Sunday, I finally got the chance to see the musical Dear Evan Hansen. If you haven’t seen it yet, but you get the chance, I highly recommend it. The singing, choreography, stage design, and story line were all fantastic. And while I love a good musical, this particular one touched me for an entirely different reason. I was Evan Hansen when I was in high school.
I was the kid who was on the outside looking in. I was the kid who felt alone a lot of times. I was the kid who wondered aloud if anyone would miss me or notice that I was gone if I were to disappear. Looking around the theater, I saw something else, something besides a reflection of the struggling kid I was once. I saw that I wasn’t the only one reacting to the story.
What makes Dear Evan Hansen such a remarkable story is not just how contemporary it is, but how it can speak to those who’ve felt left behind by society, and how it reminds all of us that no matter you who are, you matter, and that you will be found.
I really wish I’d had a musical, a story like this that I could have turned to as a kid, a story that would have told me it was going to be alright, that told me that others were struggling too. Mental illness lies to you. It convinces you that you are alone in the dark, that no one cares, and that no one will miss you if you’re gone. Even when you know these feelings are lies, they are still hard to handle. Yet, the point of this blog, of so many other similar blogs, and the brilliance of Dear Evan Hansen, is that it cuts through that darkness and helps find those who are struggling in the dark. And the music is amazing, so even if you aren’t struggling with mental illness you will absolutely enjoy it.