Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the answer is.....

I should be sleeping. The kid is asleep. Wifey is long gone. Even the dogs are asleep. I haven't had a good night of sleep in three days. On Monday night some yahoo was wandering down the street whistling, in a shrill football coach kind of way at three in the morning. Tuesday we stayed up way too late watching The Wire. I'm at the point where I'm not even tired any more, but rather that wired-tired that means that you are really and truly screwed. Yesterday my blood pressure was 141 over 85. I really should go to sleep.

I'm sitting here at the computer, however, because I can't get the question that I posed to myself earlier today out of my head.

Is anger a wholly inappropriate emotion when someone, a friend, says publicly that they want to do the thing that you want to do?

Short answer: Yes, wildly inappropriate.

Long answer: You're angry because you're too scared to make yourself vulnerable. If you make yourself vulnerable, express emotion, give voice to your hope and dreams, people might laugh. Your mother might poke fun and others will disappoint you. Good God, I need a therapist.

When I was in the 4th grade I started taking violin lessons. In the beginning, I was awful. Really, is there anything worse than a nine year-old scratching out Twinkle-Twinkle?

Luckily, my musical abilities improved and I hit a high point in the sixth grade when I made second chair in the school orchestra. All of the other sixth graders, with the exception of my friend Jessica, were second violins, and I felt like the shiz-nits!

Don't worry, there will be no inflated egos here. Because the following year the bar was raised - it was time to introduce a vibrato. Vibrato (all that hand shaking that string players do) makes the music come alive, it adds depth, texture and, you guessed it, emotion.

I couldn't do it. Could. Not. Do. It. It was as if someone was aksing me to stand outside the school naked and read my diary. Through my sophmore year in high school I faked it the best I could, but I started to move further and further back in the pecking order - second chair to third and in my last year, fifth. I was starting to worry that I was going to suffer the ultimate humiliation and get demoted to second violin, so I quit.

Giving up the violin was not the end of my life, but I think the physical manifestation of my fear is just nuts. What else has it prevented me from doing? Ok, I can give two (or ten) examples but those are just the ones that I've thought about. How do you overcome this? By taking risks? Putting it all out there? Picking up the violin again? Maybe this is project #4 - getting sloppy with the emotions.

The whole point of moving is to have the life that I want. The career that I want. If I can't even be honest about what those things are, how are they supposed to happen?

Oh, boy.

No longer willing to be an emotional cripple,

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