Monday, November 7, 2016


     In a few short months, I will be playing the role of this woman in the first performance of my one-woman show. I have much in common with her. I play the piano, I wear high heels, I am a driven musician, I admire those with great musical talent, and I love beautiful clothes and glamorous parties. The biggest difference between us is that I’m still breathing. This woman lived to be 95 years old. She never received the acclaim she deserved, as she was in the shadow of a genius. She was, however, an incredible talent who selflessly gave of her own to promote and encourage a man who never chose to marry her. 

     If you could dress up and be anyone you wanted for one hour, who would it be? Would it be someone like you or your opposite? Would it be a person of the same sex? Would you choose someone still living? Would the person be famous or admired today?

     Some might choose a hero; others might choose a cartoon character. Some might choose a sports figure; others might choose a philosopher. Some might choose a family member or a friend they admire. There are parts of all of us who would love to fill someone else’s shoes, if only for a brief moment.

     Assuming you choose someone famous and/or someone highly-admired or respected, what do or did they have that got them there? What special quality did they possess that allowed them to rise to the top? Did someone else discover them at an early stage and motivate them to follow a certain path to success? Or, did they just recognize early on that the traits they had were unique, and they pursued their goals confidently?

     Today, I will meet a new friend. Both of us have been transplanted in a new state, a new community where we know no one. We are both seeking to regain the identity that we lost in the towns from where we moved. My friend is much younger, prettier, and probably smarter than me, but we are both seeking the same thing:  purpose. She wants purpose with pay; I just want purpose. We both want recognition, and we are equally poised to work hard to achieve it. We will meet at a local restaurant with pen and paper in hand, and we will brainstorm numerous ways to get what we each want. We will support each other, be each other’s cheerleader, and we will be accountable to each other for our progress. What if we fail, you might ask? Failure is not an option. We both know that if we don’t immediately find what we’re looking for, we will discover the first steps, and those steps always lead to something wonderful—perhaps a place we had never imagined. It will all be good, and we will have shared our excitement with someone of like mind. Lucky us. 

     Who is your cheerleader? Is there someone in your life with whom you could share a passion for something? It doesn’t have to be as intimidating as the one I’ve described. It could be a passion to lose weight, to work out, to learn to bake, to find a part-time job, to be a better parent. It’s much easier with a cheerleader.