Mirror Rehearsal: Sweet Soliloquy [Take One]

There isn’t too much time for indecision. Or, then again, maybe there is. Maybe we don’t know what to do, so . . . we sit still. Or, maybe this is only you and I and we’re in the middle of a moment. And neither of us are willing to let it go because neither of us know how.
It could be.
Maybe this is one of those things or maybe this is a moment, like Deja-vu, and it feels like we’ve been here before. But of course, we haven’t.
“Now” only happens once. I know this. And so do you. However, I suppose this is a moment that comes with a special awareness – and we find ourselves at an impasse; or maybe this is an an instance of attention, intensified by emotion or otherwise in-tuned with the details we find. 

This is it. This is our little ship.
And this is us. This is our uniform (for now).

No one is going to believe in you if you can’t believe in yourself . . .
right?

I think it would be best if I shared something personal with you. Then again, maybe you’ll roll your eyes because after all, isn’t this why I come here – to share something personal? This is the reason and because this is true, then my reason for sharing this with you is also true.

I am in . . .
I have my seatbelt fastened and I am ready. I have boarded the plane, so-to-speak, and now all I can do is take off and hope for the best arrival time. I put in the work. The letter is in the mail or, say what you will, but either way – the outcomes are beyond my control.

I have been a person whose fear has been a burden since my youth. I am afraid of crowds yet, I wish I were able to fit in them.
I am a person who’s always wished that I was “good” enough to perform yet I have social anxiety and stage fright that can be crippling.
People laugh when I say this. People tell me they don’t believe me when I take the stage or speak and here I am, telling them how petrified I am.
I go back to a scene when I was small. In fact, I go back to several of them actually and I can hear them laughing – the kids in the room. I can hear them laughing at me as I try to read out loud. I could hear them laughing when I was clumsy or awkward. I can hear my own heartbeat when my anxiety picked up and I can remember the sound of breaking glass in my ears when I hit the limit – and goddammit, I couldn’t take it anymore.

It has taken me a long time to face the stage or the desires and my dreams. It has taken me decades to shoot for the goals that I had otherwise abandoned. I had given up on pretty things. I gave up on my ideas and my plans and then one day, I realized how much time had passed. I saw how many years went between myself and the days when I was young or youthful enough to try.

Maybe I took the passenger seat for too long. Maybe I stared out the window for too many decades only to watch the world pass me and wish that ah, I could have made a turn here. And if I did, I’d have found myself somewhere else. 

I see them – the people who are like me, too afraid to try or too insecure to move. I see the youngsters who are free to emerge from their childhood cocoons and yet, the idea of transforming is too frightening. So, they never let their wings form or spread enough to fly.

I see people who are afraid to dare and afraid to love. I see people who are afraid of what others will say or think and they never take the time to think for themselves  – or live for themselves. As a result, their life becomes someone else’s – and this is certainly not in a good way.

I am a person who wore countless disguises. I was someone who always looked to grab someone else’s uniform because (perhaps) it might look better on me than the one I have.
I never knew how to just “Be” but instead, I only knew how to act. I knew how perform and at the same time, as I admit this to you, it is important to admit that I struggle with performance anxiety, which meant that I overacted, or reacted, or missed my cue. 

I swear to it all; the world was like a big dance to me – only, my connection with awkwardness led me to believe that I was constantly out of rhythm; that I couldn’t dance or even try because the world is fit for those who deserve it. And me, well, I suppose my decision on this were obvious.
I could never do a simple two-step but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like the music either – because I do. I love the music but at least I’ve learned.
I’ve learned that it’s okay to dance to the beat of a different drummer. It’s okay to have your own style. It’s okay to like other things or enjoy the sound of your own laugh. 
“No one should ever hate who they are.”
And I get that but still; sometimes, we do.

God, why are we so critical of ourselves?
Do you even know? 

There were a few moments in my life when I decided to step away from the safety of my common discomforts and see? See what I just said?
I said the safety of our common discomforts because, of course, we know what we have. We know how to engage with our current conditions. We know what to expect; but at the same time, we never dare to escape because if we do, then what?

What happens next?

I suppose I came to a point where I said “Fuck it!”
(sorry for cursing)
I suppose I came to a moment of awareness and at that moment, I realized that time is finite. The seconds are ticking away and the moments are fleeting. I am on the back end now, which means before this ride decides to make its descent, I only have so much time to answer. I only have so much time to make a choice so that I can go home, justified and meaningful.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is: I don’t want to wish anymore.
I don’t want to look at others and see how great they are.
No. I want to look in the mirror and see how great I am.
I want to stop my struggles with comparisons and rather than compare, I want to relate. I want to inspire myself to move in a new direction and never look back
(because I wouldn’t need to). 

I want to take up a new plan. I want to find a new hobby or, at minimum, I want to learn how to dance in the rain or be carefree enough to realize, who cares who’s looking?
(Can you feel this? I certainly hope so.)
I want to pass the threshold of my fears and find myself on the other side of decision and then:
I’m dancing.
I’m living.
I’m being and I’m breathing.

I want to cast myself into a new realm of chance and not be afraid of what comes next (or what doesn’t).
I want to be comfortable stepping away without the worry if anyone will miss me or notice that I’m gone. I want to understand how to celebrate and not be concerned if I laughed too loud or my smile appears unsightly.  

I want to sever the ties I have with people-pleasing ideas. Then, I want to cancel all of the attention-seeking tactics. I want to find myself comfortable in my own company and glad that who I am with is in fact, the best person to be with. (You)

I find that in a sense, we are all doing time in one way or another. We all have our own prisons and wardens. I find that whether we do our time clean or if we struggle, either way, we all have our own weight to carry. We all have our own life to endure. Best if we make it easier on ourselves – or learn how to.
None of us walk on water and as for the only person who did, last I heard, they didn’t treat this man so well either. 

I see them – the kids, the grownups and the people who were too afraid to ever stand up or leave the line. I see them and I think to myself, is that me too?

This body we have is only a vehicle. Perhaps the mind is our engine but our soul is our purpose. Unless all three decide on a direction or destination, I think we will always be at odds with ourselves. 

Time is finite, which means our moments are limited.
Therefore, our life can be limited too – that is if we give into it. Perhaps this is hard to read. However, I’ve grown. And maybe this is me for the first time, looking back at all the times when I turned down an invitation. Meanwhile, I really wished I said “yes.”
Maybe I’ve grown enough to see all the times that I knew there was a turn coming and I was too afraid to take a shot.
Perhaps I should talk about the dream I had the other night, which was more like a memory of me when I was young. This is when I played soccer for one season. Remember?
I never dared to take a shot at the goal. Only once.

I have this view in my mind. I can see it clearly, almost through the eyes of a tunneled vision; as if the surrounding was blurred and blackened and all I could see was a lane between two teams. My team and theirs. The bunch of us, little kids, so close to the ground, running in our little soccer uniforms, trying to play a sport that was too new for me to grasp.

I remember:
I saw the open net. I saw the shot, which could not have been more perfect. I kicked the ball, which went straight and bounced off to the right. Then the soccer ball flew into the back of the yellow net.
I scored.
I must have been somewhere around eight or nine at the time. I could have been ten or something like that.
This was the only time I ever scored a goal.
Then again, this was the only time I ever took a shot.

We were the worst team in the league . . .
I have no other memory of this time, except that we never won a game
(except this one).

You’ll never hit any of the targets that you don’t shoot for.
Instead, all you’ll do is wish you were better at something instead of indulging in your own greatness.
And trust me, son, you are great.. 

Today is Mother’s Day.
Perhaps I never told you about this but Mom was my soccer coach. She didn’t know much about the game either but there weren’t enough parents to help coach the teams.

It’s hard not having her cheer for me by the sidelines anymore, but somehow, I know that she’s watching – at least, I hope she is. I hope she sees. I hope she knows. 

I hope you do too. 
There is a great big world out there.
And part of what makes this place great is you.

There. I said it.
Now go back to the mirror and say this again.

I’m working on it Mom.
I miss you 


Happy Mother’s Day!

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