I’ve been thinking about audacity.
When I was rewriting the About section of my website I meandered down memory lane and found myself revisiting some fine old memories I hadn’t considered for a long time. Wow — did I really drag my bagpipes along with me when I travelled Europe and then again to the Middle East and Asia?! Did I really whip them out in all sorts of hugely public and foreign places to play with no or little consideration to how much attention I would draw? Was I oblivious to the attention or…? And what about the business of getting my nose pierced in India in 1985? Obviously getting your nose pierced and sashaying about the streets of Calgary with a diamond (or cheap piece of glass or whatever!) stud isn’t a big deal now. But in 1985? Even the lizard-styled punk rockers had hardly embraced the idea. So what about the attention — often really negative attention — that attracted? I can’t help but think, back then I had some audacity.
No doubt there are heaps of considerably more audacious actions underway in the world today, and were then. But these were MY actions and in the revisiting of these memories I have found that I’m almost surprised I did these things. So the question that keeps popping up is: given the same set of circumstances would I — the person that I am now — do these things today? Could I withstand the glare of the self-imposed spotlight? Could I turn a cold shoulder to “what people might say”? Lord, I picture setting myself up with bagpipes to pipe Rob into the luggage carousel section of the airport from some exhausting flight and I cringe! Really???
The thing is, I know and well remember that I didn’t do any of these things TO draw attention to myself. I did them despite the attention. I loved playing pipes, wanted to travel and knew that both my playing and my pipes would suffer if I left them behind. I thought the women in India with their diamond-studded noses were the most beautiful I had ever seen (still do) and loved the idea of experiencing and experimenting with their aesthetic. I absolutely adored my tall, joyful Cape Breton lad (still do) and knew that he’d be honoured by my gesture… All of these things I did for love and joy — without fear or concern for what people would think or the glare of the spotlight. I did them simply because I wanted to. Kind of nice, isn’t it?
But what about now? Well, I’d like to think I would be as fearless and joyful and unconsciously expressive. But I can’t help notice that I can’t think of one audacious thing I’ve done in the last God-knows-how-many years. Hmmmm. Sure, I can don the pink hat, a silly ball gown and swoop down the gravel road in a golf cart with like-dressed sisters on a Sylvan cocktail cruise. But that’s just play. What about audacity in life?
I was thinking of setting myself a goal of doing at least one really audacious thing in 2016. But I’m not sure it’s audacity if you set out to do something because it’s audacious. The dictionary says audacity is “boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought or other restrictions.” If the motivation, at least in part, comes from how the action appears then that’s giving consideration to conventional thought isn’t it?
So, I’m going to wander quietly into 2016 with the notion of audacity sprinkled liberally through my consciousness and I’m just going to see if I can’t genuinely and honestly invite it back into my life. Why not? A little bold disregard for conventional thought sounds… well, it sounds like a most awesome way to not take life too seriouslY!
Anyone want to join me?
Yup -- this should be fun. And by this I mean writing a blog, playing music, writing music, putting into words and pictures on this website thoughts and ideas about who I am and why I bother trying to make music. ALL of it should be fun. In fact, the older I get the more often I have thought, "This should be fun." Or -- perhaps more to the point, I've thought this should be MORE fun of just about everything I do! I have had (and I don't think I'm alone here) the propensity to take myself and all that I'm doing just a little too seriously. Like I might get hurt if I do it wrong.
Truth of the matter is, the whole on-line, social media, hey-everybody-look-at-me culture that's blossomed in the twenty-first century has been tricky for me. You see, I actually consider myself an extrovert. I don't have problems speaking to strangers or to stepping into the limelight when there's a reason for me to do so. But it's been weirdly difficult for me to do this -- type away in my kitchen and toss myself out to...who?! Those who might find me interesting or talented or clever or charming or... enough to pay attention?? Lord, and what if no one does?
Well, that's where the fun comes in. Just like the songs I write, I think I should just go ahead and do it. If no one comes to my party, it's still a party if I'm having a good time! I still can don my ridiculous pink cap (stylishly exhibited above), shuffle through the joys of working to string thoughts and ideas together, still sip my coffee (today it has eggnog in it) and I can still delight in simply doing it because I can!
Besides, as Joshua Becker -- who writes the becomingminimalist blog says -- blogging helps you become a better writer, live a more intentional life and it helps you become more well-rounded in your mindset (along with a bunch of other fairly compelling reasons). Who wouldn't want that?
So --we'll see where this goes. But wherever it goes, it should be fun for me... and for you! (Hello?.... anybody there?....... Helllooooooooo.....?)
I'm Christie Simmons -- the person the rest of this website is about. But if you don't feel like reading all of that, to cut to the chase I'm a singer songwriter from Calgary, Alberta. The picture above is of me and my sister Catherine Simmons (a most awesome author) at Sylvan Lake where we get to play and have fun. I'm hoping this is another place where I'll get to play and have fun!