Butterflies flood my stomach when I see the message from a friend I haven't seen or spoken to in more than 20 years. Hurt feelings and grave misunderstandings abruptly ended our friendship and neither of us had sought to resolve the circumstances. I can't imagine what has prompted her to email me but my curiosity wins over my dread — I open the message. Surprisingly, I find that she's writing to offer an apology for her part in our conflict. I laugh at myself because I suddenly realize that I can't remember the whole story of our faded friendship (ah, the futility and absurdity of holding grudges). We connect with ease through email and move to telephone conversations. An interesting discovery lay waiting to be found in the spaces of these long overdue dialogs.Read More
This is really happening; it's not a bad dream. I'm standing in front of the entire second grade gym class with my Penelope Purebread underpants on display and my pants with the elastic waistband by the floor. In my burgeoning 7-year old stubbornness, I wanted to be the very last person to sit on the line as the teacher instructed. Out of concern, my best friend tugs at the leg of my trousers, begging me in a whisper to sit down so I won't get in trouble. "I will, I will, in a SECOND!" It’s a moment that feels like forever, I have WAY more attention than I bargained for. My face burns red hot, my palms get sweaty, and I'm bowled over by my frustration and embarrassment. With a flood of tears spilling down my face, I sit down on the line.Read More
"Can we start now?" the conductor asks without sparing an ounce of snark. I'm in Vienna, Austria, playing lead keyboard in A Chorus Line. Every night for a week since the show opened I've been running from the orchestra pit so that I could hurl my guts, get back to my piano and start the show (with a solo none the less). This night, the conductor challenges me to skip the freak out and start the show on time.
In that moment, I realized I had to face the fear and anxiety that I had been expressing so well by fleeing and heaving just prior to showtime. I asked myself, "Are you going to let this get the better of you or are you bigger than your fear, Sandra?"Read More