Tag Archives: Etta james

Back to Basics

I’ve been staying with friends for a few weeks now. It still feels like I’m living out of a box. I was straightening up over the weekend and realized I needed my headphones. I use them with my music to focus, block out everything and everyone around me. While I was living alone I didn’t see the point in using them. They do come in handy with the roommate’s cat being in heat at the moment.

So here I sit, plugged in to my YouTube playlist writing a blog for you. Kicking it old school. Going back to basics. It feels like coming home. Weird how returning to a pattern you haven’t practiced in a while can feel so comforting. Some patterns are worth repeating. Just be sure you pay attention to what your patterns are and what outcomes you get from them. If they don’t benefit you in some way, break those patterns and don’t look back.

I’m doing something else I haven’t done in a while. I’m singing again. I was sick for the better part of a month and it was hard to sing when I could barely breathe. Now I’m singing in the car, at work, at home, belting out my favorite tunes just because I can. I surprised a friend at work singing along with Etta James on At Last. The friend was surprised enough that I liked music that much older than I am but she just kept staring at me when I sang it. Music has always felt right to me. Any kind of music, too, I’m not particular.

I have my headphones, my music, my voice is back and I’m writing. Let’s see what other trouble I can cause today.

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At last…

I just read a blog about voice. The blogger was making a point about not being fake, not using a voice for a purpose and then being someone else in public or private. And I realized that I have never truly expressed my own voice. There has always been a tinge somewhere of the people around me when a child develops their voice.

Voice is not the actual tonal quality of your speaking voice. It’s not a persona people see. It’s who you are on a soul-deep level. My last couple of blogs I’ve mentioned struggling with a bit of old baggage. I finally figured it out today. I felt like my voice was stifled so long and so deep that I am still figuring out who I am. I had a similar breakthrough once I realized that the ex-husband did not define me. I define me.

Let me say that again. I DEFINE ME. Not the ex. Not my mom. Not my friends. People who knew me when I was younger see a different person now. Who I used to be was the persona, the version of me I thought I was expected to portray. But it’s not who I truly am.

The true me, well, I think the tattoo I got when I had that other breakthrough is very appropriate to answer that question. It’s an attitude that I have to remind myself of sometimes. The tattoo says Foxy Bitch. It sits across the back of my neck at the top of my spine. Appropriate considering I had to find my backbone along the way.  Sometimes Foxy gets a little lost and I have to go looking for her.

When I read Chuck Wendig’s blog this morning, I realized that I had lost sight of Foxy again. I didn’t have to look far. She’s there, here, typing out these words for you to read. When that moment of insight hits I get chills. The release of emotion is like shedding 50 pounds in an instant. I did shed a few tears because I’ve really been struggling with this for the last few weeks. And you want to talk about timing, I have a blues music channel on the TV and Etta James’ At Last came on and I had to sing with her. Loud. That’s who I am.

I’m loud and sarcastic and funny. I’ll talk about most anything with anybody but I can hold a secret tighter than a leprechaun holds gold. I love the rain and Mondays and cars with tailfins. I can and will take anything you say and make it sound perverted. I have a zillion ideas for stories in my head and I think now, finally, I can tell those stories. For that, I have to say thank you to Chuck. He helped Foxy find me again.