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.