I believe in being punctual, well prepared and flexible.
I was on my way to a storytelling event. Although I had prepared well in advance, I arrived five minutes late. Now five minutes is no misdemeanor for sure, but for a time-stickler like me, it’s a self imposed spot-fineable offence.
I was late because my direction-bearings were off and I had taken the tram in the opposite direction to where I was going. Then, my Uber driver was grumpy, so asking him to speed was out of the question.
The first person speaker was a beauty. A dark haired woman with the biggest smile — the kind you see in toothpaste commercials.
I caught her story in the middle : her husband was having an affair.
I listened attentively as she waved her hands while giving an animated (and very detailed) account of how that affair drove her into the arms of a lesbian lover and then right back to the arms of the new and improved version of the very same husband.
She radiated light, vitality and sunshine. I loved listening to her bare her soul. People were drawn to her light.
I was up next. It was a hard act to follow.
I turned on my iPad just to get to the right spot for my storyguide and it was dead. Just dead. I had no backup notes and as I fumbled in my handbag to try and find a pen, the American voice called out my name. It was showtime.
Instead of sharing the beautiful story I had written about how I was forced to confront my bully, I had to make some shit up. Fast.
I said “I believe in being punctual, well prepared and flexible. So, I am here to tell you why I was late today, why my iPad is pregnant and why I hate yoga.”
The laughter helped me to relax and I continued to waffle off a lot of crap.
After the event, the toothpaste commercial girl said “You know, your story and mine are pretty much the same.” I wanted to reply that I had never had a lesbian affair but said “How so?” instead.
She flashed those sick pearly whites and said “In the end, we only regret the risks we did NOT take.”
And, she was right. The risk of telling that story opened up yet another door for me and today I am grateful.
© A Heart Full of Stories, 2015.
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