Being Alive!

It's Saturday night.  Saturday has a lot of expectations on it, and I'm not really living up to those expectations. I'll admit it's making me feel a little blue.  I had opportunities for socialization and chose solitude, so it's kind of like when I purposefully don't make plans for the weekend so I'll have time to organize, clean and lay back.  Then the weekend comes and there I am "laying back", but feeling like a loser because I'm not doing anything, completely forgetting that I took my own ass out of the game.

Before I decided to head home I was singing at a benefit for Zilker Hillside Theater.  They do a free summer musical every year.  It's free, family oriented fare, and the production values are usually pretty stellar.  People ( a lot of whom won't see any other theatre throughout the year) sit out on the hill on warm summer nights, picnic, and watch a really nice show.  I've been in five of the shows over the past years, and it's a cause close to my heart.  I was also really excited by the opportunity to sing Sondheim's "Being Alive" which is one of my those songs my heart has really connected to from the first listen.  It perfectly captures that desire to have someone to love you, adore you, boost you up when you're down, to look over your shoulder when you're reading, to get in your way, to drive you crazy with their filthy habits, to make you feel like you are really participating in life.  

Of course, I worked on the song quite a bit by myself, got it ready, felt pretty secure...and then standing up on that stage with your voice faintly echoing in your ear, the people in front of you (some of them not paying ANY attention) the uncertainty of whether or not your voice is carrying causing you to push your  voice- it's like someone pulled the rug out from under you in front of an audience.    It's like you're at home singing joyfully in the shower and then someone comes in unbeknownst to you and yanks the shower curtain open to expose your tender bits to strangers and friends alike.  And it comes out of nowhere.  Two seconds before you go on you have plenty of power and then it's go time and your struggling to keep your head above water and not let anyone in the audience know you are not completely comfortable.  Uggh.  Anyway, people were perfectly complimentary, some of them very effusive.  So I'm going to trust them a little bit, and next time make sure I get to hear myself in the monitor during rehearsal so I can trust that what is there, is there.

Some of us hung out afterwards, drinking and eating, and I stayed for awhile, but then the urge to come home and write overcame me, and hear I am.  I guess after awhile I began to feel like I was alone in a crowd, and being social and participating in the conversation was a battle.  Of course it wasn't because of the company, but it is something I deal with from time to time.  I think I'm sixty percent social, forty percent loner.  But the part that's social is really vocal and when he needs social interaction he makes it happen.I guess it's all about knowing yourself, trusting it.

A very wise and funny friend of mine gave me some good advice over lunch recently.  Of course she wasn't really dispensing advice, just discussing how she faced a recent situation, but I took it to heart, because it seemed like a really good approach.  The approach is simple.  Don't fight life.  When things come your way unexpectedly and fate throws obstacles in your path, you can become fearful and rattle the bars of your cage, or you can go with them.  Choose the latter choice.  Just accept them as reality and work with your circumstances.  Don't judge them.  The judgement and nervousness usually creates a problem where there might not have been one.  Certainly, look for resolutions to the conflict, but don't over excite yourself with worry and don't burn bridges, because things will be ok if you let them be.   I'm going to work with this philosophy for awhile, see how I fare.  Because in the past I've been a worrier, filling in the gaps of my knowledge with the worst possible answers, all fueled by my negativity and fear.  And it never does me any good.

I'll report back on this experiment as evidence comes in.