Friday, July 5, 2013

Life would be easier if it were a muscial

Every now and then I find myself having a conversation with someone that somehow finds its way to a discussion about theatre, specifically musicals. I love it when the other person is a fan of musicals because then we can discuss our favorite live performances, original cast recordings, and Tony performances. I really luck out when the person also majored in theatre and we can further our discussion by diving into costume design and lighting as a vehicle for theme or something terribly theatre major of us. And of course, envisioning ourselves in our own musical numbers. I like to think that I'd be in some sort of Thoroughly Modern Millie number like "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (Julie Andrews style funny/awkward or Sutton Foster style dance-y/sweet) or maybe something from Pippin (I'm thinking "Kind of Woman") or Rent if I'm feeling artisty and defiant.

Obviously, life is not a musical. If it were, I would have to dance in public for no real reason except that there's a song in my heart and a music cue, sing on key, and wear heels the majority of the time. I'd have the perfect leading lady retort for everything. All would be resolved by the end of the second act with a huge production number including several quick changes. We would also all pretend like the majority of Oscar and Hammerstein musicals are not about horrible people (because they are).

Anyway, I was watching the movie version of Annie this week and realized it was time to check in on my progress with this year's goal. I'm not entirely sure why Annie made me think of this but it did. I'm guessing it's because Annie was the first musical I loved and Annie is the original sassy leading lady of my childhood (although she's like eleven years old). And Ann Reinking always.

My goal for the year, of course, is the be the leading lady of my life. Inspired by Iris from the movie The Holiday and tired of always being the best friend, I decided that this was the year of me. Being me, I also needed ways to quantify progress so I came up with this list as a way to figure out if I was actually doing it:
  • Get involved in volunteering again
  • Take a dance class (maybe tap or ballroom just because)
  • Go to Paris 
  • Be the instigator of plans 
  • Allow my friends to set me up on blind dates (I mean, why not?)
  • Be more spontaneous (I'm not sure how one quantifies this but that may be the point)
  • Be more daring in my fashion choices and dress like a leading lady
So what have I actually accomplished?

  • Volunteering: VEV (Visitor Experience Volunteer) training for the National Museum of Women in the Arts starts on Saturday. I applied and was accepted into the volunteer program in February but we're only now getting to start training. However, unlike every other museum I've ever volunteered for, the training is only a day and a half instead of a month or more. I will be an official volunteer by the end of the day this Sunday. Come visit me and enjoy NMWA!
  • Paris: Contrary to some discussions prior to the trip, I did not fall in love with a French guy and decide to move to Paris nor did I get taken and need Liam Neeson to save the day. You can read all about my adventures in Paris if you'd like. Friends have been asking what my favorite part was and I can honestly say it was Père Lachaise. Weird I know, but the truth. Also, pictures of me exist from this trip that I actually like. That never happens.
  • Instigating plans: Well, I'm not going to say that I've been planning parties and going out every night because that would be a lie. But I have expanded my social circle and am doing more with different groups of friends. I'm in album club which is super fun (more on this in a future post). June was a jam-packed social extravaganza kind of month. I can do better in this area and I will continue to do more and hopefully regain some of my planner/hostess ways from when I was living in New Orleans (I used to throw great dinner parties - I don't really have the space anymore. Sad.) Maybe I need to find a friend who has the space and volunteer to plan a dinner party at their house. This could be a great idea.
  • Fashion: This is never really going to be done but I feel like I've been more daring and more willing to try new fashion just to do it. I wear the purple skinny jeans frequently, I've been wearing skirts and dresses like a boss, and I bought a neon striped shirt while in Paris that I adore (and I can't stand neon as a fashion trend). I'm trying to mix up my work week wardrobe to include less jeans and tees days and more "I'm a professional, I promise" days. And I shop my closet. I love doing this. I have a lot of great stuff in my closet that I forgot about and it's all coming in handy these days. 
  • Spontaneity: I'm not entirely sure how to measure spontaneity but I'm rather proud of myself for not over-planning my trip to Paris. While I wouldn't say that I was particularly spontaneous, it was a pretty dramatic departure for me and I think that's progress. I don't know about this one - any thoughts on how a person can be more spontaneous when they're really more of a planner? Do I have to become like Jim Carrey in Yes Man? I really don't want to learn how to play "Jumper" (even though this scene is pretty great) or get in a bar fight.
  • Taking a class: I have done nothing at all to begin this. I was thinking dance classes or yoga but haven't been motivated enough to look for a class that's a right fit for me. I'm also considering taking some cooking classes or language classes. My mom wants to take art classes (like jewelry making) so I'm maybe I'll find something that she and I can do together and that will get me in the class-taking mood.
  • Dating: I will go with epic fail on this one (for now). I applaud my friends who are diving into the online dating pool and managing it like champs - just watch out for jerks and wastes of time. I had a miserable experience with online dating the year I turned 30 (one of those things I did that year to enter my thirties in a bold, adventurous way) so I'm very hesitant to try again. Actually, the prospect of it makes me a little hive-y even with the idea that I could make it a regular feature on the Island (Erin's Date of the Week - a suggestion from one on my friends who is contemplating something similar). This one has me stumped. Of the seven items on my list, I think this one is the hardest to make progress on and I'm not really sure why. I'm guessing it's because love and the prospect of love makes us all act like absolute morons. It would be so much better if we were all still in middle school and could rely on the "do you like" me notes and our friends to do the work for us. This is probably the only time I will ever say it would be cool to go back to middle school.

Despite not even starting two of the items on the list, I feel like progress is being made. That's really what's important. I'm open to suggestions for those things that I haven't started or are still in progress. Or volunteers to be my class buddy or someone to write my online dating profile (if I decide to take that leap again - blah).

And the great thing? There's still time - I have until December 31 (about 180 days). What can I accomplish in 180 days?

Cue the musical number.

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