You know what you get when you get complacent? A kick in the ass, that’s what.
Say you love to sing – like, really love to sing – and you take a singing lesson every Tuesday and it’s the highlight of your week, and your singing teacher is a close friend, and you talk about show tunes and you sing show tunes and you introduce each other to new show tunes, and you get better at singing and you both get excited about that, and when you hear new songs on your Broadway radio station you get excited to tell your friend/singing teacher about them and maybe to work on them with her, and when friends ask, “Are you doing anything with your singing?” you say, “Not really, but I take lessons and do a couple recitals a year and I love it and that’s really all I need,” and you sing in the church choir but not consistently because you have a hard time committing to getting up early every Sunday but even that’s okay because you still have your singing lesson every week and it’s still the highlight of your week, so you don’t pursue singing in any other way, you don’t go out of your way to find other singing opportunities because your Tuesday singing totally fulfills you so you’re perfectly content and complacent with the way your singing life is proceeding… and so what happens then is that out of the blue you get an email from your friend that she is MOVING TO MAINE and that you won’t have her or your weekly lessons come May.
Your complacency has led to a blow that rocks your world in a way you couldn’t have guessed, because you took for granted that what you loved so much would always be there, and so you didn’t branch out or explore what might come next or how to take your singing to the next level. And come May, you’re looking at a long line of empty Tuesday afternoons and missing your friend and having nobody to talk to about Broadway musicals except your daughter who is awesome to talk to but who is also sixteen years old and mostly would rather talk to her friends.
That’s what happens when you get complacent. You stop looking for opportunities because you’re happy with what you’ve got. And what I had was great, it was magnificent because we had this connection when we worked on songs together which I can’t really explain but which was exciting in a way nothing else is, and I don’t think my friend will ever really know what she has meant to me, and it’s not like she’s dying and it’s not like I’ll never see her again except MAINE is pretty much as far away from Colorado as you can be and still be in the US (please don’t point out Hawaii or Alaska because you know what I mean and since I have my period and I’m losing my friend, I’ll probably cry if you interrupt my rant), and I’m sure there are other singing opportunities out there and maybe this will be the kick in the butt I need to explore them and maybe it’s time to actually look into starting that show tune choir I really would love to do so maybe losing my friend to MAINE is a good thing but right now it doesn’t feel that way.
(It also sucks when your friend/singing teacher is also your daughter’s singing teacher, and her creatively awesome husband and brother run the acting studio where your daughter studies and which she calls her favorite place on earth, so your daughter is not only losing HER Tuesday afternoon favorite thing but also her Friday evening favorite thing, and both of you are distraught and feel like your creative singing lives are over.)
But if I stop ranting for a second, maybe I can acknowledge there’s a possibility something good will come of this. I’ll be forced to find something new and maybe that something new will be just what I need. And maybe it will lead to bigger and better things and more singing and a whole new world of something that I can’t even envision right now.
Maybe that’s why things change – so we don’t stay complacent, and we’re forced to move out of our comfort zone and forge ahead in life. Maybe sending my friend off to MAINE will be awful but good, too. Maybe it takes a loss to move forward sometimes.
Of course, I’m being selfish. These friends that we’re sending to MAINE are off on an exciting new venture and what they are giving up is even greater than what I’m giving up because they’re leaving a home and a town and a whole entire group of friends, and they’re willing and even eager to do it in order to forge ahead and find new adventures. I should be happy for them – and I should be strong enough to send them off with a smile and a new determination to find my own new adventures.
So I’ll try that. It’ll be hard. Lizzie and I will miss them and the joy they bring to our lives. But like I said, they’re not dying (just moving to MAINE). They’re continuing to be an inspiration even now, so if I can stop being miserable, maybe I can take inspiration from them (as I’ve always been inspired by my friend) to be brave enough to seek new vistas of my own. And maybe I can encourage my grieving daughter to do the same.
It still sucks. Loss is loss, even when it leads to growth. But when I’m finished feeling devastated, I’ll try to open my eyes and my heart and find the next fabulous thing, the way my friend and her family are willing to do.
Sorry it’s been so long, but hopefully I’ll get back to regular posts as I explore what to do with my Tuesday afternoons, come May.
Have fun til next time,
PS: My fear, of course, is that I’ll just sit back and lose the singing part of my life without seeking new things, because I tend to do that. I hope you guys will set me straight and keep on me. Don’t let me tell you I’m tired or need a break or don’t have time or any of my other normal excuses. Kick my ass if I need it, cause I’d do the same for you. Thanks.