Okay, who is this person I have become?
Someone else has inhabited my body! Since I’ve been writing, so many things have changed in my life. This new person wants to perform. I find that very interesting.
I am not glamorous, and I’m fifty years old. Why do I want to perform, and will anyone want to hear what I have to share?
Maybe I should prepare a comic routine, in case my music falls flat. Here are my prior venues over the last thirty years (since 1980), leading up to this:
a. Two talent shows
b. One funeral (not Jason’s)
c. One Bar Mitzvah (for my older son)
d. A retreat with special needs mothers
e. Puff the Magic Dragon–well over a hundred times at my children’s schools on their birthdays.
Before that, it gets fuzzy for me to remember. I can say with some certainty that I performed at numerous talent shows, and for the City of Hope.
As I go on an adventure with this new person I have become, I am very enthusiastic! I have not had any adventures in a long time. It is thrilling for me to consider being on a stage and sharing my passion.
I have looked into a few venues where I could perform on a live stage!
It was very easy to do this. I started to wonder why I waited so long to “live.” I don’t have to wonder too much.
I was busy surviving.
“A Few Months in the Life”
I remember an excellent show I used to watch called, “A Year in The Life.” I was thinking that perhaps if my blog became my book, it would be called, “A Few Months in the Life.”
These few months have been simply amazing for me. Because I’m not sure where I’m going yet with my writing, I have grappled with whether to use the blog for serious stories, humorous essays, or simply day-to-day updates.
I don’t grapple too much. My writing still controls me, more than the other way around.
On Monday night, I went out with my parents to celebrate their being reunited. My mom was finally transferred to the same facility as my father. It was a very emotional and touching reunion. However, they are both so much weaker and not aware of each other’s frailties.
Tomorrow, I am taking my mom to a shoulder specialist so she’ll be able to continue receiving physical therapy. My mom told me how disappointed she was that my father was not coming along. I couldn’t believe she had such expectations. My father can hardly walk anymore and has no patience for an outing of that nature.
My father is very impatient with my mother. He is also very negative, pessimistic, and difficult to have a conversation with. He has been more interested in what I’ve been doing, lately. I haven’t shared too much with him, since he tended to make remarks that weren’t helpful and were actually quite hurtful. The other day, he said my life reminded him of the movie, “Punch Line,” with Sally Field, where she played a struggling, stand-up comic who was a housewife. It was sweet when he mentioned this to me.
My title of this post, “It Was Quite a Wait,” is related to weight and waiting. Because of my writing, I’ve come across many, old pictures. Since Jason’s birthday is in two days, I saw images that were sad reminders of his birth for me.
One of the pictures I came across really captured my struggle with being overweight. I’ve always had weight fluctuations, but my greatest one was during my pregnancy with Jason. I gained 100 pounds, and came across a picture that really showed it.
I remarked to Connie this past weekend how I discovered this: “When I filled myself up with other things, I stopped filling up my void with food.”
I used to tell myself on a daily basis, that it wasn’t fair that I was so overweight. It made everything more difficult for me. I have experienced such dramatic weight fluctuations, and certainly could blame four pregnancies for that. However, I was in survival mode and doing whatever would help me cope. I could not for the life of me figure out how to change. Connie always helped me to be gentle with myself, to be human and not be a perfectionist.
Connie explained to me that all my newfound energy could be due to no longer applying my energy into being “stuck.” I had no idea that holding in my feelings could be so exhausting on a daily basis.
I was just so used to it. Freeing myself of that, has allowed my energy to come back. It has allowed me to stop filling myself up with other things, such as food. I am more full of things now than I have ever been; I am especially filled with joy.
Since I’ve begun writing and singing, most of my food issues have evaporated. I’ve lost 23 pounds. If I don’t lose another pound, I’m fine. I feel wonderful and the lightness inside lifts me everywhere I go.
The post title and “waiting” also applies to my music. Last night I went to an “Open Mic” evening and performed.
I have been practicing a lot, lately. Actually “practicing” is not the best word to describe it. Singing has become for me what writing has been. It has allowed for tremendous release and an intense feeling of connection.
I only play my original songs. Not all of my songs are sad. I have been enjoying one that is very upbeat. It is called, “You Are My Wings.”
I recorded in on Saturday with George as a “freestyle, rough-cut.” This weekend I want to record it using separate tracks and additional instruments. When I performed last night at an “Open Mic” venue, this was the song that I played.
My youngest son listened to me practice. His comments were: “Mom, I can hear you breathing too much. You have to stop making so much noise when you breathe.”
That felt a little too challenging for me. My son has been very excited about my voice lessons with his former teacher, Peaches!
My husband and both my sons came to watch my performance. My daughter didn’t feel well enough to come. I could write a lot about my evening, but I’ll try and summarize it. I was approximately the sixteenth performer out of eighteen other people. I was allowed to play one song.
Most of the performers were comedians. My youngest son was exposed to a lot of “racy stuff,” which he loved.
Finally it was my turn. I gingerly stepped onto the stage, being careful not to trip or stumble. I asked for a chair, instead of the stool that was there. I introduced myself and shared that this was my first performance in thirty years. I had an “Aw, shucks!” kind of demeanor and the audience was very kind to me. There were approximately twenty people.
I said, “Hi, my name is Judy. I haven’t played my guitar and performed like this in thirty years! I’ve had a life changing experience; up until then I was taking care of many people. Now I am rediscovering my love for music and it feels great. I want to share one of my original songs.”
I realized my guitar had gone out of tune. I took my time and tuned it before I began. The adrenaline rush wasn’t helpful for my performance; I calmed myself down. Once I began singing, my nervousness disappeared.
I learned a few things:
I’m a doofus when it comes to microphones and audio. I was clueless about adjusting the microphone. My husband’s first comment on my performance was, “The microphone was too loud.”
My oldest son smiled and said, “Nice job, mom.”
My youngest son said, “You took too long to get started. The guitar part overshadowed your voice; the microphone wasn’t in the right place. But you did great with the breathing thing!”
While I was singing, my voice really opened up; I felt like someone else! Hearing my voice and connecting with my heart caused me so much pleasure that I could hardly believe how quickly my song went by.
It wasn’t enough.
I don’t want to perform in this kind of venue again. I could perform in my bathroom and get so much more therapy. It was quite difficult to wait three hours. My guitar went out of tune and my voice was no longer warmed up. I wanted to play more than just one song.
Perfecting my performance in public is still valuable. However, my connection is there when I know the people listening have read my writing. I love the idea of having a video performance on the blog. I’m sure that hearing my music and seeing me play would convey more than simply audio.
I love my journey so much!
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