self help

Me and Brené, Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance

guidepost 10

I have been sitting on this last guidepost for a couple of months now. Why? Because this one, cultivating laughter, song, and dance, is suddenly so hard for me. “How is this even possible” I have wondered? When did I start to take myself so seriously? I went to school for laughter, song, and dance. Literally. I studied musical theatre. I was an obnoxious 18-year-old who walked, no, chasséed up and down the streets of Manhattan singing at the top of my lungs with my friends. I used to sing for hours a day, both in rehearsal and on my own. I spent countless hours in the studio in front of the mirrors with music playing just experimenting with movement.

I was once goofy as hell. I was downright funny, not with intention, but people genuinely got a kick out of my outlook and perspective on life and the commentary I provided. Multiple times people suggested, in all seriousness, that I should be a stand-up. I did not care how ridiculous I looked as long as people were laughing. What happened?

I was actually told to not be myself. I was told to silence my opinions. I was told to behave appropriately. I was told to sit down and shut up over and over again. I was told I laughed too loud. I was told that my singing was pain inducing.

By the time I left my ex-husband I had not sung in two years with the exception of quiet lullabies between me and my baby. I had not danced or told a joke. In short, I had lost myself.

While I dance I can not judge, I can not hate, I can not separate myself from life.

Now, I am hesitant to get on the dance floor. Hairography is something of the past. I am ready though and I am trying so hard to let go of cool or more difficult, always in control. I got very serious when I became a mom, and sure that has something to do with the controlling hand of my XN, but I also had this idea of what a mom had to be. But the best memories I have from my childhood are of hula hooping in my mom’s bedroom and dancing with my mom and my sisters to Open House Party on Saturday night. So I don’t even know how I got here.

I know that I want my son to remember by hearty laughter. I want to rate the level of happiness in our house by how much dancing is happening in our dining room. I want my son to always remember me singing and telling jokes and being silly with him.

I may not be a performer anymore and may no longer have the need to be the center of attention but I am actively trying to put music back in my life. When my son asks me to dance with him, I am saying “yes”, even when I am tired and borderline cranky. When I have the opportunity to tell a story I am trying to deliver with goofy abandon. It is SO HARD! What was once a part of who I am is now a practice and that is a step in the right direction.

GUIDEPOST #9: CULTIVATING MEANINGFUL WORK

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