i’m a geek. i fully admit it. and i’m not really ashamed of it – although sometimes my hubby is :).
unfortunately it’s not the brilliant kind of geek that can solve all your computer troubles or give you cheat codes for ‘world of warcraft’ i am the kind who adores corny jokes and superheros and startrek. and i have snuck a comic or two under my mattress. okay – maybe i’m a bit ashamed of that….
naturally i love star wars, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that yoda quotes often form the foundation for my thinking. my own personal teacher, is he. (ha ha – couldn’t resist) anyway!
truthfully a lot of very good advice is given from the mouth of the wee little jedi master. and one that i’ve been mentally exploring a lot while embarking on the adventure that is NYC, is this one:
“No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
it kinda builds upon my new years resolution from last year (which was ‘to grow a pair’) – and keeps me moving that direction. tonight i had an opportunity to ‘do or do not.’
being in the city i’ve had the chance to reconnect w/ an old friend of mine. hands down one of the most musically talented people you will ever know. and since being here we’ve had an incredible invitation to experience some of the absolutely amazing underground music scene that new york has to offer. these players are mind blowing good – indescribably good!
so we decided to head out to a place in brooklyn for some live music and to hang out at ‘open mic night.’ true to form it was fantastic. marc and i were smiling ear to ear – enjoying all of it.
then, as these things go, i was asked to sing.
i can not explain the battle that occurred inside of me: i haven’t really sung in years. yes – most of my adult life i sang in public several times a week BUT i’m not really a singer. i’m totally out of practice. don’t be a chicken. i’m only being smart. smile and he’ll go away. why is he still asking me?!? haven’t you been deciding to make brave choices? here’s your chance to be daring. you’ll be sorry if you don’t. you’ll be stupid if you do.
“are you freaking kidding me! no way am i going to open my mouth in this place with you all!” my brain decided quite firmly.
my mouth however, much to my horror, replied, “ok.”
and so it goes. and it wasn’t really too bad – until that one section in the verse – every single verse – where the guitar player and i did not agree on which chord should be played – and i had no clue how to fix it.
nails on a chalk board. wretched. and eternal.
it was almost out of body trying to figure out what was going wrong so i could stop it – but it was totally outside my skill set. knowing the way my pasty pale skin responds i was quite certain i was tomato red – and that everyone was wishing they could crawl under a table. especially me.
but i powered thru. finished. and sat down as quickly as i could, using a LOT of self control to not run out of the building screaming like a mad woman. i’d much rather they remember me for pulling off my clothes and yanking my hair out than for performing so horribly!
my sweet (and very very wise) husband was instantly telling me how ‘wonderful’ it was. the man is certainly no dummy – he is attending columbia you know! but i didn’t believe it for a second. so, while the next guy played i sat trapped in my own thoughts. is it better to do? to try? do we really regret things we DON’T try more than than the things we DO? was i closer to my goal or further away from my goal of conquering this ‘new frontier’. did i feel strong and empowered… or ashamed and more determined than ever to never try THAT again!
in the movies when someone finally breaks thru their fear they seem to always triumph. i was certainly not feeling like a winner. but are there points for “trying?” or what was it i had done? tried? failed? did? didn’t do?
i decided that i did it. i didn’t do it well – but i did do it. and that was the point for me anyway right? to do something out of my comfort zone. so – i determined that i won. yah – i did it. i snuggled closer to my hubby and smiled. ok. i can live with that. besides 99% of all people in the world don’t have the chops these guys do anyway! yah. that’s right! go me!
then the manager walks over to me. i pasted on a stiff smile wishing he would just go away and we could all pretend it never happened. he smiled warmly and took my hand, “that was great!”
huh? did i hear that right? i stammered, “well if i could’ve found that chord…”
“yah – i know what you mean – but it really didn’t distract. you were my favorite moment of the night.”
i blinked. was he teasing me?? no, i realized, he was sincere.
i mumbled a thank you as he asked me to come back and play again.
hmmm. really? could i be judging myself so horribly wrong? no – i don’t think so… but what then?
i suppose i’ll have to think about all that some more – the whole ‘do / do not’ thing. and don’t worry – i will not be quick to take a singing gig in the city based on one dude’s reaction!
but – i am glad i tried. or i mean i “did”.
and one thing i know for sure…. there maybe only ‘do / do not’ but something on the ‘do’ list dang better well be practice! preparedness makes for a much better “do”.
and learn that freakin’ chord!