:: 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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Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Then Thursday (Patresa)

I am writing this Sunday night.

It will post Monday morning.

Then it will be Tuesday.

And then Wednesday.

Then it will be Thursday, and I will play music in front of live human beings at an open mic.

THURSDAY. This Thursday!

I played my 4-song set for Chris. It was just fine. I wasn't nervous or self-conscious. Tonight my parents and aunt came over for dinner, and I played them 2 songs. It was…okay. I wasn't nervous, but I felt shy and stupid--like I was 8 and practicing my recital pieces after Sunday pot roast. So I didn't play or sing very well.

But it was a good step. My dad brought up my teenage niece who got a guitar for Christmas and has been learning. She's very talented, but is too shy to play in front of others. When it comes to my nieces (and my nephew, but in a different way), I've always felt a responsibility to be a good model for "strong in self." (They already have wonderful models. It's just: I'm the aunt, and I don't have any kids, and I'm kind of weird, so they see me a little differently.). I want them to be bold and unafraid, to speak up. I want them to sing when they feel like singing, dance when they feel like dancing, strum when they feel like strumming, be exactly who they are at all times, and do it with a free spirit. I want the same for Chris's and my kids, if we are to have any. I can't say one thing and then do another (although I've certainly made a lifetime of trying). So to a certain extent, this project for me has been about fixing the thing that keeps me from being what I keep telling other people I want them to be.

[How's that for a sentence?]

Last note: I will be endeavoring while sober. I overindulged several weeks over the holidays and into January, so i've been purifying my system. I'm on a "cleanse" trend. Initially, I thought, "Well, I'll make an exception for open mic night." But then I decided it would add extra triumph if I just did it stone cold sober (The bartender will be thrilled.). Why use liquid courage if you can just scrounge up the real stuff?

Of course, when you are 36, married, and not drinking, people tend to think you're pregnant. I will make a special t-shirt for the occasion. VACANCY over my abdomen.

So, that's what I got. My next post will be a full report, with possible video, of how it went. It will hopefully not include any barfing.

Peace out.


T-Free said...

I know exactly what you mean about feeling "emotionally responsible" for the kids watching you do something. The first time that happened to me, I was a teenager, getting my ears pieced. I was scared, but smiled the whole way through because there was a little girl in line behind me who was watching me for signs of fear. I had to be brave for her! And I've definitely noticed that since having my son, I will fake bravery over showing fear every time. Faking bravery helps me through a scary moment, and then I wonder why I ever feel afraid if I can so easily push it aside for someone else. I should just push it aside for ME too.

Can your niece and family come to the open mic night? Maybe it would help you be brave for her again if she was there? Maybe it would help you to have a few people in the audience who've already listened to the songs, so no big whoop?

I wish I could be there to give you my pre-stage inner pep talk of "Do you believe in yourself? (YES.) Do you believe in what you're saying? (YES.) Then it doesn't matter what anybody else here thinks of your songs. Fuck them. You have something you need to say and it doesn't even matter what they think." Which sounds really bitchy, now that I type it out. but it always helped. I once even gave my inner pep talk to a girl who was going onstage in a band before mine. She was going to guest sing for the guy onstage and it was her first time on a stage. She later thanked me and said the pep talk totally helped her, so that made me happy.

ANYHOW. I know that you are going to do a great job, and feel so proud of yourself afterward. I am so proud of you for being brave and DOING it. And it will get easier every time you do it. It will!

I never drank before getting onstage with my bands because I wanted to be sharp and not miss a note or lyric. I think being sober will serve you very well. It always gave me confidence, because I felt like I was "running" at my best. The best brain possible. Not the sloppy drunk brain. Haha.

You're going to rock it, Patresa, and I can't wait to hear all about it! Think about how elated you're going to be after such an accomplishment! Yay! You can do it, you can do it, YOU CAN DO IT. :) xoxoxoxoxoxxoxo.

John said...

Woo Hooo! Have fun and live it! You'll do great! I'll be thinking about you and sending lots of cosmic courage your way!

Holly said...

These are special songs you're singing...it's a special time. You are going to be absolutely fabulous. I've heard you and you ARE VERY GOOD!! Great in fact! Let that talent come through. It is TRULY A GIFT to be given what you have been given. Let it come through as a thankfulness to god and the universe for giving it to you. Make them proud by proudly belting out the Messenger and KNow when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run!
I WILL BE THERE TO SUPPORT YOU! This is the beginning of big things! I can feel it! Next year this time I want to be listening to you at Bonita's place-yo!
No liquid courage, eh? You go! (um...are you SURE about this part?)
You are setting a great example not only for your niece and nephew, but for me as well. Love ya! Mwa!!

Katie said...

P, I am so tickled about this, I am so stinkin proud of you!! I'm glad your test run went well and there was no preliminary barfing. That might have made your parents concerned. And how wise of your dad to bring up possibly the most motivating thing he could have found. Tawni is totally right - faking bravery for someone else is easier than faking it to ourselves.

And the t-shirt idea. Brilliant. I say go for it. I wish, more than I wish for a lot, that I could be there. Darn it, why does Thursday have to be a school night!? Stupid school.

Also, you are a brave, brave soul to do this sober. You have my admiration. You had it before, but now I'm fuller of admiration. And truthfully, the sober part isn't even the bravest thing. You're just kickin-ass-flippin-the-bird-to-a-litterer brave. Love it.

Cosmic forces and energy will be aligned on Thursday, and your fingers and voice will be clever and pure. Enjoy the adrenaline too. Sometimes we are too safe and forget what a true adrenaline surge can do for us.

Fight or flight, P. What's it gonna be? That's right - FIGHT!

blj said...

I can't wait for Thursday night! You might have so much fun at open mic that this becomes a weekly gig for you (and us)! And if you barf, you barf. No big deal. But I have a feeling you won't.

You are truly a role model, in sooo many ways, to sooo many people. You make things happen, P. And not just happen, you make them happen with style and grace and humor and fun! Thank you for that!

amy said...

You have no idea how! excited! I am! about Thursday!!!!! That's why I'm using so many of these: !!!!. Because Thursday is going to be so fantastic! And exciting!!! I will be sending you Rock the Open Mic Night good vibes all of Thursday, well into Friday morning.

Liquid Courage is overrated. And sometimes leads to Advil Mornings, which are never very fun.

This is so going to totally make you the Cool Aunt, P! Like, instantly. *I* wish you were my aunt. Now, I would like for Paula Deen, Cher, and Patresa H. to adopt me so I can be in the family of Cool People (who can cook, knock some sense into people, and rock the socks off of strangers at open mic nights).

Your kids--should there ever be any--would be getting the cool mom. Even if you barf. SO! Jealous!

Woo! Goooo P!

patresa said...

THANK YOU! thank you for all the encouragement and the wise words and the votes of confidence, good people!

tawni, i am absolutely stealing your pep talk. :)

it's gonna be great! even if it isn't!

Wendy said...

P, YAAAAY! I SO WISH I could be there! You're gonna be super duper rad. I can't WAIT to hear how it goes. Remember that extra change of underpants!

Here's what I would say if i was there (between each song)

Holly said...

Hey Peace Mac, I want to echo what Becky said about being a role model for so many and that you do it with style and grace. C'est vrai mon ami!! And, may I add, with insight and a gentleness that is so rare. Who loves ya baby? Me, that's who. thanks so much for being you.

patresa said...

thanks, w! i will have chris say all of those things!

and thank you, holly! that's too much! too much! particularly considering style and grace are 2 of your middle names! you're a good soul, you.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Patresa, YES, this is your week! I am so excited for you!! I'm so excited... and I just can't hide it! Woo you!

Ok, really, sister p, I am stoked for you. I also love the idea of your 36 yr old badass self wearing your vacancy shirt. I may steal your idea for some venue in the future, and play it off as my own. Just so you know. Not really... I will totally give you credit. ;)

And yay you for being a strong, honest, future minded and "weird" aunt. Your young-ens are so lucky to have such a cool and talented lady pants in the family. I bet they love having you....love love love.

I will send out a ghostbusters on the vomit. No vomit vibes your way. Cheers to sobriety!

Oh, and by next week, open mic will be so last week. :)