Thursday, February 4, 2010

Magical Moment 1, "Number One Fan"

I am a happy person. I have a wonderful life - an amazing husband, a family who loves and supports me, I am not destitute, and I often have opportunities to do what I love most - play, write, and perform music.

Despite all these blessings, I struggle with bouts of sadness, fear of failure, monotonous days, and panic as I feel my life is passing me by. Being a struggling musician, I face rejection and failure nearly every day. If I am to be honest, I have had some very dark moments of hopelessness. Moments when the tears have drenched my pillow and my eyes have nearly swollen shut. Moments when I wondered, what would it be like to crash into that tree? Moments I did not have the will to go outside.

But how dare I? With the millions affected in Haiti, the health issues some families have to deal with, and the struggle of losing a loved one, what an ungrateful person I must be to break down because the mechanic ripped me off and I locked myself out of my house. Again. This is what I should feel. This is how I should react when I feel like giving up. I don't. I feel sorry for myself. I add up all my problems one after the other until they are so mountainous, I am smothered underneath them all. I allow myself to sit in the dark on the couch and refuse phone calls while eating microwave popcorn and watching Friends reruns.

My name is Elizabeth Grimes and I have had enough wallowing. A person can live in darkness only so long before they must make a choice - let yourself fall into gloomy shadows of hopelessness never to return to sanity, or slap yourself in the face and wake up. I have decided to slap myself in the face and wake up.

I will find one magical moment per day and describe it to you. There is beauty, emotion, and joy in the tiniest things. I am looking at one moment, one split second, one snap shot in time and dissecting every aspect of its’ beauty.

If no one reads this, I will just describe it to myself.

Magic Moment 1, "Number One Fan":

A familiar feeling came over me as I walked back to the subway. It subtly crept into my mind, but not all the way yet. My mind was too busy trying to remember which train I took to get here in the first place and where to transfer to get back to the bus station. Is this the uptown or downtown 6 train? Let's see, Brooklyn is down, Queens is up...going east...never eat soggy waffles - north, east, south, west...smelly, crowded, no seats, don't get motion sick. Forgot to take motion sick pill before I left. Finally to Port Authority, check the bus schedule, 4 minutes to get to the gate! Running in heels, my backpack of sheet music slapping against my hip as I race up the escalator and arrive out of breath, but on time, to bus 163. As I take my seat by a window and catch my breath, the feeling is no longer subtle. It is monstrous. I feel it swell in my chest, burn my ears and neck, and finally over flow through tears out my eyes. Another failure. Another "No thank you." Another unreturned phone call and e-mail. Another waste of bus fare. Why do I bother? Why do this?

When I pulled out my phone to take it off silent, I saw I had a new voicemail. They must have called while I was on the subway. I listened to my messages as I stared out the window into the black night and wiped my cheeks. One from the realtor, delete. One from Omaha Steaks, delete and quit trying to sell me stuff. One from my dad, which is a little unusual. I am the one who normally calls my parents because they're always worried to call me at a bad time. As I listen, a few more tears roll down, but not angry, desperate tears. Thankful ones.

"Hi sweety. It's your number one fan. I love you and I'm proud of you. Talk to you later."
Well. I guess I can do this.


Anonymous said...

Beth, wow, what a first post. I love your new blog! Your words really moved me. Have you considered becoming a writer? I hope the best for you and that you find success as a musician because I see how important that is to you - and you are so talented! I want you to know that you are a beautiful person and no matter what you decide to do, I know you will excel. Keep your chin up and follow your dreams, honey. I'm behind you! Love you! Teresa

Regina Daugherty-Teague said...

I love how honest you were with your feelings. So many people are afraid of their feelings, and spend their lives hiding them, avoiding them or trying to quick-fix them. Our feelings and emotions- even the negative ones- were given to us by God and are part of who we are!

Anonymous said...

Very Moving! I think your words have helped me see things differently and for that, Thank you!
I hope all is well!
Jamie DeGarmo

Debbie said...

You keep writing and remember that if anyone can do this you can!

Steve Gravano said...

You have a beautiful blog. I especially liked how your husband proposed and the bird in the rain poem. Everyone needs to stop and look at what they have to be thankful for. And that no matter how bad things are, the world can be a lot worse. Food in the fridge, a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in and you are better off than seventy percent of the worlds population.
Ps. I also love the Play Me videos, you are very talented.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Steve, thank you so much for the kind words and for browsing through my blog! I'm so glad you found some to enjoy. It can be difficult to keep a positive perspective, that's for sure, but this blog has played a big role with me. Thanks again!

Anita said...

Hello Elizabeth, I found your blog via Hilary - a post of the week mention. After reading your profile, I decided to come here as you suggested.
My initial thought was to wonder why you have the slumps that seem to be more than the ordinary slumps that we all have. And then I thought about a post I wrote early this year about our predisposition to our degree of happiness and whether or not we can change it. Take a look if you care to.
I will be browsing through your blog when time permits because I like what I've seen. :)
Your title is a reminder to us all to count our blessings, even if it is just one extraordinary blessing per day!

Paul C said...

I too came here upon your recommendation. I commend you for your theme and persistence in posting. I hope you never lose sight of the potential in each new day. You are certainly an inspiration.

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing. ~ William Butler Yeats

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Paul, thanks for reading this post and for your kind comment. :)

Rick said...

I think I got here via Dawn's blog - I think - but the trail grows a little fuzzy. I read your most recent post (giggles - I've seen it in action, but I'm a guy so won't attempt to understand ... ;-) then read your profile and came here.

I think you're onto something with your goal. I like to think of myself as a glass-half-full (at least) kind of person. Probably one of the few things we have some control over is how we react to situations and events in our lives, and I like the approach you've adopted. I'll have to read some more posts and see how it's working out.

Becky Jane said...

So glad you decided to 'slap yourself and wake up'! I've enjoyed reading several of your posts!

Found your blog link on Stuff Could Always Be Worse!
New follower! Thanks, Becky Jane

Becky Jane said...

Love the message your Dad left you! parents are so inspired!