Inhibitions...

So we are in the middle of a crazy time right now with my daughter's dance recital coming up. But in all these hours I sit watching these young girls dance, I found myself watching just how free they are. They are young, and a tad bit nervous to forget their steps, but overwhelmingly the majority of them are so carefree. They move their bodies in this amazing way that paints the air and makes it swirl around them. And I find myself wondering, when am I that free? Am I ever that free? 

I'm not sure there are many places in my adult life, or even in my childhood that I wasn't concerned with what people thought of me, or if I was doing the right thing, or just totally able to be myself. I mean, its scary to let the world see you, to really see you. In the last few years, however, I have realized that I am most myself when writing music. Its such a natural extension of my thought process, and what madness is already happening in my head, and I can't imagine not having that outlet. And I wonder, how many of you feel carefree in your daily lives? Do you feel free at work to be yourself? Are you in love with your jobs? Or is it drudgery? Do you come home to a spouse or partner who lets you just be you in all your weird, odd ways? Do you have that one friend who you can sing Hero with at the top of your lungs? (Don't tell me that you don't know every word to that song, cause I know you're lying...)

I just wonder...when are you free to be you? Twirling through life, enjoying the breeze on your face as you turn? I am free with my kids, and when I teach, and when I write. It took me a long time to be free when I sing. Its hard to be a performer...bc you're constantly worried about what people think, if you're forgettable, if you're in tune, is this the right note, what's the next verse, etc. But I can say, when I'm not hired to be a karaoke machine, I am free. I think people enjoy my music the most when I've written something that I love to sing. I think that energy shows up in my voice, and its contagious. One of my favorite people in this world carries that energy with her all the time, and when she sings, she lights up the room. I aspire to that sort of energy. Because I know she is free when she sings. I am a work in progress. My feeling free to just be me, and not be sorry for my imperfections is also a work in progress. I'm not perfect, and knowing that makes me afraid, especially as a performer. But, can I just tell you that up front? Can I just be honest, that I'm probably going to mess up every now and again, and forget a word, or a whole verse, or sing a wrong note, or whatever. Can I just let myself off the hook now so that when I sing for you, you know I'm singing because I just love to write and perform? And if I let myself off the hook, that means I'll let you off the hook too, as long as you'll admit that you're not perfect either. That you're a work in progress, and that you're aspiring to be a freer, better version of yourself also. Cause man, if we all have to pretend to be perfect, we're never actually going to get to know the most real versions of each other, and I'll tell you what, I don't want any part in that, and I don't think you want that either.

So, here's to tomorrow...may you find yourself just a bit more, and heck, even find yourself dancing a bit throughout the day. Go ahead, try it, you know you want to. If you upload a video of you twirling through your day, make sure to tag me and use hashtags on IG #thisisjoy, #beautybeckons, and #twirlingfree so we can keep tabs on each other being real. I suppose this is a bit like, stop and smell the roses, but instead, I want you to stop, and enjoy who you are, from your eyebrows to your toes, because you are so worth enjoying. Don't worry, I'll upload my own video, I promise. 

Goodnight my friends. 

x,

j

1 comment

  • Erin

    Erin Penn Yan, New York

    I love this so much. I am trying to let go of my perfectionism too. I keep wondering: when and how did this happen to me? How do I stop it? Perhaps more importantly, how do I teach my daughter to live her life feeling free like that forever? I know the secret lies in me. That's why I'm trying so hard. Maybe I'm trying too hard. Who knows? All I know is that I want that for her and I know I need to live that way as much as I possibly can to show her the way. Here's to strong, free, imperfect women.

    I love this so much. I am trying to let go of my perfectionism too. I keep wondering: when and how did this happen to me? How do I stop it? Perhaps more importantly, how do I teach my daughter to live her life feeling free like that forever? I know the secret lies in me. That's why I'm trying so hard. Maybe I'm trying too hard. Who knows? All I know is that I want that for her and I know I need to live that way as much as I possibly can to show her the way. Here's to strong, free, imperfect women.

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