The day that I had been awaiting with excitement and fear came and went, but fortunately I can say that it did not happen without consequence.
On November 30th, 2017 I performed my story in front of a supportive crowd of about 150 people.
The day of, I could not get my stomach to settle down, so I didn’t eat too much. In the morning I packed my crystal companions that I had chosen to carry with me, they were: chrysocolla, black tourmaline, two pieces of carnelian, and citrine. Let’s just say I had my pockets full of supportive energy.
I practiced my story one last time with a good friend from work.
When I got to the event I met my fellow storytellers and we were all full of excitement and nerves. We encouraged each other and I felt better knowing that I wasn’t the only one who was panicking. Our teacher, Scott, was also very encouraging, telling us “nerves were completely normal” and to enjoy telling our story and being present with our audience. He assured us he knew we were going to put on a wonderful show. I tried to believe him.
People started to arrive for the event, we were mingling for 45 minutes before we got the signal to go into the auditorium. I saw many familiar faces, which helped me feel a little more relaxed.
When the first storyteller went up, I felt just as nervous and excited as she was. Then her story finished, and the next storyteller went up, and the next, and the next. Then it was my turn to stand up and walk to the microphone. I remember saying a quick “Please help me!” to my spirit guides and stepping down into the center of the auditorium. Scott introduced me, sharing that when asked about who had the most influence in helping me became the person I was that night, I answered that everyone I had met had helped me be who I was that night. I heard the audience say “aaww”.
The rest of the story is kind of blurry, go figure! I said the opening of my story and the words just kept flowing, I could hear myself speaking, I didn’t feel nervous. I looked into the audience and saw engaged and supportive faces. I didn’t hear myself stumble, or say “umm”, which I tend to do when nervous. Then my story was done. I said thank you. People started clapping. Scott came over to ask for another round of applause. I was feeling warm and tingly. I returned to my seat and my fellow storytellers were smiling and high-fiving me. It was done. And I was alive.
Once the storytelling ended, the Foundation who was celebrating their 20th anniversary shared some important news. They thanked all the storytellers. We went out into a reception where I was showered with hugs, compliments, and stories that the audience members wanted to share. My story had awakened stories in them.
I felt so proud of my self for accepting the invitation/challenge to tell my story. My heart was warmed by the people that came up to share their own stories with me. I knew from the storytelling workshops that this was the magic of storytelling, when you share your story, you give freedom to other people to share their own.
Having worked in that story, which was about my parents and why the work I do now is meaningful to me, had made me rethink many things. I’m still processing them and I hope to do a future blog post about that. This is the other part of storytelling, before the performance, comes the discovery, the exploration, the digging deep down to find what is important.
I have been thinking about what my next story will be. I don’t know that I will ever perform it, but you never know, maybe I get another invitation and I decide to be brave.
I uploaded one of my practice runs of my story to my sound cloud account. Click here to have a listen.