:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The “Call Bill Project” (Wendy)

I have this whiteboard in my office with an ongoing list of things to do for work and whatnot. I have had the bullet item "Call Bill" on the white board for probably a year now. My idea is to, well, do that. It's not as simple as it sounds though - let me explain...

I Heart Bill

Bill was a music friend with whom I used to write, record and perform. He's one of the funniest, most awesomely soulful people I've ever known. I. Love. Bill. But, we always had a stop/start relationship and for whatever reason, we lost touch. I feel immensely guilty about this. Especially because he's had some hard things in his life happen which I have been absent for... I don’t want to assume I’m more important than I am in the relationship, but based on who I wanted to be to him, I have failed and have this need to rectify that.

There's Bill and then there are the other Bills

...And the thing is that Bill isn't the only "Bill" in my life. I have a short list of Bills. Several of them are musicians that I collaborated with and was very close to (sidenote: It’s interesting how, in creative endeavors, you are able to form a unique bond that doesn’t exist in normal relationships – maybe this is why it bothers me so?). But unfortunately, when you're immersed in the network-centric music business, friendships born out of that get convoluted and often take weird and hurtful paths. So friends drop off and you're not really sure if you're supposed to be hurt or mad or just have moved on nonchalantly. Maybe it’s just me and maybe I’m just way too nostalgic. But I even have dreams about these people and our reconciliations.

The Scary Part

So my idea is to resolve this by making contact with the Bills in my life, even though I'm terrified they will hate me and feel like I abandoned them, or just generally think of me as a creep. This is also part of an over-reaching ideal to re-join society. See, a lot, personally, has happened in my life since moving to Nashville eight years ago… I won’t go into the details, but so much of that enthusiastic naiveté I had under my Iowa bonnet has been slowly squashed like a bug in the Nashville machinery. As a result, I’ve become too fearful, too untrusting, too tightly wound, and it’s culminated in some serious isolatin’. So, I’m going against the grain of my escalating introvertness and breaking the cycle even though it scares the bologna out of me (and P.S., I’m not talking the “oh yeah, me too!” kind of introvertedness people claim as they slip into their party shoes and speed-dial their BFF’s; I’m talking a-week-with-no-outside-contact-introvertedness).

In the Immortal words of KISS, "Do it!"

I’m going to reconnect, re-emerge and stop being so scared of people. I’m going to embark with wild abandon and fully flushed cheeks on the Call Bill Project!

{ To know Bill even better, check out this special version of my song "Don't Fall" from my first album (Today). When this version was made, Bill was engineering some background vocals and, as usual, jocularity ensued...(the French man in the last half of the song wasn't actually part of the song ;-). }


Tanner May said...

This is so moving, Wendy. I think you are very right about having many Bills....... and I don't think you're too nostalgic, I think this means you are REAL. S[
=\''] (sorry my dog just stepped on my laptop) ... So, congratulations on keeping true to you in what I imagine is a very hard world at times.

Looking forward to hearing all about you reconnecting!

I also giggled with the Frenchman. :) What a BEAUTIFUL song. Love it!!

patresa said...

there is so much i want to say about this, wbj. but i will narrow it to these:

1. you know i am one of your biggest fans;
2. and i love this project, because i think isolation and connection are really profound human themes;
3. and you are one of the most intuitive and insightful people i know, to the point that i think it's probably quite hard to go about your business having so many veins exposed.

so i look forward to you calling bill. all of the bills, but especially THE bill, because he does a really really great frenchman impression!

Stephany said...

Reading this made me think about all of the "Bills" in my own life, and there are more than I care to admit, frankly. Ouch.
I think this project is perhaps one of the most gut-wrenching and monumental of all of our projects, simply because the connections we make in our lives are the most meaningful and defining aspects of being a human being. Introverted or otherwise, the people we involve ourselves with and what those involvements mean to us shape who we are... So your reconnecting is not just affecting YOUR life but the lives of all of your Bills! WOW. That's big, scary stuff, and we, the COFFEE chicks, are behind you 100%. (I feel quite confident in speaking on everyone's behalf on this one, too, whereas I normally try not to speak for anyone else, ever.)
SOOOOO looking forward to hearing about how this goes and what happens as you reach out to Bill...... ATTAGIRL!

Ann said...

Wendy- I know the feeling of having people in your life and losing touch and wanting to reconnect. It is in a lot of ways why FB is so popular. To be in touch with so many people and to get to see into their lives. But then there are those that you look for and can't find. I wish for you courage in contacting those Bills that you have lost touch with and especially the one Bill that worked on your music with you! Good luck and I look forward to reading about how things are going!

Wendy Jans said...

Thanks guys, for your thoughtful comments!

Tanner May - Thanks for listening and liking my song! That means a lot to me. And please give give your pup a thanks from me for his/her contribution! ;-)

Patresa - I still remember that time you told me my skin was transparent just like me. I wasn't sure how to take that except that maybe I should go get myself a Mystic Tan, but I see what you're saying - and you're pretty dang perceptive yourself.

Stephany - aww, thank you for being behind me. I've thought about finding another project that allows me to reside safely in my comfort zone. People like you make me think otherwise.

Ann - I totally agree - infact I wrote a song inspired by Facebook called Wonder Wonder. It's heartening to know that I'm not the only one.

amy said...

Wendy, this post made me really sad that the last time you were in Atlanta performing I was bloated like a beached pregnant whale and did not come out to (a) hear you sing or (b) get you to autograph my bloated pregnant belly. (Or, alternately, just have a nice chat...(b) could have gotten a little weird.)

Sometimes I look up my own Bills on facebook, but then don't have the courage to message them and ask how they've been or even ask them if they'd like to be facebook friends--I'm always so relieved when one of my Bills finds me first and does that.

Which is why I'm cheering you and your Call Bill! project on, big time. It DOES take courage to call someone up after many many years and go: How are you? (And it also takes guts to let go with abandon and trust after bad experiences of any kind...) GO Wendy J!

Wendy Jans said...

Amy, I wish we could've met, too - I totally would've signed your pregnant belly!
Thanks for knowing what I'm talkin' about - I'm glad ya'll get it instead of being all "big woop - a stinkin' phone call!".

T-Free said...

Reading this was like being in my own head, Wendy. I do the exact same thing, all of the time. I isolate myself on purpose. I am afraid of the phone. I don't keep in touch. The only friends I ever keep are those dear, outgoing, thick-skinned people who understand that I'm shy and weird, and make a huge effort to reach out to me anyway. I have lost so many "Bills" in my life.

I am so nervous and excited for you, and I think you are SO brave. You can DO it! :)

patresa said...

"The only friends I ever keep are those dear, outgoing, thick-skinned people who understand that I'm shy and weird, and make a huge effort to reach out to me anyway." amen to this, tawni!

isn't it ironic how connected we feel when we confess how isolated we feel????

(wendy, i know you think i have my party shoes on right now. i know you do, lady!)