Went to a birthday party Saturday night. They were having a round of performances by the guests. These performances are usually somebody strumming a guitar and singing a song, a poem recital, or a monologue. I’ve never joined in before, as fear and insecurity keep me from standing up in a crowd. Except for karaoke. I can sing the stupidest songs at the drop of a hat… but that is a structured thing. I stand and sing a known song, following a guideline of the bouncing ball on the screen. My attention is not on the audience, but rather the TV monitor.
So the birthday girl wouldn’t take no for an answer, and requested that I do “something”. There was plenty of time to freak out….I didn’t know most of these people. What the hell was I supposed to do? … I could sing a song! But what song? And without backup music? Fear set in.
I turned to this blog.
Perhaps this would be the perfect time to lay bare some of my inner thoughts with these people. Most of them don’t know I’m widowed. Maybe that would be a downer for a birthday party if I talked about grief and death.
I finally figured out what I would do, right as they called my name to stand up in front of the crowd.
There were a few monologues already, and they were well received. I decided to just read verbatim my post on My First Horror Movie Experience.
The crowd loved it. I loved it. I found myself filled with intensity as I delivered the lines. It was light-hearted and delivered like a stand-up comedy routine. There was the rush I feel at the karaoke bar, only better, as this was of my own doing. My own thoughts. My own writing.
The response was overwhelming. Afterwards people were asking if I had actually written it, if it was a true story. One of the people that had delivered a monologue earlier asked me if I normally do that sort of thing, as she was a speaking/debate teacher and thought I did a great job, saying I was a natural if that really was my first time. Wow! That felt great! Another person asked if I was in local theater!
I realize they might have just been overly generous with their accolades, but boy-howdy, it was nice.
This is all part of my inner self-work of SpeakingUp, Being Seen, Being Heard .
There was also a woman at the birthday party that I had previously met at Ecstatic Dance. Seems she facilitates a dance workshop that involves free-form partner dancing….. Kind of hard to explain, but it is a very physical partner dance where people sort of “roll” over each other, lifting their weight, and just basically interacting with the body of the other person. Think of a close partner interpretive modern dance routine and that is sort of what this woman helps teach.
I have watched people do this dance, and I have tried a bit myself. It is much harder than it looks. I have plans to go for the first time on Tuesday night.
The young widows and widowers dinner group was Sunday night, and again I felt a disconnect. I started to mini-facilitate with questions and statements bout grief, but quickly stopped and let other people lead the discussion. The topics quickly gravitated towards the food.
After the dinner, I spent a good 30 minutes in the car of the original organizer. She is ready to give up the group as well. I think it is time for both of us.