Hi Guys,

I hope you can join us for our next show on Thursday, March 23. The theme of the night is “Unexpected Gifts – Getting what you didn’t know you needed.”

I think the most important things I’ve ever received were things I didn’t want at the time. I don’t think I’ve ever uttered the phrase, “The Gift of Unemployment.” And I wasn’t jumping for joy the last time I left an ex’s house with a box of socks, some floss and a toothbrush. In fact, I would say it’s only been in the last year or so where I can see the upside of a lot of things in the past I was forced to accept.

Being a single parent was never on my bucket list but it made me find a perseverance in me that I never knew existed. Bombing all over America as a comic seemed pretty horrible at the time but those lessons were a blessing when I was onstage two years ago at TEDxOlympia and 900 cell phones went off simultaneously during an Amber Alert.

Of course, there are other smaller gifts that have meant just as much. Once after I said something snide and thoughtless and my friend Sarah forgave me almost immediately. That may not seem like a big deal but it was the first time in my life that I realized maybe I don’t have to be perfect for people to love me. I’ve known Sarah now for 26 years and I’m excited I get to see her in a couple days when she comes down to Olympia for a conference. She has long since forgotten what I said or that she forgave me but I haven’t.

My mom’s not around anymore so I can’t thank her for teaching me to breathe from my diaphragm. And my dad’s long gone so I can’t thank him for all the inedible dinners he cooked and all the stories I got out of them. Both those things seemed like tremendous burdens at the time. Now that I’ve lived through them, I’m grateful for a voice that can reach the back of the room and for the desire to learn to cook so I never have to eat blackened moose nuggets ever again.

I can’t go back and tell most of the people connected to those memories that I see things differently now but every now and then I can get onstage and tell a story about it.

And that’s what I’m hoping some of you guys will do. Tell us about a time when you were given some kind of gift, whether it was an experience or something physical, that either surprised you or, looking back, turned out better than it seemed at the time.

Remember to keep it clean, practice out loud on friends or pets, and make sure it’s under 8 minutes. Here are the Rules & Guidelines for telling a story at the show:

https://freshgroundstories.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/storytelling-rules-and-guidelines/

I hope to see you at 7pm on March 23rd at Roy St Coffee and Tea.

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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