Today was not a good day in the ordinary sense. I had a conversation that disturbed me on a very deep level, one that really made me question who I am and what I'm about and what I mean to do in this world. Luckily a friend of mine set me in the right direction - he helped me see that this conversation is a very good thing for me. It's helping me to realize the next step in my life in a very clear way.
After work I went with my friend, Col, to the West Village's The Bitter End to see The Moth, a group that does a themed open-mike night of storytelling. After my day, I needed to laugh and lose myself in someone else's stories and The Moth provided just the release I needed. 10 brave souls took to the stage, after their names were drawn from a hat, and discussed their stories that revolved around the theme of disguises. They told us about experiences where they had to pretend to be someone they're not to accomplish something - to earn a paycheck, to meet someone whom they wanted to meet, to realize who they truly are. They were all poignant and hilarious, and Sara Barron, the MC, is a brilliant comic.
Traveling home, I kept thinking about the stories from The Moth that revolved around people who put on a mask, sometimes literally, and then put down that mask to be who they really are. For some, it took an unhappy situation, like the one I experienced today, to make them truly embrace who they are. They had to be forced to pretend to be someone else before they could actually find their own true voices. And in their own true voices, they were able to tell their own stories, their own truths. It was exactly the lesson I needed to transform a tough personal day into a day of learning.