For a long time I’ve had two identities. Most days I’m a working mom: reliable, responsible and professional. I go to work, pay the bills, and do the things most mothers do to run a home and raise a child. But then there are those few nights a month I let go of all of my inhibitions and get in touch with the deepest part of myself. It’s a place I’ve never been able to describe, but have always needed to access to feel whole. With emotional hunger and a sense of abandon, I shed any trace of convention, walk into a crowded room with the company of four men… and pick up a microphone. The next few hours can only be described as transcendent, an amazing exchange of energy, expression and passion between musicians and an audience. People express their good-natured envy all the time; I’m a mom who gets to be a diva.
But all good things must come to an end.
Sadly, after ten years of friendship and collaboration, my band will be, well, disbanding. It’s no surprise I’m a little sad about the new development.
Like most people, I guess I just took for granted that the things I love would always be there. The funny thing is, it wasn’t until we had to announce our last gig that the loss truly hit me: I’m really going to miss it and them. We’ve become friends, shared our milestones, miseries and accomplishments. Our kids have played together. Making music has not only been cathartic, it’s been like some weird form of group therapy that helped each of us step outside of ourselves while presenting our best selves. And, I’ll be honest, getting to own the stage as the lead singer in a killer blues/rock band hasn’t been anything to sneeze at either.
Change is often a surprise, but I suppose it’s inevitable. It can force us out of our comfort zone and leave a hole where something that mattered used to be. The question is, what do we do with the new circumstances? During times of transition, our strengths become evident because we rely on them. At the same time, our weaknesses and fear create self doubt, feeding the perception that the game is over. With some honest reflection (after dealing with the loss, of course) all of that reality offers a wonderful opportunity to figure out what we want to do with ourselves, and what we want to do next.
Endings really are just beginnings in disguise, because change is an opportunity for reinvention. I’m not sure what will happen next. What I do know is that while I’ll miss the guys and the band terribly, I’ve grown as a performer and as a person because of the experience. It stands to reason then, that whatever the new chapter of my life will be about, it has the potential to inspire even more growth if I’m open to the possibility. Maybe I’ll end up pursuing that dream of being a sultry singer in a piano bar. Maybe I’ll revisit my love affair with community theater. Maybe by feeding my curiosity I’ll find an entirely new passion. I don’t think we can really live life by approaching it timidly. I heard a great quote by the author C. JoyBell C. today. She said, “The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
OK. Here goes…