On being silly

I was watching Episode 99 of the Bakery Bears the other day, and Dan shared a recent revelation of his.

It dawned on him (and I’m also totally summarizing his fantastic conversation with Kay) that “living life like a musical” is NOT a bad thing! That it’s essentially living in the moment, which is a positive and healthy mode of operation. That it’s OK to be “silly”, which I interpret as living life each day seeking out joy and being open to sharing it with others when you experience it.

He also quoted the following:

“Find out what you love and do it as often as you can.”

Their conversation really got my wheels turning. Why you ask? Because as they were deep in discussion I realized that I kinda live my life “like a musical” – and I think I take it for granted. Which led to some reflection.

Come with me on this journey…

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I haven’t always had a positive outlook on life. There have been times when I’ve been super serious and hyper focused on the negative parts of life. I used to call this being “realistic” – but really it was a slippery slope into downer-ville.

However, for the most part, I’ve generally been a positive person and…well…silly. But I made the conscious decision to fully embrace a life as a silly person, or as I prefer to call it a joyfully passionate person, fairly recently. Around 5-ish years ago.

There were several factors for my commitment to this mindset. At the time I had just made the switch from pursuing a full-time career as an opera singer. A pursuit that had left me utterly unfulfilled, creatively depleted, and frankly – super depressed.

My entire identity was wrapped up in becoming a full-time opera singer. As a result I turned a blind eye to all other aspects of life – love, family, friends and even crafting!

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I was so focused on becoming a “young artist” and on following the cookie cutter outline set before me by the industry on how to achieve this career that I totally lost sight of what made ME most creative, fulfilled and most importantly – happy.

With the help of family, friends and a fantastic therapist (bless therapy!) I accepted that a change was needed. I was living life by the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

With their help and a lot of soul-searching I discovered that I am the type of creative person that thrives with a solid foundation under me (namely a secure home base) and a certain everyday schedule or rhythm . This realization also came about with the help of Brené Brown’s fabulous book Daring Greatly.

I mean – no wonder I was unhappy! The gypsy life of a full-time, freelancing opera singer totally butted heads with what is my best mode of operation!

So, I changed things up.

Being silly is allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

Being vulnerable has always been hard for me, and it continues to be.

For me, being vulnerable is allowing others to see that I don’t know everything. (I know this sounds crazy pants, but it’s true! Oh, to be a Virgo perfectionist.) Being vulnerable is displaying my passions to the world with the willingness to receive opposing views. It’s letting my freak flag fly and being open to any confrontation that might come my way as a result.

Oddly enough, I’ve found that being silly or vulnerable leads to being embraced by others, rather than shunned!

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When I made the switch to being a part-time local singer and a full-time arts fundraiser, opportunities that had alluded me before started to come my way. I sang solos with the Symphony and other groups, I sang with the opera chorus and I found full-time work that embraced and encouraged my life as an artist.

Funny how life opens up opportunities when you stop trying to direct it in a certain way…

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A few months ago, as I was sifting through old paperwork at mom’s house, I found this note from my 8-year-old self:

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😳…🤯…😭

There it was in my hopeful, innocent handwriting.

My goals in life – and holy sh*t – I’ve kinda achieved them. Well…minus a muscular husband and kids named Marsha, Kim and John. But that’s next on the list of goals. 😉

What I’ve learned, now (ahem!) 30 years later, is that life is a river – it ebbs and flows. Which is why being “silly” is so important. It keeps you flexible, so you can move where life takes you. Being silly forces you to look at life with a wide lens, rather than a magnifying glass.

So – I say go forth and let your silly flag fly! Be passionate and creative! And share it with anyone and everyone who will listen. Spread the silly!

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The return of blogging?

I’m feeling the urge to start a blog…like….big time urge.

I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to podcasts like Blogtacular? Maybe it’s because I’ve recently been reading and enjoying a variety of blogs? Or maybe it’s to gain a sense of control over what I post – over my content.

Increasingly so, it seems like we have to rent a space on social media in order to take part in it or we have to deal with a constant barrage of ads. I guess this was inevitable. As these large networks grow, it costs even more money to maintain them – which means ad revenue is a sad must. Or, like in the case of YouTube, you have an option to subscribe and cut out the noise, pretending that the platform is free like in the good ol’ days.

Oh the good ol’ days of watching cat videos without an ad about tampons first. […sigh…]

But I’m really feeling the urge to write. To hone my voice for ‘the page’.

Most of my career as a fundraiser has been to write in the voices of other people. Or to write specifically for the purpose of “winning someone over” – to advocate for an organization or a particular show.

Vloging or podcasting comes somewhat naturally to me, because I’m just….speaking. It’s all top of mind with some prep work ahead of time.

I’d like my writing to have the same ease and flow as podcasting. And because it’s in “print” my hope is that my thoughts and observations will become more articulate.

Blogging is an opportunity to be more thoughtful in what I say and choose to present to the world…or the few people who read this (Hi Mom!).

I also hope that blogging will be a respite from a world that is increasingly reactive. We now live in a constant reactionary state (insert like button here!) which is only fed by daily social media use.

While I don’t like this side effect, I am so grateful for what social media has provided and continues to provide – a sense of community that knows no borders or time zones. The knitting and making community has had a profound effect on my life, and that is due in large part to social media platforms!

All that being said, I’ve stated the positive of starting to blog again. Now let’s look at the “worry list”:

  • I will censor myself too much in my writing, and get writers block
  • I won’t be as open and vulnerable as I am (or try to be) on YouTube
  • Everyone will now see that I can’t spell worth sh*t and that I write in pure colloquialisms (the latter of which should be of no shock if you watch the podcast.)
  • I will undoubtedly have to engage with ‘haters’ in the comments section. Blerg.

….I have to say I thought that list would be much longer.

I think this means it’s time to give this blogging thing a go!

This could be a potential #100dayschallenge, but I think that if I blog each day it would turn into a glorified personal journal, which is not what I’m going for.

I want to tell a specific story in each post, in a way that I can’t do on Instagram or on YouTube.

In terms of frequency, it might be every day. It might be once a week, or every other month. There will be a blog post when I have story to tell.

It will be about what I’m making, the music I’m singing that week, the dog I saw on the street in the morning – anything and everything is up for grabs.

Dudes…I am pumped! Let this blogging adventure begin!