When I was 12, I wanted be 16, 17, or 18 years old. When I was 12, I entered middle school, and my middle school was in the same building as the high school. I remember looking at the high school senior girls and wanting to be them and the high school senior boys and wanting to date them. I wanted to drive and have a car. I wanted a Prada messenger bag, Gucci knee-high boots, and a red thunderbird convertible. I wanted what the older girls had.
Now, I am 26, and I want to be 46. Why? Because I saw Audra McDonald perform today.
She is now 47. She was so comfortable in her skin and with who she is. She was so comfortable on stage and was very authentic and relatable. After singing a few songs, she noticed the strap to hang her dress up was hanging out and she picked it up, showed us all, and then tucked it in, commenting that she knew she was was very talented, but that she also knew she was a mess. At the end of her show, she said,” to all of you who are a mess, embrace it. Be who you are.”
I am a mess.
When Audra was 46, she became pregnant with her second daughter. That’s 20 years older than I am today. A lot of my friends are getting married and having kids today. I don’t feel ready for those things, nor do I really want those things right now. The idea of having 20 more years until I get pregnant and have a baby, although unlikely, is very appealing to me today. Audra spoke about the previous night being her first full night of sleep since Oct 20, 2016 (the day her second daughter was born). I don’t want to have that kind of life right now.
Audra By the Numbers?
- Audra is 47 years old and has a sixteen year old and a fifteen month old daughter.
- She has been living in New York since she was 18 and has been living in NY for 30 years.
- She was a three-time Tony Award winner by the time she was 28.
She spoke about being blessed to be a mother and not knowing if she would ever get to experience the blessings of motherhood because of how career focused and driven she was. I resonated with that sentiment as well.
Below on my gratitude list, I wrote that I cried hysterically again today. Today, my crying was during Audra’s concert. Yesterday’s crying was on a phone call with my Grandpa. I don’t feel like anything particular happened in either scenarios to elicit my crying other than my inner emotions boiling to the surface and coming out in the form of tears, which is very odd for me and something I feel extremely grateful for as crying is not something I do often and usually cannot do even when I want to or feel I need to. I’m crying because I am in a lot of emotional pain right now and it’s coming out in lots of different, and sometimes inappropriate, forms, the latest of which is crying.
I share this for the same reason I share everything that I share, which is I share it with the hope that it may help or bring hope to someone somewhere. Whether someone or no one relates to this, maybe it will help just one person to see they are not alone in their struggles or pain, even if their struggles and pain are much different than that of my own. I hope my sharing this gives others permission to feel, acknowledge, and share their own feelings with others.
I find a lot of hope and inspiration in reading and hearing other people’s real accounts of what is going on in their lives. It gets tiring seeing palm trees, gorgeous stylized food shots, Soul Cycle, babies, sunsets, puppies, snow, beautiful homes, beautiful kitchens, rowdy Saturday nights at the club, etc. when scrolling my newsfeed.
I am guilty of posting “glamour” shots as well, and to look at just my social media profiles, I don’t think one would ever guess that I am in the amount of emotional pain and distress that I am in, which is why I share it – to change it and break this cycle.
I think I cry because I am overwhelmed, I cry because I am tired, I cry because I am tired of being in this much pain, I cry because I don’t follow through, I cry because I am a mess, I cry because I am scared, I cry because I am not where I want to be today or making what I want to be making, I cry because I’m not doing what I want to be doing, I cry because I’m not sure of what I want to do, I cry because I’m not sure I can do what I really want to do, I cry because I’m afraid I can’t get it or do it, I cry because I am lonely, I cry because life hurts, I cry because I am frustrated, I cry because I feel stuck, I cry because I am angry, I cry because I am hungry, I cry because I am not spiritually or mentally nourished, I cry because I want more!
On that note… here is what I am grateful for today.
Gratitude Day 9
- I’m not homeless
- I cried hysterically again today
- I went grocery shopping
- I did all of my laundry
- I changed my sheets and towels
- Inspiring discussion of making amends
- A supportive friend texted me today
- Doing things I don’t want to do (that are good for me)
- Cooking some food and preparing food for the week (even though I didn’t want to)
- Washing grapes and pre-packaging them to take to work (even though I didn’t want to)
- Striping my bed and washing my sheets (even though I didn’t want to)
- Taking things out of my shopping cart that weren’t on my list and that I did not need
- Audra McDonald
- Climb Ev’ry Mountain
- Musical Theatre
- Grants and fellowships that support people in living and making their dreams come true
- Sometimes I am given exactly what I need exactly when I need it physically, emotionally, and spiritually
“Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
‘Til you find your dream”
– Climb Ev’ry Mountain (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music)
[Day 61 of 365]