Embracing Change and The Oddity of Fandom Part 2

sum41-pledgeI debated staying up last night to write about what was bouncing around my head but I was too tired so opted for sleep instead. Now I am stuck composing this on my phone which I really didn’t want to have to do, but what are you going to do when the only computer is being occupied? There is nothing left to do but adapt and push forward. I need to get this out of me. It needs to be said. It doesn’t matter if anyone ever reads it. I will feel better for having said it.

A band I follow recently posted an announcement for a pre-order for the new album they are recording. It isn’t as if the new album was news to the people who are following them closely but everyone was excited for the opportunity to pre-order the long awaited new album. So many comments flooded in. There were lots of positive comments but then there are always those that like to tell the band what sound it should have and that it should sound like blah blah blah previous album. They don’t want any ballads. They don’t want another Screaming Bloody Murder album. They don’t want this and they don’t want that. They are pissed off because Dave and Stevo are no longer in the band. They want Deryck to stop wearing hats. They want Deryck to always wear his hair spiked the way he used to. They always want them to have campy silly photo shoots. Never let us see you have matured and grown. Better not age either because that might piss off some. People feel so entitled to say some of the most horrendous things to celebrities as if they aren’t human and have no feelings. I’m sure this isn’t an exclusive phenomenon experienced only by Sum 41. I’m pretty sure this fear of change is felt by every band who has any kind of following. I sat there reading the comments and I got really annoyed and was thinking “Fuck off!” I am still not sure why I got so annoyed and took the comments so personally. I am not a musician but I do consider myself an artist of sorts…a writer/poet. 

This isn’t a new topic. I have discussed it in comments on the Sum 41 Instagram page. More than once I have discussed how I feel about it all. From a spiritual stand point, I understand that the people who want the music and the band to stay exactly the same have a fear of change and this is being reflected in their desire to keep the things in their life exactly the same. Their desire to keep things exactly the same is so strong that they try to control those around them…including the bands they love. They threaten to not be a fan anymore or they say mean and hateful things. It would be very easy to get upset and lash out at some of these people but each person has a story. Each person has feelings and their reactions are based in a fear of change. I had to step away, pause and think about it instead of reacting out of anger.

Perhaps the best I can do is write this blog and try to show them that their desire to keep their favorite band exactly the same is based in a fear of change and reflects their own fear of moving forward and change in their own lives. The majority of the Sum 41 fans are angsty teens whose whole lives feel volatile and unstable because they are nearing that point where big changes are getting ready to take place be it leaving high school, starting college, etc. Kids are highly hormonal at that point as well therefore emotions are all over the place. They desire something constant and stable in their lives if they have a sense that their life is out of control…which is why they seek to try to control what matters to them most like a band whose music speaks to their angst.

My hope is that some of these people will recognize their fear of change and then choose to face it. I challenge them to embrace change. Embrace change in yourselves and in others…even if it means your paths part because of it.

Here is the thing, we all have free will to choose. If a band no longer makes music you dig, move on and discover something new that speaks to your soul. There are SO many bands out there to choose from. It is okay to hold a special place in your heart for the albums you loved that are basically like a soundtrack for a specific time period in your life, but don’t expect anyone to stay exactly the same because of your fear of change.

Below is an exchange that took place after the below photo was posted on Instagram:

sum41-2015oktobre17: sum41 Long live Sum 41!! May tomorrow always bring about changes for all of you that help you be the very best versions of yourselves. May “right now” always be the moment you cherish most and be filled with all the music of your soul.

sum41:Thank u. This is the sum 41. That is excited and wants to be here and play music for the world! oktobre17

oktobre17: sum41 I know this is the version that wants to be here and make music and you have my love and support. it frustrates me seeing how difficult it is for some to accept change in others be it your hair, the sound of the music, the shoes you wear. My marriage ended because my husband couldn’t accept the changes I had made with my beliefs. What I have come to accept and learn is that those who no longer serve our highest good naturally fall away from our lives the moment we let go and let the Universe work its magic. When that which doesn’t serve us anymore falls away, it makes room for that which IS for our highest good to reach us. I embrace change in myself and others. Staying stagnate and the same would mean you aren’t learning and growing. You, my friend, have done a beautiful job of changing. You are the Phoenix rising from the ashes and being reborn into something new and better than your last incarnation. I have mad respect for you, Deryck.

user1: Oh what happened to the days where you guys use to look happy

oktobre17: user1 is that what you see? Unhappy? I see three men who have matured and grown. I see warriors who have come back with new resolve and determination. I see a new dad who likely is thinking about what kind of world and legacy he wants to create for his child. I see a newly married man who is juggling being a member of two bands and his personal life. I see a man who has been to hell and back who hasn’t given up….a man whose big motivation is to create something new for all of you and be able to perform it for you later. Must they always stay the same and have the same goofy silly shots to be deemed happy? sum41

user1: Not saying that at all tho I do not follow there personal life’s to much.

oktobre17: If you look at the posts on this sum41 account, you are following their personal lives. Deryck has shared all of those tidbits along the way.

user1: oktobre17 or your just don’t understand the meaning of “to much”

oktobre17: Do you mean “too* much”? Sure I do…but I am on a roll today and I figure “what the fuck” and threw caution to the wind and spoke my mind and my heart regardless of it still being a Mercury retrograde. Hahaha oh well. I have always maintained that it would be far better to actually have real dialogue than one-liner quips.

user1: oktobre17 so what your say is you take pleasure in coming on here and trying to put people down good to know.

oktobre17: Are you saying that is how you feel? I have not intended to put you down. My intention is always to be a friend to sum41 and show him my support. I get frustrated when I see comment after comment about people whinging about his hair not being the same or wanting the music to be exactly the same, or want them to always maintain the same playful campiness in photos they are known for. There are shitloads of people who complain that Dave and Steve aren’t in the band as if Deryck has a hand in their no longer being in the band. Dave and Steve made free will choices to move on and do something else. This was not something Deryck wanted but he has no control over their choices. Deryck’s main focus right now is to move forward with his life and part of that is creating the best fucking Sum 41 album of his life…until the next one. My point is, I wish people would stop lamenting and pining away for what was and embrace and support what is now with the band. My apologies if you felt put down. It is not my intention, user1

user2: oktobre17 people have different tastes and opinions and miss things. It doesn’t mean they dislike a thing. I miss the old sum 41 because of the crazy photos and punk side to it and it’s good for a band to know what their fans like. They could try and satisfy most ppl with different styles.

oktobre17: user2 musicians are ARTISTS…not some factory churning shit out just to please the consumer. They take everything that is twisted inside of them and create something and simply hope that some people resonate with their creations. But they create primarily because it is a spark in their soul that drives them. Their creations are expressions of who they are in this now moment. If an artist tries to churn out shit to please others, then they are not being authentically themselves. Wouldn’t you rather they were true to themselves rather than caring so much what others want them to be? I am a writer and if someone tried to tell me what to write and how to write it, it wouldn’t be my creation. It wouldn’t have the same flavor of who I am because I would care too much about what others want and not what I feel compelled to say/write. We should all strive to authentically be ourselves and not bend to conformity of what others wish us to be. sum41

user2: oktobre17 im not saying they can’t change. Im open minded and appreciate all they do but as a fan I am allowed to say that I liked AKNF or Chuck UH whatever more and I wish they play around with different sounds more and take more photos without it looking all the same these days with just a different background.

user3: I don’t want a change I like how they are song like motivation, into deep , fat lip , walking disaster , and underclass hero songs like that please listen to the fans and stay that way

SMH

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Unschooling, Self-esteem, Healing Solar Plexus Issues

It is interesting how just the normal everyday things we participate in bring up opportunities for us to heal and clear blocks. Maybe it is our guides whispering in our ears and guiding us there. Maybe it is the Universe helping to create those perfect opportunities for us to see our issues and what we still need to work on and release. My way of working through my issues and blocks has been to come here and write it all out and tell all of you about it. It is cathartic.

Yesterday Deryck Whibley from Sum 41 posted this photo on Instagram. He has been helping produce a song for his friend Todd.

deryckproducing

As I viewed the photo, I was in awe how anyone could ever learn what all of the knobs and buttons do and I suddenly realized that Deryck learned how to do all of that in the studio simply by doing…by being interested and passionate about music…probably by observing someone else do it and likely asking a lot of questions. And then it dawned on me and I got excited when I thought, “Oh my god, he is a Life Learner! How wonderful!” Upon this realization, I felt compelled to make the below comment on his photo:

You know what I think is pretty fucking awesome,@sum41 ? You didn’t go to school and sit in some boring class to learn what you know. You did it through life learning (aka unschooling). The theory behind unschooling/life learning is that if you allow children/people to learn about what they have an interest in, they develop a love for learning. Some people go to school to learn what you are doing. You know how to do it because of your passion and love for music. You were motivated to learn. I dropped out of school when I was 16. I used to beat myself up about it and feel ashamed about it until I understood what unschooling was. I feel I am very intelligent and self-educated. I simply learned about the things I cared most about. Life is an excellent teacher and force feeding kids crap they don’t give a shit about and locking them away in school for most of their days and inundating them with homework is not helpful. Sorry…soapbox. Stepping down now. Just thank you for inadvertently being a life learner and being so impressive with what you have chosen to teach yourself. I have tons of respect for you.

I hesitated after posting and had the urge to delete it because, yet again, I felt like I had revealed too much. I revealed a secret that I rarely tell anyone…I dropped out of school. And there it was…my shit laying before me in black and white.
You may remember, if you have read my previous blog posts, me mentioning details of my volatile childhood. The pressures of home and the dysfunction there combined with the pressures of school was just too much. I wasn’t the expressive person I am today. I bottled everything up and kept it inside. I was like a bottle of kombucha left to ferment in a closed bottle. Eventually the pressure would build enough to make the bottle shatter. I was thinking about ways to kill myself on a daily basis. I wanted out. I wanted the pain, the pressure and the stress to stop. I knew running away from home wasn’t an option because I knew my father would hunt me down and drag me back kicking and screaming.

Also, since entering junior high school, I started to understand just how ridiculous it was that they were trying to force me to learn about things I didn’t care about nor did I believe I would ever have a use for it in my life. I struggled in school…not because I didn’t understand but because I had no interest and passion about what I was learning about. I felt forced to be somewhere that I didn’t really want to be. I felt forced to learn about things I had zero interest in.

In my 9th grade year I left half way through and took home courses and was allowed to go at my own pace. I was finished with that year early as a result. What I really wanted at that point was to be sent away to performing arts school but my family lived paycheck to paycheck, so that never happened. I re-entered institutionalized learning for my 10th grade year. I was different in the way I chose to look…wild hair, vintage clothes with a style all my own. I was an easy target because of it. Kids can be cruel and they were to me. I remember vividly some male student I didn’t even know came up to me and asked me how much I charged…basically insinuating that I looked like a prostitute. I was wearing fitted black ski pants, a vintage bright blue short waisted jacket, a sequined bright blue wide belt, matching blue high heeled shoes and a cute little blue vintage hat that had a veil that came down over the eyes. Yes, I looked different but I wasn’t dressed in revealing clothes. The funny thing about that mean comment is that a year or so later, black stirrup pants would become a thing and all the girls would eventually be wearing tight black pants similar to what I had worn. I was just ahead of the trend…a trail blazer.

One day I just snapped. I couldn’t do it anymore and I told my mom, “I want to drop out of school” and explained to her that if I wasn’t able to relieve one of the pressures in my life, I felt like I would eventually follow through with my suicidal thoughts. My mom wasn’t pleased about it but I think my choice also motivated her to look at her life and leave my father for a second and final time.

I lived in a college town where usually the first question when getting to know someone is “So, what is your major?” I did eventually get my GED but I heard over and over people making fun of those who had gotten GEDs rather than a proper high school diploma. They were looked down upon. I made a point to try not to mention anything about my education. It was a source of embarrassment for me. I had friends who seemed to enjoy insulting me in round-a-bout ways because *gasp* I didn’t go to college and they somehow thought they were more intelligent than me because of it.

I did eventually go to nanny school and you might think, “How hard could nanny school be?” It was a lot harder than you might think. It was two years worth of child development classes crammed into 9 months. It was a lot of pressure and I didn’t enjoy it. I get test anxiety and even if I know all the information, I blank when a test is before me. It was a reminder that I am not really cut out for institutionalized learning.

I took a job in Michigan and was with a family there for 8.5 years. I made the mistake, in a moment of confidence, of sharing with the oldest child (12 or 13 at the time) about feeling suicidal and dropping out of school at 16. In a moment of rage he used that information against me and said some of the most hurtful things to me about me not being educated. It cut me to the core and I swore I would never open up like that again and share that information for someone to use it as a weapon against me.

But really, the only way to prevent information about ourselves being a weapon for another is to heal and take away the negative charge we feel when it comes up. People can’t use something against you if you develop a different perspective about it and it doesn’t bother you anymore.

Fast forward to having my daughter. As a parent you have all of these big decisions to make for your child. I haven’t taken those choices lightly and have researched the things I feel are most important. We co-sleep, practiced full-term breastfeeding, attachment parented, started eating organic, etc. One of the things we researched was what we would do about education. One of my mommy friends talked about unschooling. This was a new phrase to me. “What is unschooling?” I asked. In a nutshell, unschooling is self-directed, life-based learning. Some people call it “life learning” and it can look very different for each family. When people ask us about Inara’s school, I find it a lot easier simply to say “We are home schooling,” rather than have to try to explain what unschooling is to some random stranger.

Basically those of us who practice unschooling believe that you can learn all that you need in life just by living and having an interest in what you want to learn about. The person who learns about something they actually care about becomes passionate and the knowledge gained isn’t just tossed away as “omg I am never gonna use this”. It is remembered and they go forward with a voracious appetite to learn more. We learn SO much better when we are learning about what we care about and when we are actually DOING rather than from a text book and home work. I truly hope that we see a resurgence of apprenticeships and people shadowing someone who is doing what they want to do as a profession.

When I learned about unschooling, it helped me realize I wasn’t “uneducated” as some people would like to say. I am LIFE EDUCATED. I am a Life Learner/Unschooler but simply didn’t know back then there had been studies and books written about it. I do wish I had known about it so much earlier because it really would have helped me with my self-esteem and insecurities. It was my midwife telling me she had 3 grown unschoolers that helped me decide that we would unschool our daughter. Here is a great video by a grown unschooler:

I have a voracious appetite for knowledge and, thanks to the internet, SO much knowledge is available to us at our finger tips. If we want to find where we can go to encourage one of our daughter’s interests, a quick internet search will turn up things for us to choose from. If we want to learn about something on the fly that she has a question about, we can easily look it up.

I didn’t finish high school. I didn’t go to college. I didn’t get a degree. My education has been life-based and self-directed. I am an intelligent person and my value is not less because I didn’t subject myself to forced education for as long as some people do.

So, yeah…when I recognize another as being a life learner, especially one in the public eye, I get excited…especially when they are an amazing example of all you can do and learn when passion for that knowledge is present.deryckproducing3 deryckproducing2

Reconnecting With An Old Flame

lovers 3It is 4:00 am. I woke up to pee and debated whether or not to stay up and get in some PC time while I could. During normal hours it always seems to be occupied by someone else. I am still tired but I long to get out all that has been bouncing around inside my head and typing on my phone just isn’t going to cut it. So I have opted to stay awake and steal this quiet time and use a keyboard that isn’t meant for fairy fingers. The sound of the rain coming down outside makes me feel grateful that it wasn’t raining like this earlier when I went on my nightly powerwalk.

Love….first loves….they are precious and sacred in ways. You probably read the title and saw the illustration and thought I would be talking about a dude. lol My first love was no dude. It was something so much better. My first love was music. It was a pure and simple love and started when I was very young.

I have been ruminating things since my last blog post and memories have come back that I have long since pushed away. I had a couple dreams in which a pink baby grand piano showed up in pink rooms. In the first dream it was a business that was getting ready to open and everything they sold there was pink. The pink baby grand piano was the only item in the store at the time. In the second dream it was a house I had newly rented and I came upon this small child sized door. When I opened the door, inside was this magnificent child’s bedroom with multiple beds, a play area with dress-up things and a child sized pink baby grand piano.

pinkbabygrandpiano

Pink is the inner heart chakra color and a bedroom I take to be a the most personal aspect of you.

This is what dreammoods.com says about bedrooms:

Bedroom

To dream that you are in the bedroom signifies aspects of yourself that you keep private and hidden. It is also indicative of your sexual nature and intimate relations.   

To dream of your childhood bedroom indicates that a current situation or feeling has triggered a memory from your childhood that you have kept secret. Alternatively, the dream may be symbolic of a sexual awakening.

Since it isn’t about a sexual awakening…..hahahahahahaha….

It is funny, but when I had these two dreams, I totally didn’t get what my subconscious was trying to show me. I didn’t get their meaning…until yesterday when it clicked and I was like “Ooooooh!” It was about me. It was about my love of music. And showing a child’s room reminded me that my deep love for music went far back into childhood.

I remember well being in love with music, especially music that was performed live and I was in awe of people who could play instruments. I would make up my own words to the instrumental songs on the radio. I longed for a guitar and was given a crappy toy one for Christmas one year. I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a real one because the sound sucked on the cheap plastic one I was given. When I went to grandma’s house, she had an old out-of-tune piano and I would sit there for ages playing around with creating my own little songs. I used to walk around by myself and make up little songs about how I was feeling and pretend my life was a musical. When we went to Colorado to go camping in the mountains, I would climb the rocks and pretend it was my stage and sing songs like “Delta Dawn” and “Sing” by the Carpenters. I remember well dancing around on my bed using my sister’s Tickle underarm deodorant bottle as a microphone singing The BeeGees, Andy Gibb, and Captain and Tennille. lol

There was a lot of time we didn’t have a TV. My dad shot two TVs at different times. Yes, shot with a gun. But I do remember watching the Lawrence Welk Show, Sonny and Cher, Hee Haw and other music variety shows.

I played flute for a little while. My dad volunteered me to perform in front of the church. That was my first experience with stage fright. I tried but I was nervous and I messed up. Messing up flustered me and I started again but the tears had started welling up in my eyes and I couldn’t see the notes on the paper anymore. I was mortified. I gave up the flute that year….the year my mom left my dad for the first time.

When life was complete chaos and turmoil at home, I begged to be sent away to performing arts school. The TV show Fame was popular back then. I even found a school in Minneapolis that was a boarding school for performing arts. I probably would have done very well had that happened, but my dream was never supported by my parents nor was my love ever really fostered and encouraged. “Be realistic.” Get your head out of the clouds.” “You need a real career.”

On “career day” I went to a radio station because there wasn’t a rock star close by who the school would let me hang out with and shadow. lol On another occasion I went to a tiny local recording studio to interview people there for my journalism class. High school guidance counselors tried to get me to be “realistic” and see that I needed to choose a practical career. It was in my choir class when I tried out for a solo that I was faced with stage fright again. I got nervous and my voice cracked. Tears started welling up. My face became red and hot with embarrassment.  I was mortified.

I sang perfectly in the privacy of my bedroom, in my car or in the bathroom taking a shower. It was doing it in front of people that paralyzed me. The fear was big and yet, I still moved forward saying that music is all I cared about in life. In my 20s I went out of my way to befriend band people just to be around the music. A friend was setting the equipment up once and asked me to say “test” into the microphone on the stage. No big deal right? lol My lips involuntarily quivered so badly I could barely get the word “test” out. hahahaha Stage fright is a bitch.

I have taken a long hard look into where my fear likely stems from. Part of it is because it is something I care so much about that it really rattles me to do it in front of people. I think the other part stems from being a middle child and often being overlooked and forgotten. I got used to being invisible so that when the spot light was turned on me, I choked and felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t always the outspoken bitch I am today. It took me a long time to be able to find my voice to openly and honestly speak about what I really felt inside.

I have had various readings over the past couple years. Over and over again I was being told to sing. I had a Reiki session and my practitioner told me he was getting a message to tell me to sing to help keep my throat chakra open. He said he had never gotten that message before so it was interesting to him. Just prior to that Brandon Lee’s name kept coming to the tip of my tongue and I asked a friend why. She said he said he had stopped by to remind me to sing. So my Reiki guy telling me this was a sync and in line with a message I had just gotten. Psychic Pamela Cummins heard the song “Sing” by the Carpenters. She said she heard the line “just sing, sing a song”.

This is a part of Melissa Hevenor’s reading:

It is not uncommon for reincarnates that lived during Atlantis such as yourself,to sing or have musical talent. Please, honey, try to work on eliminating your fear for singing in public, because it is part of your spiritual path to share your gifts as it is through the vibrations that generate from your voice, that the world can receive healing. Try to begin making videos on YouTube, where you can sing on your own, but still share it with others. 

3) I’m sorry to bring this up again, but it’s very important. You have to sing. Also, I see you writing something that’s very important. Not exactly about your life, but stories that are related to some of your own experiences that are also a part of helping others to heal. You have so much creative energy as well as intuition and healing. It is important that you share yourself, energetically, through creative projects related to the music and writing. And, I definitely see you getting several tattoos in the future. One is related to your guide and another that has musical notes involved:) I look forward to watching your YouTube videos!:)

My friend and psychic, Jan, also saw music for me. She saw me on stage. She saw me on TV and in film. I confirmed all of this with Jamie Butler and she too saw me on stage and mentioned something about how I would teach about how music and sound heals.

All of this and I just kind of brushed it aside, nodded like a bobble-head and quickly brushed it under the bed and forgot about it….until my recent messages to Deryck brought it all to surface.

Spiritually speaking we can look at this and say “Well it is just a role you are playing and none of this is real. It is a hologram.” But here is the thing…yes, these are all roles we are playing and each of us is a character actor living our respective roles. We get really wrapped up into these characters we are playing and the EMOTIONS we feel whilst performing are very real. It doesn’t matter how many times that someone says “it is just a story” or “it is a holographic universe,” every single emotion we FEEL in every now moment is REAL. We have immersed ourselves into these roles and we feel everything our character feels and at the end of the day we take them home with us and never really break character. Even our dreams often have us seeing ourselves AS our characters and not the true light beings we are at the core.

So this is me trying to work it all out in front of you. This kind of audience I can deal with. I don’t have to see you and let my nerves get the better of me. lol

I have decided to rekindle a romance with my old flame. I owe it to myself and my love. Like a Phoenix from the flames, I will revive my dream that has long since been dead. I will revive my relationship with my love, but this time I will find it in me to overcome my fears. Even if all I ever do is muster up the courage to sing karaoke in a crappy bar, I am going to successfully sing in front of people.

art-sanguisgelidus-girl-bird-phoenix-fireIf you have made it through my whole musing, ask yourself what hidden issues you might be avoiding that have likely been trying to get your attention in plain sight and you are putting your fingers in your ears and saying, “lalalala I can’t hear you!” When something triggers you, really look at it and delve in. There is likely a younger version of you begging to be nurtured, loved and healed.

Standing Naked and Exposed, Vulnerability

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The Descent of Iztaccihuatl (The White Woman) – Ricardo Fernández Ortega

I think I have to admit (mostly to myself) that Deryck Whibley has become my unlikely muse. lol Lately many of my blog posts are inspired by something relating to him. This one will be no exception. This too is directly related to my interactions with him on Instagram.

It was my guides who first brought Deryck into my awareness. Before that, I thought all those Sum 41 songs I heard on the radio were Blink 182. hahaha Sorry, Deryck, it is true. I was oblivious to the name “Sum 41” until May 2014. Since then it has been an interesting experience, to say the least.

It is funny how a complete stranger can unknowingly make an impact on us and help us grow without doing anything but being themselves. I dutifully started posting comments because I knew my guides wanted me to interact with him for a reason, so I complied. What I didn’t count on is the inner growth I would make as a result.

I have been watching Deryck since his brush with death. I have been paying attention to what he says. I have watched older videos on their YouTube channel to get acquainted a little about who he is. I have watched interviews with him as well.

One day he is all like “Yo, I am on Instagram now. Follow me!” I groaned and reluctantly signed up to Instagram so that I could “Follow” him there. I watched and sometimes commented. I watched his adoring fans and their comments. Eventually Deryck actually started interacting with them. I thought, “Wow! This is a twist and a change.” He has even replied to me a number of times. I saw his fans light up and get excited and start posting more. I saw the desperation of some wanting him to notice them. “Please notice me!” some would say. And how many of us feel that way in our every day life…”just notice me”. It struck me and I could see how much it meant to those people to have a response. The average age of Dercyk’s audience is still mostly young…teens to 20s, I would say. His music speaks to that age group and that age group can be influenced a lot.

Eventually the interaction with his fans evolved. He started sharing their artwork and tattoos. He started liking their videos, and I tell you, my heart grew just observing all of this. Sometimes I have posted comments to Deryck and later deleted them. I do that a lot actually. lol Sometimes if they just leave me feeling like I have revealed too much, I delete.

Recently I posted a comment to Deryck and sang his praises. I have done it before, but I chose an old photo and tagged him and hoped none of his fans would bother to look. lol This time I posted out in the open for all of them to see my soft gooey inside that I don’t often like to show. And then yesterday I posted a poem on my Instagram and tagged him in a message that followed. While I was composing that message, something unexpected happened. At the end of the message I BURST into tears and I was like wtf, where did that come from?

That moment was a spotlight. It shined a light on a core issue…something I needed to work on and address….but it also left me feeling vulnerable and exposed even though what I said was kind and loving. This morning I promptly deleted it. My BFF, Ziba, asked me why and a series of questions that made me take a look at it.

This was the dialogue exchange…

ME:  I mean last night with writing what I did to Deryck and responding with huge emotion was a surprise and shined a light on something I need to look at.

Of course I have a strong urge to delete that message and I likely will today. I think he has probably seen it and there is no reason for it to be there anymore.

ZIBA: leave it

you created it and it’s beautiful, let it remain

ME: The poem will stay

ZIBA: even the comment

ME: But my personal message to him I just removed

ZIBA: why?

ME:  I don’t know

It just made me squirm

And I guess it wouldn’t seem so…i don’t know….pointless if he had actually acknowledged seeing it.

It makes me feel vulnerable and naked and so I deleted it.

Ding, ding, ding! And there it is…feeling exposed and naked leaves me feeling vulnerable and I run from vulnerability like the plague.

“What was that issue that came up?” you might wonder. Let me share a couple of the comments I posted before:

This was the one I hid on an old post….

oktobre17: I’m going to randomly post on one of your old posts over here because I can. I miss this account and miss seeing your face as the avatar I see when you post pictures. I understand why you would choose the sum 41 account as it just makes sense. More people can find you easily. Let’s face it “sum 41” is easier to spell than “the official Deryck Whibley” hahahaha I am being nostalgic, I guess. I think it is very cool that you make some kid’s day by commenting and liking his video, or sharing an amazing drawing someone did who loves your band. It makes them feel special and it makes you seem like you have a heart and can remember what is was like to be a geeky kid singing to your favorite band in your bedroom. I feel more like an observer than a fan and I have been watching and I think your interaction with your fans is lovely and thoughtful. Maybe I have had too much time to think while I lay in bed for days with food poisoning. Hahaha Sending love and light your way because my heart feels full with what I have seen.

Here is a recent one…

oktobre17: @sum41 I know I have said this before and I will say it again. I really love seeing how you are interacting more with your fans in different ways…liking their posts and sharing their art and tattoos. Those tiny little gestures mean the world to those people. It isn’t just about their idol acknowledging them, but I am guessing at least some of them don’t have people in their lives supporting them and encouraging them to pursue their dreams. You give them hope and encouragement and that means a lot when so many people tell you to be realistic and tell you that you could never succeed in music.

 In your position you have a platform to be an influence and role model and what you do with that position matters. Bravo to you for stepping up and giving a shit about these kids. It is beautiful to watch as it unfolds. Much love and light to you, my frien

PS: I miss you updating your blog. 🙂

And this is the one I deleted…

oktobre17: @sum41 I used to write a lot when I was young. Hence the reason most of my lyrics and poems are written in the 80s and 90s. My big dream in life was that i wanted to sing in a band. I wrote lyrics but didn’t play an instrument so didn’t know the first thing about writing music to go with those words. This one is a poem but many of my writings were set up with verses and a chorus. My father was/is a religious fanatic. My parents weren’t supportive of my dream. It kind of crushes the spirit of the young dreamer when you aren’t encouraged to do what you love most. I think at one point I just gave up the dream and buried it deep inside. It was only this past year that I dug out my old poetry and lyrics and published some of it on my blog. I’m 46 now and those kinds of dreams I simply remember wistfully with a little pain in my heart. My daughter is 6 and i want to encourage her to pursue anything her heart desires. When I say the things i do to you, I say them very sincerely because what you are doing for those kids, I wish someone had done for me.

Do you see how in the second comment I kind of in a roundabout way talk about what my issue is but I worded it as “them” and “they” and didn’t own it? In the last comment I admitted that *I* didn’t feel supported or encouraged…and FUCK…god damnit the tears just broke free again and just typing this is like standing naked and exposed, showing you my greatest failure and disappointment…THE DEATH OF A DREAM…a dream never realized. And now I know there is something there that is begging to be healed and what that something is.

*deep breath*

I want to talk about how being vulnerable isn’t a bad thing, blah blah blah….but I think I have to step away and post an edit to this once the tears have stopped and I can compose my thoughts.

A Trip Down Memory Lane – House of Blues – Sunest Strip

I woke at 2:00 a.m. to pee. I shouldn’t have looked at my phone but I did. Ariana Cooper had posted a photo of a band from the House of Blues in Los Angeles. That was all it took. My head started taking a trip down memory lane and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Her fiance, Deryck Whibley, had posted a video the night before of the Smashing Pumpkins and, coincidentally, it took me back to this very same place in time in my history….Los Angeles 1994. The fact that twice in two days I was reminded of this time must mean something but I don’t know what yet. Let me take you back in time with me.

I was dating Sky Phoenix and he wanted to fly me to LA for my best friend’s birthday. I had just moved to Portland, Oregon that year so the flight wasn’t long or bad. My BFF was living in the Charlie Chaplin mansion at the time and I stayed with her there a couple nights. She had BEGGED me to go to Lollapalooza with her for her birthday. I really despise huge crowds and she really had to convince me but I finally agreed. Smashing Pumpkins were headlining that year. I really didn’t care about any of the bands playing. I had only gone for her. It was hot and all the sweaty bodies made it smelly. People were dancing practically on top of me. I was a smoker then and I used my cigarette as a means of keeping people at a distance and burning those who got too near. Hahahaha

On another night Sky took me and my BFF to the House of Blues and because of who he was connected to, we were admitted into the VIP section (I guess they call it the Foundation Room). It was such a surreal experience for me. There were attendants in the bathroom with hot towels, mouth wash, perfume, etc. On that night we met Sharon Stone’s brother (did anyone even know she had a brother? lol).

We also saw Danny Aiello walk in with his entourage. It was the person that we ended up spending much of the evening with that would make this night super memorable. We ended up sitting with Tony Curtis. He was so animated. Maybe it was the alcohol talking or maybe that was just his personality, I wasn’t sure. He talked and talked to us. He told us about the death of his son and cried in front of us. He showed us his scar from his recent heart surgery and he asked my BFF to marry him. Hahahaha Oh what a night!  He became our personal tour guide of the HOB. And while Sky had been there plenty, he wanted me to see all the nooks and crannies that were hiding and allowed Tony to be our HOB tour guide. Tony, god love him, paraded us through all of the secret rooms.

He took us through a private dining area too. Oh pardon us, we are crashing your dinner and spying on you. Hahaha I can’t even remember who was performing that night but Tony dragged us down stairs for a while and got us right in front. It was a night unlike any other.

As I lay awake remembering all of this, I remembered Sky taking a photo of something engraved somewhere and it was in honor of one of the financial contributors to the LA location who had died before he had a chance to see it opened.

From Wiki: “The first House of Blues opened on November 26, 1992, in the Harvard Square commercial district and retail area of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company was originally financed by Dan Aykroyd, Aerosmith, Paul Shaffer, River Phoenix, James Belushi, and Harvard University, among others. This original location has since closed. However, the hands-in-concrete driveway where members of the Blues Brothers and others left their mark, still remains.”

River….my dearest River had a hand in the creation of this business. It wasn’t until two years ago that I discovered River is my spirit guide and because of this, this special night so long ago has even more meaning now. Maybe there is a message here from him that I am missing and maybe I just need to go to sleep so I can dream the answer.

Advice To Our Younger Selves, Falling In Love, and Gratitude

sum41response2So it all started with a comment on an Instagram picture Deryck Whibley (Sum 41) posted of his 17-year-old self.

Me: What advice would you give to your younger self knowing all that you know now?

Deryck: I would say keep doing what ur doing kid, ur gonna love every min of it.

Me: Seriously that is it? Omg I have so much I would tell my 17 year old self. The biggest changes I have made have been within the last 5 years. I wish I could have made some of those changes a lot younger. I marvel at some of the younger people today and how they just get some of the things that it took me 30+ years to figure out. I’m glad you have no regrets. When you have kids of your own, that perspective might alter a little.

It inspired me to post a photo of my younger me and say some of those things to her. I posted this photo:

youngNmakeup freeAnd this was what I said:

I asked @sum41 what advice he would give his younger self. He didn’t have much he would tell his younger self, but I have plenty I would say to my younger me knowing all that I know now.

Dear younger me, let go of the anger and stop building walls around your heart because they will be hard to tear down later. Love yourself wildly and passionately. There is nothing to fear. Let the fear go that was taught to you by religion. Enjoy the little things in life because those are what matter most. Don’t worry about what others think of you. The only opinion of you that matters about you is your own. If you see an opportunity in front of you, take it. It might never come again. That person you thought would always be there just might die tomorrow. Tell people how much you love them and tell them often. Don’t ever stop writing and trust your own intuition.

And then my West Coast BFF, Shannon, posted this photo of me in the comments on Facebook:

19oktobrewritingI had never seen this photo of me before and it struck me and made my grinchy heart grow a little. This photo is SO me in a nutshell….happiest with a pen in my hand and deep in thought. But look at her! Just look! She is BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING and CREATIVE and FEELING and yet she never thought she was pretty enough or smart enough or thin enough or talented enough. She never thought very much of herself at all. All of the negative self talk….all of the closing off and walls she put up because what she felt she didn’t think she could handle and she didn’t want to be weak and crumble. She didn’t want to be vulnerable. Her heart eventually became frozen in layers and layers of ice so that she could numb herself from being able to feel.

I sat there wishing I really could reach back and hug my younger self and give her the advice and wisdom I have today to share from my experience she didn’t have yet. I was talking to my East Coast BFF, Ziba, and telling her all of this. I have done so much inner work and gained so much momentum just from talking about everything rattling around my brain with Ziba. She and I have similar issues we need to face and “self love” is a topic that has come up a lot.

As I mentioned to her, everyone is talking about loving the self first. We hear it over and over and yet we just nod and say “okay” but none of us really understand what we need to do and how to achieve it. Self-love is almost as mystical and elusive as dragons, unicorns and the perfect romantic partner. But today, something clicked and I completely understand what I need to do. I can see it, feel it and taste it in a way I couldn’t before.

What I need to do is romance myself. I mean, I need to treat me the way I would a lover in the beginning stages of a relationship. I need to shower her/me with poems of love, tender words, kindness and consideration. I need to let her know that I love every aspect of her. I need to let her know that I love even the negatives and the dark side because even our shadow selves need to be loved.

I have an exercise in mind that I want to practice. I am going to visualize my now me with me at different ages and I want to love her. I want to tell her all the things she needed to hear back then but didn’t. I want her to feel SO much love that all of her walls crumble. I will love myself so much that the inner fire and light will burst outward and disintegrate the fortress that has kept my heart a prisoner and hidden away.

I think this is key for moving forward and achieving all that I wish to achieve in my life and I feel really optimistic about it. I can’t wait to start romancing myself.

I invite all who read this to post a photo of your younger you and give him/her advice from what you know now. I invite you to fall in love with yourselves and give yourself the love you desire so much. We often seek love from external sources when really the love we want most of all is our own.

I want to say thank you to Dercyk for being my muse and posting things that make me ponder and contemplate life. I want to thank my West Coast BFF, Shannon for always being there and just getting me and loving me in the way I need to love myself. Can you believe it has nearly been 30 years ago that we met?! I want to thank my East Coast BFF, Ziba, for being there everyday and talking through so much of this stuff with me. I can let my spirituality hang out all over the place with you and be my weird self with you. I appreciate the presence of all of you in my life no matter what form or capacity. Love and gratitude to you.