I wanted to be Madonna. It's true, also, I wanted to be Cyndi Lauper, and Janet Jackson. It was hard, not being them, growing up. I was SO into stars, and music, and clearly, dreaming big, my favourite night of the week was Friday so I could watch "Friday Night Videos" and don't get me started on "Intimate & Interactive" on Canada's music TV station "Much Music." I wanted to be a "Mini Pop" and on Saturday mornings my favourite show was "Kids Incorporated." Don't get me started on Musical Youth or Olivia Newton John, either. I had a tickle trunk which I would pore over regularly, so I could find something to make me look the part of who I wanted to be so badly; a musician, a singer, a star.
I was thirteen years old when I sang the first song I ever sang, on stage. It was a piece from the musical "Annie" you may remember called "Tomorrow." I was thrilled with the reaction from the people but still, it would be a few more years until the next live 'on stage' performance. Where I would sing Sinead O'Connor's "Black Boys on Mopeds." I didn't sing again until a few more years, this time the lead in our high school musical "Anything Goes" my name was Reno Sweeney. It was a blast, but I would go onto the University of Ottawa, finish school, and move to Newfoundland before my first solo "Singer Songwriter" gig.
I had big dreams that LUCK would come in and steal me away from my mundane bartending/washroom cleaning/dish scrubbing/serving jobs. But life continued on and things just worked out the way they worked out. There was hope that I would "make it" and it wasn't for years, almost ten years in, that I realized I have made it. Not in the same way that I thought when I was a kid, dreaming about Prince and Annie Lennox, dance moves, costumes, wigs and make-up (which come into play, at times, to be sure, but there is no eighteen wheeler carting my stuff around!)
The most important thing I learned (actually, words of wisdom from Keith Urban, no less!) was that we all have our own path. We forge our own way, and there is value to being an individual, not trying to be someone else.
It took me years for those words to finally sink in, but thankfully they have and I am very okay with the path that I am on. I wrote this piece today, as a healthy reminder to myself to lessen the self-imposed pressure! Things get bad sometimes, and I lose a little faith in myself and the path I am on. This is also okay, we all falter and get "lost" at times and we don't feel like we are ever doing enough. Another important thing I found out (through life experience itself) is that life is complex and incredibly intricate. There are HUGE amounts of things that fill up a life, and every single one can have it's own importance... Smell the roses, polish your boots, hug a friend, call your Mother, pay the bills, go for a walk, drink water, cook something healthy, dance to your favourite song, make it happen, work hard, hang your laundry in the sun, soak in a bath, savour chocolate, road-trip, read, paint, Love, laugh, cry, ponder, wander, leave, stay.....
No one is ever any ONE thing.
We are an abundance, and so very lucky to be here, carving out our very own way.