I Can Only Be Me! (And You Can Only Be You!)
So it seems, for the first time in years, perhaps ever, I am dancing into the New Year. Literally. OK, well nearly literally, the party was on the 30th, and it finished at 9.30pm as we all had to take kiddies home to bed!
But boy did we dance. And woman was it fun.
And you know what my friends said to me? My friends who spend more time with me than anyone else bar my husband and children.
We didn’t know you could dance!
You see Lucy doesn’t normally dance. Because Lucy gets all jammed up and self-conscious, and feeling not cool. And so she sits quietly, anxiously, doing inner battle and wishing to be somewhere else instead.
Lucy who has had years of dance training in flamenco, belly dance, modern, ball room and the charleston. Lucy who trained at Drama School.
Just like another one I hear regularly: we didn’t know you could sing!
My own father was surprised at his wedding a few years back that Lucy has a great singing voice.
Or there’s the – wow you look really beautiful line. Because usually I don’t. Because I feel fat and frumpy – because I have my own style and shape which isn’t, you guessed it, “cool”.
Or “I had no idea you wrote” – oh yes, dear readers it’s true – probably less than half of the people in my life knew I wrote until a couple of months ago. Because, once again, the topics I write on aren’t very.. cool.
Most don’t know I edit a magazine. Ditto.
Oh and the drop jawed surprise from my brother and sister that the favourite picture of their on our sitting room wall was, yes, you guessed it, by me. We didn’t know you painted, they chorused.
I’m funny too. Very funny. Though many are surprised when they see that side to me. My dad claimed I had no sense of humour a few years back. Little did he know.
I’m sexy too. Very. When I let myself. Little old me!
So you see, there’s this little pattern of Lucy shutting herself down and hiding in a corner in mortification because she doesn’t feel her “thang” is acceptable, in fact it’s down right embarrassing, because it’s not quite perfect or cool enough.
So you know what? I think this might just be the year that I really get my groove on. I’ve been practicing bit by bit, year on year. But let this be the year where I let myself out of the box and just “do my thang”. Bright and shiny, sassy and sexy, funny, messy, silly, wacky, creative …and reclusive, wise, serious, quiet and contemplative when I need to be too.
I might even let myself mother to my own standards too! Wouldn’t that be nice, rather than failing every day because I don’t do everything the way the books say.
You see, I’ve always thought that I shouldn’t until I was perfect. Because, for some reason, until I was better than the whole world, then I wasn’t good enough. So if there was one book out there better than mine, then I couldn’t be a “real” writer. If everyone was better at dancing then I wasn’t allowed to dance. I’m not allowed to look sassy and sexy until I’m an appropriate (skinny) weight – even though I look great at 12 stone.
So my non-perfect heroes for 2012 are
Jason McLellan – author of Zugunruhe
And Pam, from the blog Pama-rama-ding-dong who did a great curvy woman photo shoot which she shared on her blog (see my blog roll for her blog)
This Goddess Leonie (sorry to keep harping on about the woman, but she is a kindred spirit who is doing her thing and so I identify) – I LOVE her videos – they’re not perfect at all. They’re blurry, and they go wrong and her baby walks in, and she stumbles over her words… but you know what? They’re great – bright and shiny and fun, just the way they are. She doesn’t try for perfection until she release her work -she does it and puts it out. Another influential book in my life the past couple of months, Zugunruhe, which I shall be talking about more in the next few weeks talks about the 3/4 baked philosophy, where the author urges us to do our work the best we can, but rather than spending all our energy in refining it ad infinitum, put it out to the world 3/4 baked and let the feedback and the inspiration it creates, and your own distance, do the final honing, because really there is no such thing as perfect.
So here’s to a year of funky imperfection, of creative expression and doing it our way. Here’s to a book that won’t be perfect – but will be wonderful.
Here’s to getting our sexy, sassy thing on in our own unique way, of listening to our rhythms, dancing to our own beat, and applying our own standards.
Here’s to you. Here’s to me. And here’s to Eva Cassidy, who will play us into 2012 – she was a great companion on my road trip the other day… (Listen here!)
Loving you that you’d see,
as I can only be me.