It is pushing midnight and I am listening to Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes sing Up Where We Belong. Got to confess that somewhere out there is a woman who remembers a night at karaoke where I once sang this with her.
I am guessing that she was drunk and or deaf because she smiled the entire time. Or maybe she just thinks that I do a great impression of Joe Cocker. It wasn’t quite like this:
Sadly there is no video footage of that particular night but I can assure you that there is plenty of other footage out there. Sadly you probably won’t see any here either. The whole idea of video footage is kind of funny to me.
Funny in the sense that sometimes what we think we are doing doesn’t always match up with what we see in our heads. We imagine that we look cool, sexy and suave yet in reality we fall short of the mark.
The question is, do we care? Does it matter? Are we so self conscious that we refuse to step out of our comfort zone and let it all hang out.
What About You Jack?
Thank you for asking. Â The answer is I have two moments in my life where I remember embarrassing myself in such a way that it has stuck with me for years. Â The moment from A Whiter Shade of Pale is one that I still remember quite well.
In fact you can say that it is because of it that I learned to sing loud. Call it over compensating or just screwing around but you rarely hear me sing in what you would consider a normal tone/range for me.
When I think about skills/talent I wish that I had singing is pretty high up on the list. I can’t decide if it is because of that moment or because I see it as another way to express myself.
The second incident that comes to mind is another that I have blogged about but I can’t remember when or where so you don’t get a link to the post. But that is ok because I am going to tell you about it.’
Freshman year of college and I am a pledge in a fraternity. Every year we hold a Chippendales party where the guys get up and dance. All of the brothers tell us that the party is filled with hot women and that dancing is a virtual guarantee that you will hook up with someone.
I am a dumb 18 year-old and I figure that there is no reason why any of the boys would stretch the truth. So I agree to do it. I get up on stage and dance my ass off. Mind you if there is a time in my life to do it, that was it.
I had the six pack that every man wants and I was cut all over. Who knew that all that time on the swim team would lend itself so well to something on land.
Long story longer, I am not a dancer. Slow dancing is something I have down. I know how to two step and I can hold my own but some of the other stuff…not so much. But I am young and dumb. Just before we go on stage we all hit the floor and start doing push ups. I look in the mirror and I can see that I look pumped.
Too bad it doesn’t show that in a few minutes I am going to try to shake my ass next to my pledge brother who is an actual dancer. Yep, I stood next to the guy who was in school in dance. It was a great comedy routine made better by the appearance of an ex girlfriend who isn’t interested in me but won’t leave my side either.
The Benefit & Beauty of Age
Twenty-five years later I can see myself walking onto the stage. I remember being incredibly self conscious and wishing that I had more than a couple shots of tequila. But I also look at that moment as well as the one from junior high as times when I took a chance.
I stepped out from the crowd and tried to capture a moment to make it my own. I want that for my children and frankly I want it for me too.
The benefit and beauty of age allows me to do some things that I might not have done when I was younger. It is what allows me to ignore the moments of being self conscious and say screw it.
If I want I can do dance on stage and strip or sing for a crowd. Don’t know that I will or that there is a reason to, but I could. And I could do it better than before with far fewer concerns.
But the point is not that I could do either one of those things. The point is that I have taken a very active role in making the changes I want to see in my life happen. They aren’t all happening at once and they aren’t moving as fast as I want them to, but they are happening.
I can’t speak for you, but there is something very reassuring about that.
What about you?