A few weeks ago, an improv group came to do a workshop for our team at work.
I promptly deleted the invitation when it landed in my inbox, as getting up in front of a group and making up a fictional story WITH ZERO PLAN is my worst nightmare. But the day of, I relented to the peer pressure of my co-workers (I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I was weak). Little did I know that I would leave that workshop with something I could not shake.
The leader of the group was explaining that in improv, you can truly only react to what happens. You may have a bright idea of where you want the scene to go, but in the next moment, your fellow actor may take it somewhere that isn’t even close. What you thought the scene should be, is not what it is.
That’s not what happened.
And if, instead of reacting to what is, you continue to hold onto and dismay over your bright idea that isn’t, the scene will never become what it had the potential to be.
It was in that moment that the class became far less about learning improv, and far more about life. I was instantly transported back in time to a girl who was a broken record of “but that’s not what was supposed to happen,” so determined to hold onto her plans that she simply could not let herself go forward into what was. Her existence, the substance of her days, was spent desperately, tearfully, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Then one day, she looked at those tightly held, crumpled up plans, and with a weary heart admitted to herself “That’s not what happened”, and let them fall.
She then leaned bravely forward, and walked courageously into a scene unknown.
That’s the moment, friends. The moment we let the reality of what is soak into the places once held only for what we thought should be, and the space for a new, beautifully unexpected ending is born.
May we not allow ourselves to miss out on what it could be. ♥️
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