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.).