For the last few days I have been a shaky, focused, heart-palpitate-y mess of a woman, singing "Redneck Woman" into every mirror I pass, air-mic in hand.
Yes, I am a performer by trade: it's one of the trinity of activities that puts food in my stomach and a rented roof over my head, but that's something completely different: performance for me entails sitting at a piano, telling stories through song and baring a bit of myself, something I have become more comfortable with through the years.
Tonight will be about bravado, about a nervous sort of tipsy karaoke showmanship that I find so far outside my comfort zone that it's dizzying!
This evening's performance will last less than two minutes and yet it has consumed me, as I knew it would. In fact, I was counting on this, banking on it in a way I cannot describe very well, except to say that in the overcoming lies the joy.
I think we all have a comfy box we live in by whose dimensions, texture and temperature we define our lives. When we do anything to push one side out or put a skylight in our previously demure and quiet comfort zone becomes a vocal fear factory, convincing us via logical thoughts that our worst nightmares may very well come true if we are so foolish to poke at the tear we've made above our heads.
"The sky will come crashing IN to this box - do you want that?"
"They're all going to laugh at you - you will fail!!"
"Since when do you think you'll be any good at this, huh?"
The creative license our comfort zone (or ego to some) takes in formulating these ideas is actual quite amazing and inspiring - it just reaches inward instead of out and because of that it is stultifying and deadly.
It breeds boredom, 'shoulda-woulda-coulda'-ing and regretful sighs.
From the very beginning of my decision to call in to Froggy 92.9 I knew that the nervous energy I'd experience would make me feel really halved, really challenged, but I knew I had to exercise this muscle in order to absolutely make that skylight a reality.
Because this scares me I know I must allow myself to rise to its challenge
even if the sky falls in
even if I botch the words and fall over in my cowboy boots
even if I don't sound good
even if I die
because to turn back now
would mean that something that wants me to shrink away from vibrant, terrifying
and I would be one inch shorter than I was yesterday.