Have you heard of Tig Notaro?
I heard her a while back on the radio show This American Life and she was amazing.
Fast forward a year or so and I came across her again. This time in her amazing live comedy set on iTunes called Live (pronounced as in rhymes with give).
It is well worth the $5 in my opinion to download the cd and listen to the set. Totally inspired, honest, vulnerable, strong, real... inspiring.
Let me give you a rundown....
Tig had pneumonia, which lead to a horrible infection that ravaged her gut called C Dif. Then her mom died unexpectedly, then she got dumped, then she found out she had breast cancer... four days later, she does this comedy set. It made me cringe, laugh, cry, cringe some more, and then blubber...
Not really the person you'd expect to make you laugh and yes, it is uncomfortable & hard to hear, but somehow it ends up being absolutely wonderful.
And the love she gets back from the crowd!? If I wasn't already totally inspired (okay, I was), this pushed me over the top. When I listen to this, I think, we really are okay us humans (which is nice in a day and age where most people assume they have good intentions, but most other people don't...).
I guess for me, there are a lot of layers of why I like this, but one of the main ones is, we are so afraid of death and dying in this culture and we are so uncomfortable talking about hard stuff. We tend to encourage others or ourselves to "stay positive," or "stay hopeful." And, while there is certainly room for hope and positivity and these things can be helpful, this one sided approach is a real disservice to everyone. It isn't real, it isn't logical, it certainly isn't healthy or helpful (to ALWAYS be positive). What is healthy and helpful is to be REAL. To say how you are feeling, to allow yourself the permission to go with the ups and downs, not to fight to look or feel or present how you are dealing with something hard in just this certain way, but to be honest.
If we all did this, I think we'd feel a lot less alone and a lot more like members of humanity... interconnected, with bonds of hardship, challenges, and life. Instead of like we alone are suffering or failing, or a bad person for "failing" at feeling on the inside what other people are presenting on the outside. Tig shows us a glimpse of a her inner world.
Let's get real. Not to be drama queens, not to wallow in our suffering, but to honor the WHOLE experience of being alive. That's what it means to me to really do what Tig Notaro so eloquently shows us... LIVE.