Comedy and Tragedy
Hello! And welcome to what may just become my new blog. I resisted this idea of writing a blog for a while, until all of the sudden it sounded like the best idea ever. And so it begins. Time will tell!
To introduce myself, I figured I would start with some self-disclosure. I was a drama geek in high school…vice president and then president of my thespian club, thank you very much. People who know me from that part of my life will know how much I loooooved theater. On stage, off stage, in the cherry picker, the catwalk (no, not the modeling kind), the light booth, at the stage manager’s station…I loved it all And I still do, to be honest. Even though I gradually stopped putting time into my theater passion during my college years, I still have a deep fondness for the theater. I mean tell me truly, wouldn’t we all be so much better if life included more Broadway choreography and internal monologues set to music?
One of the things that I love about theater is the full range of emotions you are allowed, and even encouraged, to experience. Comedy and tragedy side by side. Laughter and tears, all in the same 2 hours and 15 mins (including intermission).
I love to laugh. Really. It doesn’t take much to make me laugh hard enough that I snort. Ask my coworkers…they can usually hear me down the hall. Sorry guys!
I also love a good cry. Movies, books, DRAMA. I love to get lost inside of stories that pull at all of the strings everywhere inside of me. I won’t go so far as to say that I love the things that make me cry in my true-life story, but I do know well the benefit of that cathartic cleansing that comes with having let my emotions be felt and heard.
I’ve noticed that there are times when we all seem to lose the ability to find both comedy and tragedy in life. We get trapped by thinking that when life is good, it should be good – happiness oozing out of our pores (social media may have something to do with this). And when we grieve, or feel down, depressed or overwhelmed, sometimes it’s hard to find the energy to laugh, or to believe it’s OK to find moments of humor and joy in the midst of our grief.
What theater taught me, though, is that joy and sorrow, comedy and tragedy, exist side by side. That the full range of human emotions includes both – and that often the more we can freely experience one, the more easily the other will also come.
I always hope to find laughter in the midst of my counseling sessions with clients. Not infrequently that means laughing at myself which – with any luck – might just open the door for other moments of experiencing lightness, joy and humor. Even better is when that laughter leads to an openness and sense of courage to face those things that challenge us most, to see where we might be stuck or making mountains out of molehills. Best yet, when laughter frees us up to open to the possibility of making a change.
For anyone in need of a little serious laughter, I highly recommend this podcast.
Until next time,
“You have to laugh at yourself, because you’d cry your eyes out of you didn’t.”
Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls, 1200 Curfews album