I remember when I was little; I would always find some kind of way to be on stage. Most of the time, I would be in the chorus or part of an ensemble; I rarely ever stood alone on stage.

Maybe that was why no one ever came to see my shows? I guess just being a blob on the stage wasn’t much to be proud of, so why bother leaving the house? I would come home and tell everyone all about it anyhow, so really, did it matter that they weren’t there in person?

I remember one time when this lack of support really hit me. I was in the school musical, “The Whiz” and I think it was the opening night. I was so excited because my family promised they would be there in the audience and that was such a big deal to me. Since my family never really showed up to watch me play my flute in the band, or fling a flag in the air with the marching band this idea of them coming to support me was huge. I told everyone they were coming and, that night, I was the best wind that stage ever saw.

As the play ended and the final curtain calls were made, I raced out of my Citizen of Oz outfit and ran out front to find my family. I even left on the stage make-up (which basically made me look like a cheap hooker or this chick in high school who’s name I will not put on blast, but trust me…if you went to my high school, you know her). I was so happy to go find them and hear what they thought; I even wanted to introduce them to my new “play” friends.

I stood there waiting…waiting…and watching other cast members hug their families. Then, someone came up to me with the traditional flowers the cast all got each other. There was also a long flower box with my name on it. Being the closet romantic, I was all aflutter thinking some guy had a secret crush on me and was sending me roses to tell me. I ripped open the card and there was my sister’s familiar handwriting. It said, “Sorry we weren’t able to make it. We know you did great. Love, Mom and Me.”

My heart sank. They didn’t come to see me. The flowers, well, I wanted to throw them out and toss the card in the nearest garbage can. I didn’t want the damn flowers; I wanted them to see me do something I loved doing. I wanted to feel their presence as I looked out from the stage. But, I didn’t get to feel that at all. All I felt was let down and ashamed.

I never asked them to come to another show.

Now, I am in a similar position. I won’t be in a play, but I was asked to read an original piece of my fiction.  At first I was honored. I picked up my phone and frantically started texting. I went online and emailed away. I was so thrilled to share the news and I wanted so badly to ask these people to come and see me read.

But I got ignored.

The tears came shortly after that.

It wasn’t fair of me really to start crying. I know that at least one of them had a phone issue. However, it was a gut reaction. I felt once again like that little tenth grader waiting so anxiously for her mom and sister to come around the corner and tell her how great she was that night in the show. I’ve always had a problem asking for support. I figure people really don’t want to support me or I look to people I know will disappoint me so then I can convince myself further I am not worth getting support.

 Then I continued thinking maybe it isn’t even that big of a deal. I am sure everyone got asked to read his or her work, and who knows, maybe it isn’t even open to the public.

But, in the end…it is a big deal to me. This is my work and I am proud of what I am doing. I want these people to be a part of this new phase of my life  because of the huge role in fill in my life. I am so unsure all the time and just that small bit of reassurance and faith means so much.

I run the risk of being rejected. While I know that, I still can’t stop myself from crying about the rejection.

I can’t help it; I am walking into a world I always wanted to be a part of and I’m afraid I don’t really belong. If you were there for me; sitting in the audience hearing my words and cheering me on…I could learn to cheer myself on.