Monday, February 9, 2009

Who Do You Want to Be Today . . .

I've rambled and rambled and rambled on and on and on here over the last 18 months. I've talked about weight loss. I've talked about forgiveness. I've talked about expectations. I've talked about defying expectations. I've talked about open wounds. I've talked about closed doors. I've talked about fears. I've talked about hopes. I've talked about The Biggest Loser . I've talked about me and my formerly loserish ways. The ONE thing that has tied most of this blog together is the idea of taking control of yourself. Ownership.

Deciding who you've been. Who you are. Who you are going to be. The differences between the three and the pros and cons.

The important part of the process, at least for me, was to wake up one day and decide who you are going to be and then making that work. For me it was about deciding to a lifetime of a different diet. To finally tackling a life time of mental doubts and self-insecurities and dancing crazies in my head. It was about saying I am a father and a husband and a son and an uncle and a friend and a co-worker but - first and foremost, I am me.

We had the pleasure of spending some time with Joy's cousin, Airelle, yesterday. Airelle is, like most of the Joy's family, a sweet and quiet and reserved young woman (no, seriously, they don't really age like the Amores . . . Ava's great, great grandma on Joy's maternal side is kicking around New Orleans as we type/read). I've known Airelle since the first time I visited Kansas. I don't profess to know a ton about her but I thought I knew a few things about who she is - or rather who she was not.

I was not correct in my assumptions and in my deductions about Airelle. It turns out, much to just about everyone's surprise (from what I can gather) that Airelle is a singer. And a pretty darned good one at that. Yep. Airelle, who politely chats with you but is far from the loudest and most obnoxious person in the room (especially if I am there (smile)) is a performer who wants to entertain and share her musical gifts. She is not only a singer but she writes her own music. She scribes her own lyrics. She tried out for American Idol. With 10,000 other people. She was willing to sing on national television. I had NO idea!

And here's the rub that got me really happy for Airelle and excited about the idea of tapping in to your hidden potential and defying the assumers and the nay-sayers out there. She just started singing a few months ago. I'm sure she has probably sung in the car or in the shower before. I'd bet that she might go a little crazy with friends when "I'm Here for the Party" comes on the jukebox. She's not "trained" though. She hasn't been in vocal lessons for 20 years. And - for the lyrics and music writing - she's never been taught. She wasn't one of those kids that scribbled poems in a journal for her teenaged years or would just ramble on in prose for anyone who would listen.

Nope. As far as I can tell, Airelle just sort of woke up one morning and - perhaps sick of something in her life (that was there or that was missing/nagging) or otherwise searching for a way to expand and extend who she was - just started singing. And I, for one, am glad that she did. I don't know how to describe her music but I like it and I like the idea of it.

It was fun to watch Airelle dance and sing along with her songs on her MySpace page and to see how happy it made her to talk about getting ready to "gig" and looking for a new bass player as her curent bassist is "in true rock star form" in rehab and how she and her producer met by accident and just sort of hit it off.
It was even more fun to see the pride that Joy's Aunt Melinda and Uncle Bill (Airelle's parents) had as their daughter's music played from our computer speakers and Ava danced to the music. It made me think about my own daughter and what surprises might be inside her (on top of the 1,000s of surprises we discover almost daily).

I don't know who you will wake up to be tomorrow, Airelle. I can only hope adjectives like famous, fulfilled, proud, happy and rich (why note?0 describe you. In the meantime, thanks for sharing your voice with me and reminding me that I didn't just have my weight as something I could wake up one day and decide to change about myself. I can wake up every morning and change one thing. For the rest of my life.

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