Thursday, August 25, 2016

My "glittering" life and how it really makes me feel

All right, Friends, here's the deal.
I need to work my chops again.
I want to sit here and type something awe-inspiring for you, but to be real, I'm out of practice with blogging and writing of any sort, so I'm not sure what's going to come of this here sitting-in-a-chair-and-typing session.
So please, if you're interested, sit here with me, be patient, and keep reading to the point where hopefully I'll say something that affects you positively.
(If this doesn't sound like a fun time to you, feel free to exit the premises now.)
OK, let's see.
Well, we can start with this: I've been in a weird place lately.
In social situations, I've found myself to be, for the most part, happy. But when I look around and examine all the smiles and laughter around me, I keep thinking that everyone else is having a better time than I am.
When not in social situations, my mood kind of falls off a cliff.
I find myself in my car alone, just grumpy. Irritable. Unfed? Whatever it is, it's unpleasant. And I sometimes find myself chastising grumpy me: "Bailey, what is your problem? Nothing significant has happened in the last five minutes, or hour, or day, to make you suddenly have 'the right' to stomp around."
All this self talk is very helpful in solving the problem, as you can imagine.
I do recognize that my life is full. In a "too much" kind of way, but mostly (98 percent) in the best way.
I have more friends than I can keep up with. I have a local bar that I love (which is not something to be taken lightly. That can be hard to find.). I have the best, cutest, snuggliest cat. I have the best, cutest, snuggliest boyfriend. I have a church that I just. love. And my love for the arts is never met with a lack of abundant art. Almost every week I am at a concert, a stand up comedy show, a one woman or two man show. Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.
Alex doesn't quite get this, but I do wonder if the constant entertainment is part of my problem.
I wonder, legitimately, if I am supersaturated with EVENTS, to the point that they have lost their novelty. When you see Lily Tomlin and Tegan and Sara and Bonnie Raitt and Steve Martin all within a few months, you're continually raising the bar of what equals "worthy" entertainment in your life.
Or maybe you're not. This is just a theory I'm working with.
I've mentioned this to A a few times, and he says he's not sure how taking a break from all the fun stuff I do would help me to feel more engaged with people (regarding the whole "I think my friends are having more fun than I am" thing).
I told him it's not so much that I think it would improve my ability to engage with the people I love, but rather I think if I took more time to meditate and breathe, to do common things quietly at home, then the occasional trip to the Hollywood Bowl might glitter a little more brightly.
Does this sound valid? Worth testing?
My credit card would argue that it's worth testing, as the entertainment venues of Los Angeles are garnering more money from me than any other establishment in the area.
I talked to my therapist about my irritability, and we came up with some reasons why that might be, reasons I won't share here. But I say that just to let you know I don't think my chronic addiction to concerts is the only thing getting me down.
I think maybe it has to do with expectations, too. Each concert and comedy show I go to, I get excited, People. I don't think that's a bad thing, and I don't know that I should curb my zest for life (because that just sounds like an ill-guided, depressing beyond depressing life choice). But I think there's something to be said for getting sooooooo excited for a legend musician, to the point that no matter how well he or she performs you can't help but be let down according to your own anticipations for their ability to influence the palpitations of your music-loving heart.
This post is quite the downer, wow. I'll try to be more positive in coming posts.
A wise woman named Anne Lamott does say to lower the bar, and I've carried her words with me. She says when you expect less, you have a lesser opportunity to be disappointed.
I believe there is much truth to this. When you just relax and let happen what's going to happen, then you can find unexpected joy. Rather than the alternative, which is expecting everything to look a specific way and then marking down each moment that doesn't live up to your preconceived image of the perfect day or evening.
I don't know where I'm going with all this, but I will say this: Alex and I are going to see Margaret Cho tonight, and I am thrilled.
Years ago I checked out her DVD, "I'm the One that I Want," from the library, and was so pleased with it. I had seen bits of her performances before, but in watching her full set, I was introduced to her depth and her vulnerability. She is not only hilarious, but she is real. Her message in "I'm the One" was downright redemptive. I loved it.
So even if she doesn't live up to my expectations tonight, I am looking forward to being in her presence. She has seen pain and struggle, and she has come out stronger. Further, she decided to tell her tale honestly, and when anyone does that, I have tremendous respect for him or her.
So here we go. In about nine hours, I plan to keep an average bar of expectation with me. I plan to have a tasty cocktail (or a refreshing, light beer) and to sit close to the stage. Let my booty find its mold in that vinyl covered chair. To watch a woman who has been honest for me and other women. To be grateful for her and other women who make the same daring trek in life. For those who speak honestly and hopefully. With humor and heart. May this be our goal every day, when we are grumpy in our cars or clapping gleefully in a giant stadium that pulsates with life-giving music. Even when I am struggling, I will try. Try to find that light. And when I can't feel it in a reckless, teenage sort of way, I will remind myself that it is still there, fixating my eyes on its blinding brightness until it warms me again.

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