Taking Center Stage

live mic image

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but lately I’ve begun to feel invisible. At 53 years old, my natural brown hair has a funky flair to it. Due to tons of time at the gym and strict vegetarianism, I can still wear a swimsuit with pride.

Even so, for reasons I don’t understand, I go through entire days as a bystander.  It’s like I have become a trope – a cliche version of myself that even I don’t recognize.  To the external eye, I live the live the life of a suburban mom – driving a Jeep Compass, dropping my kid off at school, and spending my days writing a book on Experiments in Living in Starbucks.

“This is not who I really am!” I want to shout to anybody who will listen, “I am more than my current life!”

In an effort to take my written words to the stage, I sign up for Storytelling and Improvisation Classes.  I get vintage glasses and some funky overalls. I begin performing at open mics.  Just going out at night is an exciting diversion from my old life of shuttling my kid around and cooking dinner while listening to Marketplace on NPR.

Going to clubs alone, surrounded by strangers, I just want to be Victoria. I don’t tell people I am married and a mom.  These forays into my new world are like a beacon drawing me towards the not-so-distant future when my kid will leave for college.  My true self keeps calling me, waking me up at night, tugging on my shirt tails and begging to be heard.

Up until recently, I’d been stuck in this almost-done-parenting and getting-through-the winter mode. Comfort had become my main priority.  On any given day, my survivalist uniform was made up of: yoga pants, tank tops covered by hoodies, plastic/fleece-lined clogs, hip-hop head wraps around my Jewish Afro and a beaded choker.

Entire days would pass where my only interaction would be with a barista. On rare occasions, my teen son would grunt a one word response in my direction. Our conversations revolved around who would use the car and when, or how annoying it was that I was asking him yet another question. I found these conversations just as exhausting as he did.

My daily thoughts toggled between memories or themes I wanted to incorporate into my stories and how much I wanted to be done with parenting.

Looking at the calendar now, I see we have 5 more months until my son starts college.  5 months feels like an eternity.  Jumping off that cliff will be both terrifying and exhilarating.  Either way, I know I will discover iterations yet unknown in the process.

For now, stuck in that in-between space and ready to launch, all I can do is write, reflect, think and plan.  Tectonic plates are shifting – in my body, in my apartment and in my family.  New Victoria is begging for air time, as the threads connecting her to her previous identity slowly unravel and she emerges stronger than before.

I finally realize that the person I want to notice me is me. Walking onto the stage, I hold a live mic in my hand and begin the courageous journey of telling my story.

 

 

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2 Replies to “Taking Center Stage”

  1. Powerful. Thank you for sharing where you are at right now, Victoria. I can feel the energy and the exhilaration—as well as the terror! Only for me, things are kind of the opposite. At 54, I am three years into a new career—finally my heart and soul are singing in my chosen career as a Nia teacher—and I am not yet making enough money. So for me, most days I feel a sense of “Ok what are my priorities today for growing my business?” And underneath that rides the current of (so that I can earn enough to keep it growing and NOT have to go back to the corporate world in search of a job.) In short, I am longing for comfort and ease. The kind I had when I was a kid just playing with my dog and laughing a lot. I applaud you! You have successfully raised a son! I love how you’re planning to celebrate. Keep us posted!

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  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comments Aliess! I truly believe we have the tools for Creative Reinvention at any stage in life! Honing our message and trusting the process are the primary steps to mapping out which steps to take moving forward. Money is simply an energy exchange resulting from the manifestation of our true purpose. I, too, long for that comfort and ease of childhood, and experience it when I trust that my prosperity comes from a source that is limitless. All I have to do is show up, give 400% to my clients and let go of the outcome!

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