For my birthday (this past weekend), Ryan Edward gave me a girl’s weekend out and a ticket to WICKED.
I’ve never been the type to be very comfortable with girls’ weekends. For one thing, I grew up with a Mom that never really indulged or spoiled herself, who "therapy shops" for gifts for others. :) So what it takes for me to indulge is usually being at the end of my rope, after quite a few days in a row of realizing that I keep putting myself last while everyone else seems to not even notice that I have needs… or it takes me being sickeningly fed up with dieting. Then I will march myself to Panda Express and the poor cashier will wonder why I hand her my debit card and snatch at my “to go” bag with such defiance.
For another thing, I’m an only girl. Three brothers. ALL. BOY. I’m ALL GIRL, including the part that isn’t entirely comfortable with other girls. We won’t even get into how, in anticipation of getting in a swimming suit with seven other women (5 of whom I didn’t know at all), I spray tanned my legs for the first time and ended up with tan and white stripes. I consoled myself with the reminder that vertical stripes are said to be slimming.
The women I spent time with made a forever positive impression. Each taught me something about themselves and each made me appreciate our differences and commonalities. In the end, I learned a lot about women, a lot about myself, and a little about tasting food off of other peoples’ plates. Apparently that’s common on girl’s weekends. :) I ate at the Cheesecake Factory for the first time. I couldn’t believe I paid $8 for a slice of cheesecake, but it was all part of the experience… and it was delicious. I also ate a Nutella and strawberry crepe at a farmer’s market. I saw some really neat walking sticks that reminded me of my Dad, and I walked through the crowded booths and I thought of how he’d be proud of me for being out of my comfort zone.
Though going on a girls’ weekend is not wholly “me”, and I was pretty nervous about it, all I kept thinking of was sitting in that auditorium when the lights went down and the crowd went quiet, and I didn’t have to say the right thing, or be the right kind of person. I could lose myself in another world, a colorful world with unique creatures, magical possibilities and messages that mean something to me. I knew the songs by heart, but I didn’t know the plot with all of its twists and turns. I’ve never seen a professional play at that level and I just knew it wouldn’t disappoint.
It didn’t. I was entranced. What is it about the arts that can speak to our souls? I think it might be that people create. They create a sequence of words, a sequence of music, or a sequence of dance steps that cannot be uncreated. They change the world with their creations. Their creations speak to different people in different ways. That is so powerful! At intermission we pow-wowed at the ladies room and one of my new friends asked me what I thought so far. I said, “It makes me want to accomplish things!” That was it in a nutshell. The play made me dream, and believe in my dreams.
Also, seeing people who excel at anything is an inspiration! Ryan Edward has taught me to appreciate that. He doesn’t care if it’s fishing, or poker. If someone is excellent at something he stops and takes notice.
My focuses are writing and motherhood. They sometimes require a head in the clouds. They sometimes require a woman on her knees. They sometimes inspire dreams of a book signing. They sometimes inspire screams for a little peace and quiet. But they do inspire… and I am going to defy gravity... if not at motherhood or writing, I'll try fishing and poker...or world record for Panda Express, orange chicken consumption.