Tonight we watched my daughter perform in her camp play, Annie, as one of the orphans. The theater was packed with parents, siblings and grandparents - camera ready. My brother and his family happened to be visiting from Nashville so my daughter had a crowd.
The second act in, Annie stood on stage seemingly waiting for someone or something. The music was delayed, and when it began, 9 year old Annie starting belting out “Tomorrow”. Just then, in the second or third verse, she broke down, became hysterical crying and ran off the stage. For a moment the crowd fell silent. What was happening? Was that on purpose? It was so dramatic it almost seemed like it was part of the show. The director stepped out on stage moments later and explained that the cast needed a moment to gather themselves and that they would be taking a short break. It was a very forgiving and loving crowd, but nobody knew if the show would go on...
About 15 minutes later, Annie bravely took the stage for a do-over of the “Tomorrow” number, and she shined (like the top of the Chrysler building!). I turned to look at my brother (smart, fun, tough guy and former captain of the Duke Lacrosse team) who had tears streaming down his face. It wasn’t his kid - not even his camp or community, but he was struck by that moment of resilience. This little girl, who ran off the stage crying in front of 500 people, CAME BACK. She was petrified of failure and insanely courageous all at once. She will never forget this night as long as she lives. True and vulnerable enough to cry, and strong enough to face the impossible.
Speaking of impossible - now that camp season has come to a close, I am heading off on a family vacation. In all honesty, I’m petrified. My level of focus and dedication to my work at Namaste right now is all consuming in a wonderful way, yet I must take a break. My heart needs time and space with myself, my husband and my children, and I need to do what scares me. Thanks sweet Annie for the inspiration.
With love and gratitude,