I’ve been trying to look up a lot more lately. Both figuratively and literally. I am one of those people that can turn a lovely happening into a tragedy by focusing on the negative things. I’ve always been that way. The glass has always been half empty.
But the other day I looked up in the bus. And what did I find? An advertisement for Nokia cell phones. I’m not sure how many people would look up and see it, but I did. And I’ll never forget it. Then, a couple of days later, I found an emergency exit on the roof. Odd, I thought. But I guess if the bus flips, that’s how we’d get out. Unless it flipped onto its roof. Then we’d be screwed.
I remember someone once asking me if I looked up at the people passing me by, or at the ground when I walked. “The ground,” I said. She then psychoanalyzed me and said that meant I was insecure. I’m not sure if I’d agree. My brain is very busy while I’m walking, either daydreaming or thinking of things I have to do, things I forgot to do, things I should have done but haven’t yet (good ‘ol procrastination…), or problem-solving. It’s my thinking mode.
But today I decided to try and look up at the world while I walked. And it was hard. I felt insecure. I didn’t like not being able to see the bumpy sidewalk in front of me. I didn’t trust my balance enough to be able to keep me upright and not on my rear end. It was unnerving. So, I turned my face towards the sidewalk again. And there I felt safe.
Serendipitously enough, Orest and Heather and I had a discussion on youth tonight. Heather being 39 and Orest being 43, they shared some thoughts with me about what they wish they would have known when they were 23. One thing they said was they wish they would have known how beautiful, attractive and handsome they really were back then. It was interesting, because this morning, after I had showered, blowdried, and what not, I looked in the mirror and said to myself, out loud, “Nicole, you’re actually quite pretty.” I don’t know if I’d ever said that to myself before. I had thought it. But I’d never said it out loud. Heather and Orest then said how they felt when they finally felt “good in their own skin” when they reached their mid-twenties. And that’s how I’m starting to feel now.
I’m starting to realize that it just doesn’t matter what other people think. Right now I want to be a teacher and not sing. Or sing when I feel like it. It truly doesn’t matter what anyone says, because I have to be happy with myself. And nobody should live in a box. I lived in a singing box. I was going to be a singer. Maybe I still will be, but for the next couple of years, I want to be a teacher.
“Wondering where your life is going to go….” sings Martina McBride. I do wonder. I wonder when I’ll fall in love. I wonder when I’ll have kids. I wonder where I’ll live. What kind of house I’ll live in. What I’ll drive. Where I’ll work. But unlike a couple of months ago, I’m okay with the mystery of it. I’m much more open to the possibilites that exist. I’ve thought of myself as something other than a singer, and I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time. I’m exploring other avenues, other parts of me that kind of hid behind my voice.
I’m still me, though. I’m still impatient and want to know the timing of the destination points along the way. But I’m much less impatient than I was. Even excited, at times, of all the things that could happen along the way. Hmmm. Maybe I am starting to look up instead of down…