Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks...even if sometimes things suck!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (Well, happy day after! I mean, how could I write when I had so much eating to do? And believe me, there wasn't a dish left untasted, except for anything with fruit, I don't eat the fruit)!! Anyway, I have decided to be more grateful for the things I have, even if they aren't exactly as I would like them to be (let's face it, nothing and nobody is perfect, except for maybe Clooney). It seemed appropriate to start on Thanksgiving (or the day after, see above food coma explanation) and so it is my intention to express my thanks everyday for a specific thing (no matter how small, or silly it may seem to others) until December 31st. I will try to make a daily thankful blog post but lets face it, I'm lazy so don't get your hopes up, but I will make a shout out on my Facebook status for the thing I'm grateful for:!/JAGarrish

DAY #1: I'm grateful for the gift of music (and for a moment that changed my life). I hope you enjoy the story below (I wrote it in a writing class I took this fall)! And be grateful for something today, maybe while you are waiting on a completely ridiculous long line at the mall. Hey, at least you aren't at work like I am (Yes, I'm grateful for my job, but let's not be too thankful on the first day, I gotta space it out):

As the lights went down, I clutched the sleeve of my jacket and my excitement grew. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, but I had a strong feeling I was going to like it. Why wouldn’t I? Music has always been a part of my life since I was old enough to remember hearing a song play on the radio. I sang around my house, into my hair brush, as well as other various substitutes for a microphone ( I was too shy to talk to someone I didn’t know but give me a song and watch me go). Sometimes you could find me making up songs about farm animals, though I’m not sure what my obsession with farm animals was about. And it wasn’t unusual to find me and the neighborhood kids putting on shows in our backyards, much to the chagrin of our parents. Come to think of it, I don’t think we sold one ticket, nor did we ever perform for an audience but boy did we rehearse for that show. I can clearly remember lip-synching, before it had a name and dancing my improvised choreography to “What a Feeling” from the movie Flashdance on the white cracked pavement of the Miale’s driveway. Man I had some really good moves. I also remember the first cassette album I ever bought, I don’t know where I got the money for it but I can still smell the plastic as I held that tape with Madonna’s picture on the front. Or my brother giving me the 45 of Elton John’s Little Jeannie, because they way he sang it kinda sounded like Little Jean Ann. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

So as a ten year old sitting in my red plush seat with my parents and my aunt, I was overwhelmed by the Cole Porter overture that had begun to play. Of course I had no idea who Cole Porter was at that time, but after that night I would never forget him. Nor would I forget the magnificent Patti LuPone. That lady knocked it out of the park. They say you never forget your first and it’s true. I may not remember what I was wearing or how close we were to the stage and I cannot recall the smell of the theatre or whether I got candy during the intermission, but I’ll never forget the moment I sat in my seat during the song “Anything Goes” and with absolute joy in my heart I said to myself, This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

It’s still like nothing else in the world. Going to see live theatre and being transported to another world. That tiny moment when the lights go down and the first chord is played, or the timpani of the drum is heard can send shivers down my spine in a totally good way. Music in general has such a strong hold on me. It can bring me back to a moment in my life within 4 seconds, it can bring a smile to my face quicker than finding a $20 in my pants pocket, and it can also break my heart. It is truly the universal language and when I get the opportunity to sing I know it’s where I’m supposed to be. I feel completely alive.

I may not be on Broadway yet, nor have I won an Academy Award, but that hasn’t stopped me from making my dreams come true, for I believe once you are given the gift of a dream it is your duty to follow through until you either make that dream a reality or until the dream no longer has a hold on your heart. That one moment in a darkened theatre changed that child’s life forever (not sure had my dad known it would make me want to be a performer, he would have rethought the purchase of those tickets) but I’m grateful for that moment every day, even when I struggle with the disappointments, the let downs, the hurts and the tears, it has shaped my life for the better and I was never the same.

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