there's a high that i get from standing in front of captive audience. watching people smile and laugh. seeing complete and undivided attention. i suppose it's what i've craved ever since i was young. you know the whole 'not enough parental affection so now he looks for validation from others as an adult'. but reasoning doesn't change how it feels to see the happiness and appreciation in the eyes of strangers. i've said it a million times but walking into a room with people just waiting to hear what you have to say is like having a little birthday party. like you know it's going down but you dont know who or how many people will show up.
this past weekend i did three speakings out east. i got to see a lot of old faces and hug some new ones and talk about the ridiculousness that is my life. on the way home i was listening to a radio show and one of the guests was someone on a new reality television show. the question the host asked to the listening audience was, "how much is too much when you put yourself out there?"
someone called in and said, "i was always taught that what happens in the home should stay in the home. that your business is your business and no one elses."
i just shook my head because i know empty phrases when i hear them. just because you say something as a statement doesn't make it so but people love to do it anyway. but i guess i was more focused not on what he was saying but WHY he was saying it. see, so many of us are taught to be closed and guarded. whether it was our parents telling us not to embarrass the family by telling our secrets, or our friends telling us that it isn't "cool" to admit certain things or people along the way who feel uncomfortable by your honesty, there is no shortage of people in this world telling us to keep our mouths closed.
but that's the brilliance.
because it makes more room for those of us who can't keep our damn mouths shut and gives us a bigger opportunity. now, there is a reason why people scream in bands. because the words deserve to be shouted... and there are bands out there who scream and they don't know why they're screaming. maybe because the wish they had the passion and intelligence of an american nightmare or a los crudos but truthfully. but in the end, they embarrass themselves by standing on a stage and screaming just to scream. like petulant little sesame street characters with shitty hair and tight jeans banging on things with not a damn bit of substance and people can see through insincere posturing. always have something to say.
i guess what im saying is that very few of us ever get the opportunity to hold a microphone but when you do, what are you going to say?
always be prepared. always be thinking. always be ready with a thought or an idea. always be ready to give back. always show your scars. and always be willing to admit your faults.
you can keep what happens in your home in your home... but it's your obligation to take what you learned from that home and talk to people, as many that will listen, with a microphone on a stage or standing on a chair and screaming to the world what you have learned. because everyone is looking for anything to help make this ridiculousness make sense. and when we dont understand things we get confused, and confusion turns into frustration which turns into animosity which turns into intolerance which turns into hate. hate for people, cultures, communities and ourselves.
so you may not like what i have to say or how i deliver it. dont buy my books, dont come see me speak, dont support me in any way and that's fine. and if i cant pay my rent ill work at mcdonalds and eat my dinner from paper bags, but what you wont stop and cant stop is the effect we all have when open our mouths and tell people what we have learned. because you and i, we both want some goddamn help. and this weekend i went out and helped make sense of my life for me. yes, the majority was intentionally humorous. because this weekend was learning about how to walk away from the tragedies inside of 4am friends and learn to laugh about them. and thats how you take back the control. i decide how to deal with those stories, they no longer deal with me.
thank you to everyone who gave me their time, attention and love this weekend.
you make me feel good about the choices i have made.
photo cred: gabriella