I think that, at almost 30 years old, I can examine my character flaws without it reflecting a lack of self-esteem on my part. There are a few aspects of my personality that I recognize as “not ideal,” at least when we’re thinking about the ideal characteristics of a human being contributing to society.
One of my most socially offensive flaws (in my opinion, anyway) is the intense desire to live in a carefully controlled bubble… a bubble containing my family, friends, nostalgic pop-culture, and music-related news.
I’ve spent my life carefully avoiding current events and nonfiction writing, because I prefer the fiction. If the fiction stresses me out, I can console myself with the fact that it’s not real. I recognize that, as a parent raising two other (hopefully) contributing members of society, this is an example I need to work on.
So, I’m trying, with baby steps, to expand my bubble. Perhaps someday, when my kids are older and more able to hold their own in the world, it will get easier to keep listening when NPR switches from Car Talk to the news. For right now, though, I’m slowly broadening my horizons with non-fiction storytelling. I’ve found that listening to things like This American Life and The Moth Story Hour makes it more possible for me to learn about the struggles of real people, without getting them carelessly dropped into my lap like a bowl of eyeballs. That might seem a little extreme… but sometimes that’s what the news feels like to me: like someone very nonchalantly handed me something horrible, in hopes of scaring me out of my wits.
So, slowly but surely, I’ve been learning about things outside of my bubble, and I do feel better for it. This is why, when I learned that David Sedaris was being brought by Omaha Performing Arts to speak, I quietly jumped up and down. Sedaris has been a fairly regular fixture on This American Life, and is one of the most spellbinding people I’ve head (on the radio, anyway) speak. His words have a way of sounding so beautiful, even when he’s talking about things that are not inherently so. I think that seeing him speak in person will humanize him even more for me, and make his stories distinctly more real in my mind.
If you’re as interested as I am, An Evening with David Sedaris will be held on Thursday, October 30th at 7:30 pm at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Kiewit Hall. You can get tickets by visiting http://www.ticketomaha.com/productions/David-Sedaris.
I hope to see you there, whether you’re trying to expand your horizons or are simply interested in an incredible evening of storytelling! If you’re interested in reading some of his work, this website is a great place to start.
Real Talk: In return for this blog post, Omaha Performing Arts is compensating me with two tickets to An Evening with David Sedaris. Although I’m being compensated, all these words are my own, you guys. I ain’t no sellout.