Me Too.

by Melisa on January 9, 2014

2013 LTYM Chicago cast member Shannan Younger kindly offered to write up a guest post for us, about her experience with the show last season. I adore this, because it really sums up the biggest thing about LTYM: the “Me too!” effect. Chicago will begin accepting submissions this Monday, January 13. We’ll post all the information you need to know right here, first thing Monday morning!

Take it away, Shannan…

“Me too.”

Those tiny words have great power.

They create friendships and forge strong bonds. They can form the strong foundation of a community. They are also one of the amazing parts of Listen To Your Mother.

I was fortunate to be part of the Chicago 2013 Listen to Your Mother cast. Ann Imig, the founder and National Director of Listen To Your Mother, told us before we took the stage that there were people in the audience who needed to hear our stories and that in the lobby after each show that you can hear echoes of those people saying, “Me too.”

I was hopeful that my piece would resonate with someone, anyone in the audience, but I feared that instead I would be met with blank stares.

I worried that my piece wouldn’t be good enough. I worried that when I submitted it, when I read it at the audition and when I was walking up to that microphone.

The pieces crafted by my fellow cast members were truly amazing. After listening to them in rehearsal I had to nurse both a split side from laughing so very hard and an aching heart that broke for them and their losses.

My piece did not cause any emotional ailments. It was mine, and while I was proud of it, I worried.

And then, when the show was over, someone came up to me and said, “Me too.”

To me.

About my words, my story.

My worry was replaced with joy, and connection with that person, whom I had never laid eyes on until they approached me in the lobby.

I was not sufficiently prepared for the impact that would have upon me, the joy and the instant connect that comes with that short phrase. I was also not prepared for the fact that the “me, too”s would keep coming. Just last week, I received a message saying, “Your piece really resonated with me.” Wow.

At an event in September, a stranger approached me and asked if I had been in Listen To Your Mother. I said yes, and she said, “You’re “Just One,” right? [That was the title of my piece.]”

“Me, too. I have just one, too.” And suddenly that woman was not a stranger any longer.
She explained that she had gone with her sister, who was there to support a friend. She hadn’t been expecting much, and was surprised that my piece so paralleled her mothering experience.

Listen To Your Mother simultaneously acknowledges both the universality and uniqueness found in every experience of motherhood. And that essential dichotomy is summed up perfectly by “me, too.”

If you’re thinking of submitting your story, please do. I understand the fear and the self-doubt. But somewhere out there is someone waiting to say “Me, too.” Trust me, the chance of that is a great reason to toss those worries aside and go for it. It is a wonderful reason to be bold.

I cannot wait for this year’s show and to have more “me, too” moments. Maybe you’re the one to whom I’ll be saying, “Me, too.”

Melisa January 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

Thank you again, Shannan. This was fantastic. *wiping tears*
xoxo!

Shannan January 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Thank you, Melisa! I’m so grateful for the experience, and excited for those who get to have it this year!

Lisa January 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

I was seriously floored by the amount of people who tracked me down to give me a hug, thank me for my courage to share my story and tell me “me too.” The best was one lady coming to get me for a friend who was unable to work her way through the crowd to talk to me, so I could make my way to her. When complete strangers look at your with tears in their eyes and thank you for your words, it’s indescribable!

Melisa January 9, 2014 at 10:51 am

Chills!

Shannan January 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Your courage and grace was incredible, Lisa.

Shannon January 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

Amen, Shannan! This was one of those days that I’d like to live over again, just to relish in it again.

Shannan January 9, 2014 at 2:58 pm

That really *would* be a good one to do again! I’ll settle for a reunion day, though 🙂

Ellie January 9, 2014 at 11:08 am

wonderful testimony!

Tracey January 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

Shannan, you made me all weepy.

Shannan January 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Passing tissues and a hug of gratitude.

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