What you lose…

July 9, 2011 at 5:13 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

First,  to be clear….I’m not mad, mopey, sulking, bitter…whatever about the situation I’m going to write about…but I think it’s kinda interesting that I’m not.  And how I got here.

So, cousins…don’t come up to me and think you have to change your tune(s) LOL.  not at all.

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The stuff I’m good at, writing, singing, acting, comedy….isn’t known for being a steady, consistent means of support.

So,  if I have family that did manage that?

There are two roads I could have gone about that.

Declined to see their plays.  Withdrew from any discussions about their music, their auditions, their costumes, their schedules…what they like and don’t like about their director the particular part…etc.  And, when I did think about their successes, always view them through the prism of, “Well, I didn’t get to do this as a lifelong fun thing…and I should have…so I will now sulk about it.”

Or,

Want to see their plays.  Get peeved when I have to miss them.  Be gleeful when I get to see them, and proud and raucous in my applause at the end, because these are the two people I root for most in the world.  genuinely invest in their rising tide of fun and music…be an ear.

The decision point on this, of course, was when I started to realize that one of them would make this the best hobby ever, while holding down a day job with benefits…and the other would actually act and sing for a living…

At that point, I did have this inner dialogue, for about 38 seconds, and was done worrying about it afterward:

“*I* can sing!  *I* can act!  Why *is* it that they get a shot and I didn’t?  Their parents supported their dream!…”  And then,  as a friend of mine reminded me last month,  I found reasons to stop whining.

My Mom was struggling to raise me in the midst of my dad’s drinking.  My independence was their first priority.

In addition, I think the idea of a woman with disabilities making a living in the arts was so far out of the realm of the general public’s thinking in say 1972 when I was eleven or so…there was no kind of mental ‘sign’ that would have said to my parents, “This one’s good enough to actually make her living at it…”  They were pleased enough just to have gotten me mainstreamed…

So, when my cousin TheRealJournalist, got to play King Richard in “The Lion in Winter…I relished watching him do it, not just because he’s part of my family, but because that’s become my second favorite film ever…

And with my cousin who sings at Disney, there’s this odd paradoxical thing that makes it even easier to enjoy her success for it’s own sake.

She has this gorgeous controlled bell-toned soprano that she can do anything with…it speaks of the years of training she took to craft her voice into this amazing instrument … that sounds nothing like my voice.

Even if I had also been successful, mine would have been as it is, a rougher second-alto-nearly-tenor, with more than a little Judy Garland about it…untrained….I would have kept the unfinished sound on purpose then,  since my life experience tells me that ‘happily ever after,’ is a dangerously naive place to be…even as my singing cousin seems to have managed that very thing.

And she  admires my voice.  All the time…once at the kitchen table, she said… “Like chocolate.  It’s just amazing!”

And she freakin’ sings for Disney.  So, if someone who sings for the Mouse thinks you’re good…

I suppose you are.

The point of all this reminiscing is:

If you can’t get behind a friend or family member’s triumphs,  can’t examine and then put aside your own road not taken…it’s you who lose.  It’s not an easy thing to do, but the positives are worth it!

Why would you want to miss out on fun like that?

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