THIS IS HOW HAMILTON CHANGED MY LIFE.

Sure, you’ve heard it all before. You’ve listened to the soundtrack on repeat. You’ve watched the interviews. You’ve even watched the bootleg online. BUT HAVE YOU SEEN IT LIVE. HAS IT CHANGED YOU.

Maybe you have. See if you can relate.

Because I’VE EXPERIENCED IT.

On Christmas eve night while I was high on pain meds for my post-wisdom-teeth-surgery-pain, I received a call from my good friend Ceylan. Ceylan told me that her friend cancelled on her and she had an extra ticket to see Hamilton in Chicago on January 15th. Still high, I thought I was in a dream.

BUT IT WASN’T A DREAM. And on January 14th, I hopped on a plane to Chicago.

AND HERE IS MY DREAM. A little backstory that’s important: I want to have an orphanage. It’s my life dream. At that moment, I hadn’t told many people about it, because of all of the discouraging comments that came spilling from the one’s I told (“Do you know how much MONEY that will be??” “Where’s the funding coming from?” “How are YOU going to do that??” “You REALLY want to live in a third world country??”). But, on this plane ride, I told Ceylan my dream, and she supported me wholeheartedly.

BUT BEFORE THAT…before I even hopped on the plane, my starbucks barista at the airport (who I blurted out to in the first 30 seconds of introducing myself that “I’m Lucy and I want to have an orphanage”) said that she and her sister from Africa wanted to do the same thing.

FAST FORWARD TO HOPPING IN A UBER. Yes, of course, I told the uber man about my orphanage. Only because he talked about being in humanitarian work and actually worked with an orphanage!!!! He talked to me about the money side of it, and was very encouraging.

FAST FORWARD TO THE SHOW. You think you’ll sing along to every song you’ve been memorizing for the past 6 months. No. I sat in awe. Tears streamed. The edge of my seat became my new home, and I don’t think I breathed until the end of each song.

HERE’S THE CATCH. You probably thought my orphanage story was just a way to tell more people that I want to have an orphanage. WRONG. The part that I will remember the most from the show was the moment I saw four men of color representing our founding fathers, and I realized how far we have come as a country. I saw hope. I saw that the underdog can overcome his circumstances. I saw that with education, hard work, and a heart for others, you can dream big.

And at the end Elizabeth Schuyler sings about her orphanage. So, that was a nice touch.

Dream big, grrls. Look for inspiration in everything you have. And listen to Hamilton, always.

Lucy C.