Photo credit: Dallas Graham | The Bee
Do you ever find yourself in a rut that you just can’t seem to get out of? Where you just feel like your repeating the same things day after day not really pursuing anything or moving forward. That has been me lately and I was so sick of it that drastic measures were needed.
I have recently been obsessed with storytelling pod casts. They get me through all the mundane Mom chores everyday and are so entertaining. My favorites are The Moth, and This American Life. One day I started googling (which is a rarely a good idea) To see if there was anything storytelling related near me happening soon. That is when I found The Bee, True Stories From the Hive. The Bee is this new, really cool event that takes place every two months to a packed audience in different venues downtown. They put anyone’s name who wants to tell a story in a hat and pull out ten of them throughout the night. Each person who is called, goes up and tells a true story that goes with a theme that is chosen in advance. The goal is to tell the entire story in less than five minutes if you go over, a harmonica is played until you end your story. It is in their words “lovingly competitive storytelling in SLC”
Even though this was so out of my comfort zone I could not shake the feeling that I just had to participate. After major internal battles from my worried mind and just the logistics with our one car and the kids it was all figured out. Thanks to my Mom who volunteered to go with me. Because going alone scared me to death.
The theme of the night was Dirt, I had the perfect story filled with a horrifically embarrassing moment in my life that I was just itching to tell. I knew that if I was going to go I would put my name in the hat for sure despite the ball of nerves that would no doubt be sitting in the pit of my stomach.
I was a tad worried about bringing my Mom to the bar where it was at. I thought it may be quite offensive given the theme of the night. While I was right about the language and material people used with their stories. It was strangely unoffensive. Seeing people stand up and tell an authentic story completely sharing themselves with us was beautiful and quite mesmerizing.
I knew there were not ton of names in the hat so my chances of being chosen were quite high. After three people went up my name was announced. I was so nervous that I can’t even remember walking up to the stage. My awkward self was dying of thirst as I asked the sweet woman timing the stories if I could take a drink of her water. making sure it was just water way too many times. My nerves making me sound like a blubbering idiot which is actually a pretty accurate description of me most of the time.
As I stood up to tell my story my nerves slowly dissipated and I have to admit that It was totally freeing and confidence building to share a part of me on that stage. People laughed! More than once! My story was about one of the most awkward moments of my life. (I have quite a few). It’s funny how sharing your personal moments of life with an audience of complete strangers can be so gratifying.
Life is messy and humbling and I truly think that when we share these things with others we can relate to one another immediately no matter how different we are. As I walked back through the audience everyone was so complimentary and nice about my story and that I chose to tell it.
My Mom and I had a blast. The vibe was awesome. Each storyteller was amazing. I loved all of them and the uniqueness of how each person decided to deliver their tale. Everyone was so genuine that it was truly a cool thing to witness. It was definitely a night to remember.
Forcing myself out of my comfort zone always gives me a sense that nothing is impossible and that even the mundane in my everyday life is not so mundane after all, this was no exception.
I highly recommend not only attending one of these amazing storytelling events but putting your name in that hat and giving yourself a chance to share and connect with people over the awesome art of storytelling.