Life on Stage

The painted backdrop of the musical 42nd Street instantly placed me in the heart of the city. I could see it, feel it, even hear it. And I loved it.
After the show, I wandered backstage. It was a mess of props, costumes ready to be jumped into, scattered papers, dust, dirty dishes tossed in a corner… and it looked nothing like the magnificent backdrop. Yet this is where the play actually took shape—here, the actors rehearsed, worked, became a unit, and created the story—made it real. Backstage was the backbone behind the beautiful backdrop I saw. Backstage was reality.

Backstage is reality. But I loved the façade. And so it is with my life: I love to surround myself with beautiful treasures, and make myself look as presentable as possible—it makes me feel in control. I love living in the organized design I have created—I allow it to define me, it somehow becomes a measure of who I am. “It” validates me, proving my worth to myself and to society. Yet at the end of the day, it is only a backdrop.
And all backdrops tear eventually, and the props are exposed as dollar store jewelry. All that remains is backstage, where the truth is revealed. Backstage is where we are comfortable with ourselves, or forever itchy. Backstage is where life happens—where we handle what we are and what we have, what we are not, and what we do not have. We can’t fool life.
Maybe it’s time to look past the scenery to what is really there…


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