The sun was just barely peaking through the window. Our diva knew that she was moments away from the alarm beginning its battle cry. She was ready to get up but also stuck. This was always a difficult day to feel her feet hit the ground. She felt herself slinking farther under the covers protecting herself from the belligerent wake up call. She wanted to just have a few more moments to dream. The anniversary of her grandmother’s passing just made her feel sluggish and raw. The anniversary always felt like one of those days in which she floated through the world barely making contact with the people and things around her.
Our diva was barraged by memories of her grandmother on this annual marker; another year around the sun. Her grandmother was the one who believed in her from the very beginning. She was a shelter and guide when the path felt obscure or too demanding. She was the one who reminded our diva that there’s “too much good to be afraid of the mean.” That phrase never really made sense to our diva until years later. At first, she just thought it was a funny way of saying, “look on the bright side of things.” Yet, over time, she gave it different meanings. She let it lead her to see that it’s worth it to pursue a goal that is challenging over having “an average life.” She also felt like it gave her a new way to view other people. She felt ushered into seeing the good in others rather than whatever it was that made them mean.
The Day 1 challenge on your journey is to “take a look around and notice what is good.”
She could still remember seeing her grandmother’s face gleaming back at her from the audience at the end of her senior recital. Then again, older still, when she performed her graduate recitals. That gaze full of pride, admiration, confidence, and absolute love felt overwhelmingly good. Our diva roused herself finally from the bedroom and began to look around her home. Perhaps she was searching for signs of her hero. She scanned the walls and the floor as she padded her way to the kitchen. She saw her diplomas neatly framed on the wall. She touched the keys on the piano, her grandmother gave it to her as a graduation gift, as she sleepily wandered past. She brewed the coffee and thought about the conversations she had late into the evening over coffee that probably should have been decaf…
She remembered her grandmother telling her a story about her own life. She recalled being a real estate agent in a still vibrant rust belt city while our diva’s grandfather was off fighting in the war. It was a bit of an odd job for a woman to have at the time but she loved it with all she had. She didn’t care a cent for building styles; but, wanted all of her clients to find a place where they felt “safe.” She relished the ability to help people buy a place in which they would raise their families. She would often think back on the faces of her friends buying houses and she would say, “I could see their dreams on their faces.” After that she told our diva, “when you perform, I see the dream on your face too. Don’t ever lose that.”
And she didn’t. She never lost the dream on her face while performing. Sometimes it was hard to bring that dream to her face in the practice room or while she was putting together particularly complicated applications or at the end of a long day making recordings. But, she remembered her grandmother’s gaze and sayings. She looked for the good. She looked for what made her feel safe.
She found a lot of good in her day-to-day life. She found that most of her day was full of things that interested her. She worked on exciting projects with collaborators who were mostly, save those few incessant bores, inspiring and creative musicians. She went to rehearsals with a smile on her face (except for those times when the traffic was so god-awful.) She knew in her heart that she wanted to be part of bigger productions with bigger paychecks and more prestige. But, she was on her way. She had won a competition a while ago — shortly after this same anniversary last year. It was an unexpected win. She knew that there were other singers there with fancier resumes. Those other singers had also recently won similar competitions. That didn’t stop our diva. After all, it’s important to take each chance you’re given. That win felt so good. It almost felt like her grandmother’s gaze after those recitals years ago. “Yep, there are good things.” she thought to herself as she started to move on to the rest of her day. “In fact,” she thought, “there simply is too much good to be afraid of the mean.”
29 Days to Diva: The Worksheets
Want some help completing your Day 1 challenge? I’ve created a simple worksheet just for you. Think about the things that are going well in your life so you can invite more of that and maybe let go of some of the things that just aren’t serving you anymore.
Try it out! If you like it, I hope you’ll share this post on your favorite social media channels. You can find me @mezzoihnen or feel free to use the hashtag #29DTD or #29DaystoDiva.