Often we operate under the impression that if we could only just get ourselves together we would have the life that we envision. If we had more time, more money, more sleep - THEN we could achieve our goals. The truth is every act we choose defines us. It is who we become every second, every minute, every hour, and every day. I read this wisdom from a post by one of my favourite authors, Richard Wagamese. He was sharing what was passed on to him by an elder. Our beliefs are exactly what we become. We all have fears and doubts and feel like giving up on our dreams. These feelings are not exclusive to the worker bees tolling away at the 9-5 job, our heroes battle demons too. I always keep in mind that it doesn't matter how many times you fall down, it is the number of times you get up!
Thursday I had the honour of attending the premiere of the adaption of Shane Koyczan's Stickboy by the Vancouver Opera. It unearthed the darkness of bullying I had buried long ago. I had read the book several times, but watching it shook me to the core of my being. Shane was a few seats away and I can only imagine what it was like for him when it was so gut wrenching for me. He was sharing his pain with ALL of us. This production was a game changer - mixing the media arts, his compelling voice-over and the opera to tell his story. Opera communicates grief so succinctly. You cannot watch it and not be affected.
Shane is no overnight sensation. He has tolled hard travelling constantly, couch surfing, questioning his path, struggling with depression, and as many times as he has fallen he has always managed to get back up again. How grateful I am that he finds it in himself to get back up. One of my favourite lines Shane uses in one of his pieces reads, "you play - you play you win, you play you lose, you play!" Basically keep going and be present for yourself and others.
I couldn't find my camera to take to the event and figured my iPhone would suffice. It did. I didn't hide behind my lens. I did have few photos taken, but mostly importantly being camera free allowed me to connect with other people. I soaked in the experience and felt very present and very humbled that I had been able to take part in this piece of history.
I am choosing to be present and to invest whatever is necessary to fulfill my purpose here and to become the me I was always meant to be. Thank-you to Shane, to Richard, to my Mother, to all those that showed me the power in getting up.