How Many Possibilities?

At work last Thursday morning I was in a really great mood.  Especially considering I got there at 5:30am.  I felt like I had good news to tell people, even though there wasn’t anything in particular to tell. I felt like I had a secret, except that even I didn’t know what it was. I was all smiles for the beginning of my shift.

A regular customer came through, and we were talking as I made him his coffee. Well, it somehow came into the conversation that he knows Hanson because they grew up in the same town.
My mind was of course completely blown. Hanson’s Middle Of Nowhere was the first album I ever bought, after saving up all my pocket money. I had posters of them all over my walls. I did a school project on them in grade 5. I don’t care if they’re all married with kids now, I still love them.

As they were playing in my city over the weekend I thought that it would be awesome if he could get tickets and take me with him – but the cafe was very busy and he left before I thought to ask or to give him my number.

Later on, I asked my coworker what the chances were that she was working the next day and could pass it on.  She told me that she wasn’t working, but either way it wasn’t going to happen. I grinned at her, my eyes wide, and threw up my hands.

“You never know! It could happen!”

“No. It’s not going to happen.”

“But it could.”

“It couldn’t.”

“It’s worth a shot!”

I was having a bit of fun being silly and optimistic – I assumed that the reason she thought it couldn’t happen was because the customer was probably not actually phone-number-sharing-free-ticket-holding buddies with Hanson and realistically the chances of him getting me into the concert were very slim.  This may have been true – but a slim chance is still a chance, and how was I going to know unless I tried?

As it turns out, that wasn’t her reasoning. She actually didn’t question the likelihood of tickets – she just knew that he wouldn’t go with me.

“Why not?!” I exclaimed in my slightly hyperactive state. “He’s awesome, I’m awesome, Hanson are awesome! Why wouldn’t he take me?!”

I was, I think understandably, offended that she didn’t think he’d want my company. I kept asking her why she would say that, how did she know?

“He just wouldn’t do that,” she replied. “He doesn’t know you.”

“Not yet, but how else do you make friends?! You hang out with someone you know a little, then you get to know them more, then you become friends! That’s how it works!”

“Yeah, but not one-on-one like that.”

“What do you mean?! People do spontaneous things with people all the time!”

“No they don’t.”

“Yes they do! People have adventures! We could have an adventure!”

“Not with him you couldn’t.”

“Why not?” I protested.

“He just wouldn’t. It’s not the sort of thing he’d do.”

“Why? What makes you say that?” I persisted. “I’m not asking rhetorically. I actually want an answer. Why?”

“Just… his work… the way he talks…”

She couldn’t give me an answer that I accepted as good enough or specific enough. But she was adamant that he would never in a million years hang out with me outside of being served his morning coffee. She refused to believe that he is a person capable of going on an adventure like that. He has a stretcher in his earlobe, I’m sure he’s at least a little adventurous!

The good mood I’d been in earlier had vanished.  I was quite upset. It wasn’t until later that I realised – I wasn’t offended because she didn’t think I was worth going on an adventure with – I was hurt somewhere very deeply to be told that something could never happen.

How dare she tell me what is and isn’t possible?  How dare she tell me that people don’t have adventures? People have adventures all the time! I met a guy at a funeral for about 2 minutes then a week later he added me on facebook – when he next came back into town we spontaneously went to see a new band together and ended up spending the whole weekend in each others’ platonic company. My best friend recently went on a spontaneous drive into the hills with a guy she was friends with but never close to, and now they’ve been dating for a month. Another friend cancelled on me for the Aqua concert because he got sick and I took his friend instead. She and I had an amazing night and now have in-jokes whenever we see each other.

Anything is possible.
If you’d told me six years ago that I would go into comedy, I would have called you the joker. If you’d told me five years ago that I would travel foreign-speaking countries on my own and even learn some French, I would have thought it bullmerde. If you’d told me four years ago that I would create my own production company, have sell-out crowds in the Comedy Festival three years running, and co-produce a successful web series, I would have laughed in your face.
If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be playing a sport on roller skates and training four days a week, drinking protein shakes and staminade and doing situps without being told to, just for the power of it, I would never have believed you. Heck, if you’d told me five weeks ago that I could possibly pass my Yellow Star test in September, I would have burst into tears and told you that there was no way known (A few of my friends can attest to that.) Now there’s a chance I could get my purple star and be bouting by the end of this year. I might not, but who knows?

Sometimes you need a cheerleader for possibility and the joy of just living, and today that’s me.

I don’t want to live in a world where I’m told that things can’t happen.  Because they can happen, and they do.

I need to believe that, or what else is there?

Don’t you dare rain on my parade!

Anything’s possible.

How The Hell…?!

There IS crying in roller derby. In fact, for someone as emotionally charged as me, there’s been quite a bit.

I just found out that I passed my yellow star test.

I have tears streaming down my face and I can’t stop smiling because I am SO. PROUD.

So far in my derby career there have been three instances of crying for joy and/or excitement, and many more of frustration and sorrow.  Even more almosts for the latter, but that’s ok.  That’s the reason why I’m crying right now. It wouldn’t be so amazing if I hadn’t worked my arse off for it!

I didn’t really expect this so I am kind of in shock. I don’t even know what else to write.  I have to dry my tears and go to work now anyway, so that’s probably for the best.

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“How deep is ‘deep’? …Pretty deep.”

This is not going to be a post about roller derby. I was writing in my journal and thinking a little too much of Miss Pamela when I was hit with the strong, inconvenient middle-of-the-night need to go get my laptop and write about it on a blog that nobody reads.

I’ve been hanging around with this band recently who are just starting to make it big.  I’m genuinely thrilled for them every time they get another big break, and I love love love seeing them play.
I’ve always loved live music, ever since I can remember. My mother took me to my first big concert , the Mushroom Records 25th Anniversary at the MCG. It’s a great example of how lucky I am to have a good musical upbringing thanks to my parents. It was also, at the age of ten, the first time I can recall feeling at all turned on, when Matt Thomas, the lead singer from The Mavis’s, took his shirt off during their set.  I suppose I have always had an attraction to performers, but how is it possible not to? Anyone who loves what they do and is damn good at it just gets me going.  And it’s not just musicians or actors – the scene in Firefly episode ‘Ariel’ when Simon Tam steps in and saves a hospital patient’s life (then furiously berates the doctor responsible for the near death) makes me incredibly hot for Dr. Tam.

But I digress.

I was talking after this band’s gig last night with the guitarist’s girlfriend.* We were talking about music and I started gushing on about all these bands from Melbourne that I’ve loved in the past and how brilliant they are live and what each experience felt like and inspired in me. And I realised that I really have quite a history with being a fan, even with being a groupie – just not that kind.

I started going to gigs with friends in high school thanks to FReeZA and it’s been something that I relish ever since.
There have been so many bands over the years for whom I’ve made trek after trek into the city, or trendy surrounding suburbs – often on my own, usually leaving to catch the last train or just driving because it’s easier. I’ve always been either broke or driving so I’ve never really gotten drunk at gigs – but why would I need to drink alcohol when I’m drunk on the vibrations that float through the air and make me sway or stomp or twirl? I leave feeling happy and tired with a familiar ringing in my ears, and finally collapse into bed after the lengthy trip home covered in sweat with songs in my head.

Countless musicians have given me the pleasure, and I get excited to think about how many more there are out there that will one day come into my life in one way or another.

By the time I reached uni, I had no problem going to see my favourite band at every single gig they put on, even though it mostly meant going on my own.  If the band members spoke to me of course I just lost it. When I started getting invited to their parties I was giddy with nervous excitement. But when one of the guys tried to kiss me one night, I pulled back.
“Sorry…” I began. “I just… really love going to see your band, and I don’t want anything to change that experience for me.”

It’s probably the first time in history that a guy has been turned down specifically because he’s in a band.

I realised last night (when one of the girlfriends was questioning me, trying to figure out which band member I’m after) that I have always just wanted to be best friends with awesome musicians. I want to be around them, hang out with them, be part of their inner circle…
Sure, I have fantasies about them being blown away upon hearing me sing, and being invited onstage or into the recording studio with them.
And yes, a part of me would love a romance with a sexy musician, to have songs written about me as I sit in dappled sunlight with messy hair and a sleepy smile, wearing nothing but bedsheets and his oversized shirt…
But it’s much safer to just be friends with them, because that way (even if it means no songs are written about me,) I won’t have to face breaking up with their music, which I honestly love.

An ex-lecturer of mine recently retired and at his retirement celebration he said something that keeps coming back to me.

“Live life in the deep end.”

He couldn’t swim when he was a child, and was in absolute awe of the children who would swim in the deep end of the pool. He would watch them with such longing but would never move from the shallows.
Hearing this man speak again, feeling his words filling up the space and hitting me right in my heart for the first time in years, made me feel more inspired than I have in a good long while.

I’ve got to stop staying safe. I need to stop sitting on the steps in the shallow end just because it’s familiar.
I need to DO things, not just have things happen to me.
I need to stop coasting.
I need to start taking chances and risks.  Stop thinking about what could happen and start finding out.

Do I just want to experience the music or do I want to inspire it?

Hell. I’ve got it all wrong.

Why settle for inspiring it?

I need to go out there and MAKE it.

“Live life in the deep end.”

– Simon Fisher

*If you’re a girl trying to get in with a band, make really good friends with their girlfriends. Otherwise you don’t stand a chance.