:: 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.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kim and No Sidekicks (Tanya)

We all have heard about those friends that you seek out in life to make yourself feel better. You know, the uglier or plain-Janer friend, the one who dotes all over you and lets you run the show. The friend who is just a little less funny or who looks uncomfortable in her own skin, usually wearing stupid shoes with an ill fitting skirt or saggy butt pants. The kind of friend will forever be wearing braces and thick glasses, even when the braces come off and the glasses are now contacts. The kind of friend who is a nervous puppy and never finds her confidence. Of course I'm talking about the “sidekick friend.”

Well, okay, if this is the kind of friend you are seeking, run fast and far away from my rock star friend, Kim. Kim is the polar-bombs-exploding-opposite to the sidekick friend who we’ve all seen, had, or heard about, the kind starring in Mean Girls or The Breakfast Club, and Kim is even a nice gal to boot. Kim is cool, hot, confident, determined, resilient, loyal, human, hilarious, patiently blunt, and wildly adventurous to say the least, and Kim has simply got-it-going-on. Kim has also ALWAYS got your back.

So I’m writing about Kim because I was thinking recently about what I love about this friend of mine. As I work towards self evolution and increasing this self esteem stuff, I have been struck by just how life saving and awesome it is that I have found someone like Kim in my life. She has truly been a life saver too, lit-er-a-lly. We have known each other for years, but only when we were both going through our separations and ultimately our divorces did we become uber close pals. Of course, this was due to another rock star friend, Liz, who in very common Liz-form, suggested we connect up while we were going through what we were going through (Liz is forever the social matchmaker of all sorts….. LOVE YOU TOO, ROCK STAR FRIEND!!). I simply can never thank Kim enough for the strength she gave me during those dark and shady days. I mean those terms, “dark” and “shady” in many many, many many endless ways too. Kim knows what I mean.

Anyway, I had to giggle recently at a concert Kim and I attended (Poison and Motley Crue for all you 80s/ 90s children – glam rock style, garage band dreamers unite!). I went on a school (aka work) day completely exhausted, so not into it, and definitely not prepared mentally or physically appealing to the eye. I didn’t change from my matronly work clothes (aka smart black cotton dress that hit me below the knees, sensible diamonique stud earrings for jewelry, little make-up if at all visible, and a general fuddy duddy vibe) except for changing my granny shoes to my way hipper (comfortable) flip flops and removing my slip. By the way, you should never admit to anyone you still wear a slip, even if Duchess Kate is wearing nude hose these days.... Anyway, Kim, on the other hand, looked like a respectable Poison / Motley Crue concert go-er. She was blinged out with eons of sparkle and the vibe on fire to match. And, most importantly, Kim has that appeal. She ALWAYS has that appeal. I lost count of all the random men (and chicks by the way) who either high-fived her, struck up meaningless conversation, asked for a smoke, nudged me out of the way to get closer to her, or generally just ogled her from near and far. Me, well, I was the invisible, sensibly dressed friend who knew her place and bounced around in her sensible dress impressing nobody, except perhaps Kim, and of course my die-hard heavy metal band friend, Carey, who is always the FOREVER ROCK STAR FRIEND too (thanks C, Bop, Tommy Lee is friggin' amazing, huh!).

So, all of this got me thinking about the COFFEE project. I thought, okay, this is good. Everyone SHOULD have a friend like Kim. A friend who steals the show EVERY SINGLE TIME, and who rocks in EVERY SINGLE WAY. A friend who is carefree and who lives life to the fullest. A person who takes every day as the day that things will happen and nothing less. I thought, now this is also healthy humility. I am not quiet. I am not normally a sensible person (despite wearing occasional slips under my unlined skirts). I don’t wear thick glasses and I had a retainer only briefly in middle school. I feel pretty decent in my skin, and I am not afraid to speak up to just about anyone, in polite fashion hopefully. I’ve kicked some ass along the way, in good healthy form, and I feel good about that too. I have never been known to be anyone’s sidekick, and Kim certainly would not allow me to be hers. She would kick MY ass if I did that. Anyway, I love Kim, and I love that when I’m around her, she makes me want to be just a little bit more spontaneous, a little less careful, and perhaps cuss just a little bit more. Like Shania sings in her new song after a forever hiatus, “today is your day and nothing can stand in your way.” Shania must have heard about Kim somewhere along her journey…..I'm sure she plans to thank her too. Shania is polite I've heard.

I wanted to write this COFFEE post to publicly thank my friend for being my true soul friend in all of her rock star, sex appeal-ness, cool vibe ways. Rock on Kim. Sidekicks, now rock out.

I am sure I haven't met nearly all my goals, but I will keep trying COFFEE mates. You all rock on too. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

day late, dollar short, last post (patresa)

I was supposed to post yesterday. I did not. Today, a day late, and a dollar short, is my last COFFEE post.

When I started COFFEE last fall, I was trying to shake off an irrational fear of playing music and singing in front of people. When I was younger, I played music and sang in front of people all the time. But I did it with a tremendous amount of insecurity which induced a lot of shaky and unpleasant performances. By the time I'd gotten older, the feelings associated with the shaky and unpleasant performances (i.e., shame, frustration, and defeat) were what stuck with me. Finally, I just quit playing and singing for anyone. I felt stupid, untalented, inferior to more talented friends, like a poser, and decided I should just stick with behind-the-scenes sorts of expressions and support roles--nothing that would put me on the spot and make me vulnerable.

So, although, on the surface, my initial COFFEE project--to play original songs at 3 open mics--was kind of silly, to me it was definitely something much bigger. It was about forgiving myself for being imperfect, trusting that I had something worth singing even if not everyone thought so, and being bravely vulnerable. It was also about not letting irrational fears limit how I experience life. I think a lot of people spend their lives treading water in the same backyard kiddie pool, because they're too afraid to explore their own potential. I don't want to be one of them.

The support and encouragement I received here at COFFEE, including from a couple of pros (Hello, Wendy & Tawni!), was... magical. I was actually a bit surprised at how powerful it was. Thank you! I accomplished my goal. I played and sang in front of strangers. I did it several times, and it got less scary each time. I even enjoy it now--even when I screw up.

I couldn't think of another project that made my drawers tremble the way my original COFFEE project did, so I decided on a couple of discipline-oriented goals--keep building my set until I have enough to open for someone. Revise one of my novel drafts. These aren't about fear so much as they are about my own laziness and inattention. (Which also threaten to limit how I experience life.)

Work is going to be intense for the next 2 months and then another 2.5 months after that as I prepare everything for maternity leave. In November, I'll become a mother. If that isn't intense, I don't know what is. So you know what I want right now? I want to be lazy and inattentive.

I will continue to write music and play at open mics. I may or may not ever do anything but play at open mics. I just want to do what I do, meet who I meet, and let happen what happens. I will continue to work on my novel when I feel like it. I may or may not ever create a vision board.  I will probably eat a lot of ice cream. And then I will become a mother, completely fall in love with a tiny squirming poop machine, and learn that my ambitions aren't worth crap anymore, or so I imagine.

At any rate, I will stop in and high five our bold COFFEE spirits.

Go forth and be bold!

I leave you with "Rotary Dial," which I wrote several months ago after a walk through an antique store and on a day longing for solitude.

Please note that I have no idea where to focus my gaze when I am singing to myself. I feel a little self-conscious about this (as well as how much I have rounded since my previous videos. I am not a dainty pregnant woman.).