mountain, personal development

One mountain at a time

Years ago, I walked away from the crazy that was my life. As a child I suffered emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of my father. He was sociopathic in his cruelty. The life of others meant nothing. My mother was a ghost of a figure, more child than I ever was, unable to stand up for herself or anyone else.

When I finally walked away, I stood at the foot of a mountain that I needed to climb to gain the skills I needed to be a productive person, have successful relationships, and have a family of my own. If I had known how high that mountain was, maybe I would have given up. Luckily, I did not understand the journey I faced. Instead, I looked at my feet and took one step at a time.

Fast forward, years later I wrote my story. I wrote it for myself with no intention of sharing it publicly. Now I am preparing to perform it as a solo show. How in the hell did I get here?

After writing it down, I shared some of my story with friends. The feedback was positive and people suggested I publish my memoir. I considered the idea and then sent off the manuscript for some permissions from people who matter to the story.

Not long after that, I spent a weekend at a speakers workshop where I applied the lessons learned to some of my work and some of my personal stories. After that I continued to attend open mics where my voice grew stronger.

I had just come to terms with publishing my memoir when my coach who is also a producer/director suggested we turn it into a solo show.  Without looking up for the top of that mountain, we dropped an application into the metaphorical hat for the Vancouver Fringe Festival. That year we missed the deadline, so we had to wait another year. The next year came, and we made the deadline and entered our show. It didn’t get picked out of the proverbial hat.

We applied for the Bring Your Own Venue option. No way I’d get in that. Winning the Fringe lottery was one thing but having someone approve of my show seemed improbable. I applied feeling safe in not getting in. Of course, I had to send a follow-up email to see where my application sat in the queue. Next thing I knew, I had a venue. Note to self: follow up works.

I had a vague script at that point in time. Tightening it up and polishing it off became a priority. Then I realized I had to memorize it, rehearse it, promote the show, and the list seemed to be endless.

Once more I am putting one foot in front of the other, not looking up at the top of the mountain. Each day, I take a few more steps toward the summit. I’ve climbed bigger mountains. Join me at the top and enjoy the show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival this September.

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