|Real Simple October 2018
1. "It's a breather from the real world:" ain't that the truth. I currently work in a county building and when I am not teaching, I am expected to sit in a dark, dirty, possibly vermin infested back room to collaborate with my colleagues, whom I am not particularly interested in collaborated with as my experience and educational philosophies differ from theirs enormously ... actually, my ideas about anything, for the most part, sets me apart from them. Plus, some aren't particularly forthcoming, so, as I breathe in the stale air and hope that I don't catch anything from any of the surfaces, I read People.com. I am not much of an Internet surfer, but for this site, I would be a little embarrassed if any checked how many times a day I take a look to see if anything new has come up in the day. Maybe the Princess, any number of them, has visited a school or hospital. What were they wearing? How did the people react? It is diverting. And in the end, I know way too much about what is going on with William and Kate, but that's okay. It's a brain break ... and I need a lot of those at my current place of employment.
2. "It can encourage you to help others:" this is certainly true for me. Bono, alone, encouraged me to do something in the world. I think that I possess that gene already, but were it not for him, I wouldn't have done Habitat for Humanity builds in Chile and Botswana. When I dragged my butt through 26.2 miles of a marathon, I did it to raise money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. In many small ways, I have often considered, what would Bono do? I'm teased endlessly for my love of him as it is misunderstood. For me, he is the rock star, yes- but he is also a point of light for me to believe in and he makes me want to be a part of building things up, not tearing them down. I am fully aware that he is human and imperfect as some like to remind me of occasionally, but I am too. And that's okay.
3. "It emboldens you to live your dream:" a few years ago, I saw the David Bowie exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. Not knowing quite what to expect, I was blown away by it. I could've spent hours more in what was, to me, a visit into Bowie's creative mind. Aside from the fashion display and all of its Alexander McQueen wonderfulness, I was most impressed in the area that was devoted to Bowie's Berlin years. One of the exhibition pieces was a machine that Bowie would use to spark lyric ideas. Randomness can spark creativity. And that set me off to thinking. Recently, I've been immersed in Steve Perry's story- the Journey front man who walked away from it all and didn't sing for 20 years. To hear him talk about it is fascinating. I loved Steve Perry more than life itself during high school. I broke up with him in college for New Wave, but he's back, and I can see what I saw in him then and am glad that he's arrived to the now with a story that I understand about talent and creativity. I don't know if these stories help my dream as much as I see the struggle that they face in their creative lives, identify with it and feel encouraged to continue, in my own small way, my own creative pursuits.
4. "It can make you feel connected:" in the summer following sixth grade, I spent every day with the older girl a couple doors down. She had a good stereo and led me away from David Cassidy and introduced me to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, among others. The Beatles, in particular, grabbed a hold of me deep. The first album that I bought with my own money was 'Abbey Road.' We spend hours listening to her vinyl collection, and I clearly remember feeling my whole being opening up to receive all of the ideas and sounds that came in listening to the music. Going into seventh grade without my new friend who was in high school, I faced two lonely years of not fitting in and general awkwardness ... like most I imagine. But I had the music. And I lived a full life whenever I listened to it or, even, thought about it. I started my subscription to Rolling Stone at that time. I don't even know if I was aware or savvy enough to fully comprehend everything that I read, but I felt that I was a part of the community, a part of something.
5. "It can help you pick up great style tips:" continuing on with my 13 year old self. I was such a dork, but the love that I had for the bands that I was listening to was so real. I didn't have a lot of clothes at that time and some of my pants, my mother had sewn me. I had one pair of light blue, elephant pant styled cotton pants that she had sewn for me that I took an embroidery needle to and embroidered the names of my favorite bands on the legs of the pants. I didn't quite pick up that style, but I was inspired and began to develop my own sense of it. I did have feathered hair like some of my favorites, David Cassidy especially, but I'm not so sure that is how it went down. When Madonna came on the scene, I certainly went to the men's department and bought boxer shorts to wear as clothing. Thankfully, I don't have pictures of that! I can't even imagine. Since so much of fascination involves musicians, not actors, I don't know if I picked up style tips from them or their sound crated an impression which led me to create a style. But I get this.