I once read Jason Mraz's blog, before he took all his posts offline, and found something that really stood out to me. It was at a moment in my life where I couldn't comprehend why people were consistently being false about who they were. I am of the opinion and practice that if you generally do not care for someone, don't play to their face as though you're their best friend. Merely limit the exposure you have to them. It has worked relatively well for me, but I couldn't grasp why everyone else just pranced about falsely adoring people they later grumbled about in private.
But for a statement that meant so much to me, I don't remember it. Off the top of my head. Luckily it hit me with such impact and internal, personal meaning, that I placed it on my facebook, where it thankfully has remained.
"Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can't work for you if you don't show up as you. ...Your thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes create the picture of your life. Draw it well."
But it wasn't until about a month ago when I was going through the very girlish anxiety of what to wear and how to have my hair when I meet this man that it occurred to me not to go to extremes to guarantee I'll look good. I need to do what I would do any day; to be myself. This seemed so suddenly important and integrated in me that it took quite some time to realize I was paraphrasing that unforgettable statement that I could never quite memorize.
And as I searched it out and found it again, I realized this has been swirling in paraphrase in my mind for years now; congealing in the drain of my brain, leaving a sort of residue determined to stay for all time. The motto of my life, the way I regulate my days. A source of comfort. It was beautiful to me that I hadn't elected for this to be what carried me along, that it wasn't my teen-aged obsession forcing me to make meaning out of a well-worded thought an idol of mine happened to post online. I tried this last year with the Happy Now Year, which was a very good philosophy, but I never really lived up to it. Despite my fan-driven desire to live by this law, I kept living in maybe's, my tongue tied on someday and my heart draped on the past. But it isn't the fact that I am led to think of Jason Mraz when I think of my personal motto that inspires me; it's the message behind it. This statement has accumulated purposefully in my mind because it rings true to me specifically and entirely, not just my glutinous fandom. It means something because it means something. I can think about it and feel better, inspired, invigorated, ready. Innumerable times this week I have muttered or thought to myself "Life can't work for you if you don't show up as you."
It's not just about presenting myself to Jason Mraz with my hair straight and around my face, my CityStreet jeans gripping the contours of my legs, eggplant eyeliner around my blue eyes, and a Mraz t-shirt as if it's just another day in my life, not the greatest day. It's about being all of that with my attitude and personality every day I breathe. It's about boxing up the doubt and concern that I'm wrong and setting it up in flame. It's about taking the power and confidence I'm moved by when living in theatre and bringing that into practice when I'm living in the moment.
And a large part of my hindrance at "show[ing] up as [me]" is that I'm tied so rigidly to the person I was when that statement first graced my eyes. The admirable thing about Jason Mraz is that he hasn't let success be an excuse for being found drunk and high on street corners by the Po-Po. Life has worked for him because he has, and daily continues to, show up as him. He doesn't sing Wordplay in concert anymore because he's not that same cocky attention seeking guy (his words, not mine), he doesn't smoke anymore because it's derogatory to his health and career. In fine, he's changed. I'd like to think I have grown along with him, maybe not in the same direction, but I've been close enough that I don't dispute who he is now compared to the young kid who first set out for music. And even if I did have my qualms with his slightly gaunt face or almost homeless hair, what right do I have to question him? Whatever he's become is what is right for him. Whatever he does with his life works. Because he keeps showing up as him.
I didn't think this post would come back to Virginia, but it has. Whoever I am is so hidden by the clutter I'm sure Virginia would clear away that I'm unable to fully get life to work for me. I'm struggling and failing because I can't show up as me; whoever I am is concealed in an unreachable place. I'm still so tethered to this part of me that worries and daydreams and lives in the past or the future. But my core wants to live now. My soul wants to show up as me. I want life to work.
So I'm going to break my animism this summer; I am going to tear myself from all the things I don't need that keep tying me down because I may need them or miss them someday.
My thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes create the picture of my life.
I can't take up the pen until I've purged enough clutter to see what those thoughts, speech, beliefs, actions and attitudes are.
Life can't work for me unless I show up as me. And I can't be me until I find me.