Monday, February 27, 2017

Eight realities, eight journeys

When I was first asked to participate in the 2017 Memphis Monologues, which is an annual benefit for Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region, I was hesitant. I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew women who had told their stories before, but don't think I've had that many eyeballs on my, listening intently, since Dr. LeMaster's speech class my freshman year of college. And I certainly wasn't taking that super seriously.

So I finally said yes. 

Weeks went by and I fussed and fretted over what story to tell, and whether anyone really wanted to hear what I had to say, a nagging doubt that creeps in every time I tap the keyboard. And I was convinced that the seven other storytellers would "out story" me by a long shot. I mean, who cares what Meg thinks?

In the end, I told the story of my reality for the past year: making life choices I did not want to make, uprooting my life and carrying it halfway down the country, saying goodbye to people and places I love, and coming "home" to friends and a city that were the same yet so very different. I pared that life experience down to six minutes when I could have rambled for an hour, then opened up the floor for questions!

I put it all on paper and took it to Amurica down on Cleveland Street (oh, the irony). If you've never been there (which I had not), the studio is probably best described as a mildly absurd, eclectic mix of American bits and pieces. Or, better said, the most fabulous venue for storytelling and more in Memphis!

It wasn't until the night finally arrived that I stopped saying "I", and started listening to those other seven voices talk about their journeys. Seven women whose realities and life experiences lift you up, break your heart, and humble you before their power.

Through the course of the evening, I met them all and stood in awe of their strength, character and commitment to themselves, their causes, and what is most important in their hearts.

Nothing but respect for Raquel, Brittney, Emily, Faith, Carolyn, Kayla, and Laura. Thank you, ladies, for making me laugh, tear up, and most importantly, think.

Compared to the rest of the world, I know that my experiences are not as bad as some, but perhaps worse than others.

We each live our truth, and what we choose to share with others should never be dismissed. I learned that about myself thanks to  the seven other journeys I was honored to be a part of last Thursday night.

I get by with a little help from my friends!