter Sarah in the striped shirt. No, the one with brown hair. She performed her one woman show, “Squirrel!!!” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this month to sold out performances and standing ovations. I’m a proud mama!
The show is a comedy–well, sort of a comedy. She laughs a lot at herself: at how ADHD keeps her spinning in circles, stuck in a rut, going from dead end job to dead end job, and at how she is long on dreams and short on follow through. How she covers her pain by making people laugh. How she’s incredibly talented but can’t find her way out of bed in the morning. It’s the kind of comedy that hurts your heart.
The show started as an idea, but that’s not new for Sarah. She’s got a million ideas about things she wants to do: horse trainer, surf instructor, actor, singer/songwriter, special effects make-up artist….the ideas last about ten minutes, and then she’s on to the next idea. But somehow, against all odds, this one stuck. She found an excellent coach/director and step by step put one foot in front of the other until there she was, standing on stage with her unfiltered mouth open delivering lines that had audiences laughing so hard they were crying.
She told her truth–her messy, raw, naked truth.
A friend of mine came up to me after one of the shows: “I had no idea Sarah struggled so much. She’s always so full of life, so animated,” she said. “I’ve been going through a hard time, but I don’t talk about it. I can’t talk about it. But when Sarah so boldly told her truth, something opened up for me. Tell her thank you,” she said. She was crying.
I was touched and surprised. I had no idea she was having a hard time. She always led with a big smile. But then again, so does Sarah.
How often do I misjudge people? I see humor and I think everything is fine, or feel anger and back away. I hear whining and I shut down. The assumptions I make about others have a cost. If I don’t take the time to go beyond the surface–to know the story–the chances of being able to find a heart connection are slim.
Does this resonate for you? How often do you misjudge people? What does that cost you? How often do people misjudge you?
Take a minute. Listen to someone else’s story. Tell someone your story. What shifts?