I’ve come to realize that the things I think I want to accomplish may be slightly different than the things I want to actualize. In an effort to make the two things seamless, I’m putting these new goals out there and asking that my friends and family hold me accountable to them. I’ve also realized I don’t need to validate these things to anyone or get validation from anyone as a result of accomplishing them, as the validation in the accomplishment will come from the pure satisfaction in the journey of reaching these goals and what that journey will bring to me if I’m honest about what I truly want.
1. Post a song of myself singing the blues on YouTube. This is scary for me because I’m shy about my singing voice, as it’s very different than my soft speaking voice of which people are more keenly aware, and if you know me, you also know I don’t know the lyrics to any song enough to save my own life. It’s not about becoming Internet famous, in fact, it couldn’t be farther from it. I’m not very vocal about this, perhaps because it’s always been my own little secret, but I LOVE singing the blues. It’s very possible that, you may be replaying, in your mind, the moment in Stepbrothers when Will Ferrell sings for someone else for the first time, and I have to be okay with that. Ha! My very own family may not even know about this about me because I’m so private about it. I sing to myself and rarely in front of anyone, but I find that when I do, it is the quickest way to soothe my worried mind (yep, realized that in and of itself sounded like a blues song), and I may not be the best singer, but it feels damn good because I’m unabashed about releasing the pain. Honesty in a voice always comes through no matter the skill level. I consider myself a Positive Polly, but when I’m in a funk about something, it’s often challenging for me to kick it because I care so deeply about the important things and people in my life. I recently watched one of my old theatre professors truly sing with full abandonment after going through a tough trial in her life, and it was one of the most pure and beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Doing this for myself would mean abandoning all the leftover self-doubt I’ve built up for myself over the years, loving myself in my nakedness (I don’t know any other way of saying that and can’t avoid the unavoidable connotation – stop that!), and as a result, making room in this heart to love others with pure abandon. And from a more selfish standpoint (because I’m allowed that, too), as an introvert, it is not often that I let others in to see my accomplishments and the things of which I should be proud. I need, just like the next person, not for others to validate me, but for others to openly receive the gift of sharing my true self with them.
2. Read my poem(s) at an open mic night. If you know me well, you may know that I am, or almost always have been, attempting to write my first novel without abandoning it half-way through the course. However, what I have come to realize, is that I may be more infatuated with the end idea rather than the act itself. I’m not quite fully comfortable with believing that whole-heartedly, as it may also be easier for me to release the idea of something overwhelming for fear of failing at this large task, but for now, I’m going to table it and continue to do the thing that I often do when I want to write but don’t want the loftiness of a novel to get in my way. My first love was writing poetry, and I will own that it is a skill I possess. It comes easy to me, which doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot of room to improve, but it’s quite possibly my favorite form of expression. As an internal processor, writing has always been a more comforting way to say what I need to say without the fear of my verbal vomit getting in the way. Poetry allows me to mean more than one thing at a time, as I’ve never seen the world in black and white. Everything for me is grey because life is nuanced and I am more comfortable seeing big pictures, all sides of a story, and empathizing with all humans — because it helps me to better understand this confusing world. This can complicate things sometimes, but it’s simply the truth. I want to write more and share it with others because there is comfort in fraternizing with others who feel the same way.
3. Get ripped. It might be a little bit of a vanity thing if I’m completely honest, but mostly it’s about feeling my best even if, or especially since I’m getting older. I want to be able to say I’m in the best shape of my life and the healthiest I’ve ever been at the age thirty-four and then next year, at thirty-five, and so forth. I want to continue to kick hypertension’s sorry-as-k me no more questions without having to take medicine. The end result is just a tangible way to see that I have accomplished that goal.
I have other, more long-term goals, but these are ones I feel I can accomplish in a sort of reverse New Years resolution fashion. What do I mean by that? I want to give myself the timeline of accomplishing these things before the year is over. That’s both manageable enough and scary enough. I’ve heard this long enough and from a variety of sources over time for it to finally kick in — I should go back to a time in my life that I was at my happiest. I remember feeling scared, but instead of allowing that fear to stifle me, I allowed it to fuel me and to push me to do the things I really wanted to do. I no longer wanted to feel that I was less deserving of these things than other people, and I wanted to feel alive, and when I pushed past this fear, I received exactly what I wanted because I believed in it for myself. This was a time I was in theatre, and I was scared to death at first of putting myself on stage in front of hundreds of people, at risk of failing, but realizing that I didn’t even care if I did because it felt so good. I was doing it for myself and no one else. It was a thing that I owned. I want that again, and I’m doing it again because I deserve it.