the warning you all know…it’s a long one! 🙂
There are single moments in life when we find ourselves standing at the threshold. Across the way is what we have been preparing for since our first breath. And yet, we have never come face to face with this place, this dream…with such intensity. The adrenaline races through our veins, and in that single moment before it’s time to stand up, to give it our best shot, we are flooded with doubt. We doubt every dream we’ve ever had, every wish we’ve ever made at every birthday…were we silly to dream this big…selfish to want this much…or did God in heaven really believe we were worthy of tasting the Promise Land. The fear coincides with all the doubt and rushes through our veins, pooling acid in our belly. Maybe the fear is there because that slight possibility that this turning moment will prove our dreams are wrong, not meant for us…simply out of reach. Or maybe not.
I’m standing behind a curtain on set at the Nate Berkus Show. One of the sound guys is checking my microphone. He thinks we need to get rid of my necklace. I smile and say, “Think of my necklace as a tie. Would you really take away the main color in a man’s suit?” He shrugs, half smiles, and keeps fidgeting with my necklace pendant, finally deciding to tape it down because somehow I have won him over. I needed to win him over. I needed that extra bit of confidence that I could win the audience on the other side of the curtain.
I hear the audience go into a roaring applause. A simple veil separates us. I picture Nate Berkus smiling, waving, thanking them, and I feel the countdown in my heart begin. The applause will have to stop, and that will be his signal to introduce me. I look over at Brian. He is standing under the Exit sign. Tears burn in my eyes when I see him. The very place he is standing gives me freedom. I know that if I went to him now, and asked him if we could run from the opportunity, he would open the Exit door and never push me to try again. I know that. I know that he is in love with me, not because of what I can do or say, but just me. And eighteen months ago, when we shared our secret dreams to really go for TV, to go big, he promised we could stop at any time if it didn’t feel right…I know he really meant it. Even if it meant now. Only moments before, he whispered his last bit of encouragement. “The audience out there is just like your old 7th grade classroom. Be the teacher Me Ra, and love your students as you’ve always have. You know this.”
He is only forty, fifty feet away from me, but I feel like he is oceans away. I know that I’m the only one who can walk out on this stage. He can’t hold my hand and walk out there with me, but I know that no matter what happens in the next thirty minutes, he will be here to hold my hand when I am done.
The sound guy messes with my necklace one last time. The makeup lady enhances the eye shadow and reapplies the lip gloss that I’ve managed to eat away in the last two minutes. I have never felt so scared and excited in my life. I hear my name. Nate Berkus is introducing me. He is talking about a woman who inspires and empowers people. He is preparing viewers to meet their “new best friend”. Their documentary video of my story plays. I hear my kids laughing in the video, and I’m comforted.
The cream colored curtain standing in front of me begins to shine brighter and brighter as the spotlights look to my place of entrance. All the energy is on the other side of this curtain, only a few feet away, and yet I feel like I’m going to burst with energy before I even get my cue. And then it comes, and somehow I find myself on stage, waving at the audience, smiling, waving at viewers and feeling like I’ve come home.
The night before the show, when I couldn’t sleep from all the butterflies, Brian kept saying “Enjoy the fact that this is the last time it will ever be your first time. Ride the adrenaline Me Ra. It will never be this new again. Just enjoy!”
I’ve been enjoying ever since! The whole family has! Our segments air today on NBC! I still haven’t seen the edited versions, so I’m super excited and nervous to watch with all of you! Click here to see what channel and time it’s playing in your hometown!
And when you see me walk out from behind the curtain for the first time, you must know that I took all your love and support with me on to that stage. And all of it combined gave me the courage to GO FOR IT!
See you on the other side of today’s show, on the other side of the curtain!
Here we go!
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