Sunday, April 02, 2006

the latest list

some people have everything brought to them. they show up in nyc and in short order, whatever they reach for is in their hands, no matter what it is -- a record deal, a broadway show, the ideal set-up, the perfect job... you name it. me? reaching out doesn't seem to give me much more than lots of flexibility. don't get me wrong. i've accomplished some wonderful things that way. but i've never had an avalanche of success come to me by waiting for the phone to ring. it's all about my own ideas, my own plan of action. this is the hardest way but in the long run, i think i'll be better off.

ultimately, God knows what He's doing. the d.i.y. approach suits my temperament and my personality. i'm much stronger and more confident than i ever would have been if things had happened the other way around. and i actually have something to say.

my not-so-secret weapon is, i have this habit of making lists. they're everywhere: on post-it notes by the phone, in my journal, on half-used deli napkins, a junk mail envelope that i was about to throw away. it's a way of organizing my thoughts, realigning my goals and priorities and making sure that i get certain things done in a timely fashion. i've got it down to a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly situation. i can't tell you what i'll have for lunch next tuesday but i can tell you exactly where i want my life to be in ten years. of course, what i want and what i get are sometimes two completely different things. but wanting something is a great start.

none of it is written in stone. it changes according to my mood, my circumstances, my money flow -- but i keep writing things down anyway. sometimes it feels like a writing excercise. something to do before i go to bed, or right before i get out of bed or as i'm about to leave my place. sometimes it feels like an excercise in futility. (will i really have my very own brownstone in harlem someday, with a nice big backyard filled with flowers, a recording studio in the basement and my record label on the ground floor?) but sometimes there are moments when something takes over my hand as i'm writing and i let go. i think of things that seem impossible -- relocating to nyc on no money to live and work as an artist, for example -- and i find a plan of action to make it happen. and then all of a sudden, i realize that it's time to dream something else because i'm living the dream i thought would never happen. do that enough times with no money in your pockets and nothing in your hands but spit and grit and prayer and determination and after awhile, anything seems possible.

my ex-boyfriend used to say, "if you want to make God laugh, make plans." in his mind, that made it okay to have no plan at all. whenever he would tell me that, i would say, what a cop out. if nothing ever happened, that must have been God's plan all along. but proverbs 16:9 says "in his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps." it's a two way street.
jiminy cricket was right -- a dream is a wish your heart makes -- and God is there to light the way. i suppose i could learn how to box with one hand tied behind my back -- but why?

here's my latest list.

i woke up today and realized that even though it's snowing right now in big heavy chunks and i was wearing snowpants, it was only an optical illusion. spring has sprung officially. the next thing i knew, it would be august. i had to ignore the visuals. what did i want to accomplish before the end of the summer? there's a lot of lists going on but here's a little from each of them. these are ten things that i absolutely have to do by the end of the summer, no matter what:
  1. record/mix/master the follow up black americana cd
  2. record/mix/master the jazz cd
  3. record/mix/master the folk/country cd
  4. of course, i'm going down south for a spell to see my family -- but hey, how about a real vacation? (i can't remember the last time i had one.) i want to leave the country for a week or so with my friend.
  5. do a 14 day fast -- and finish it off with some hardcore hydrocolonic therapy
  6. read that ridiculously heady three volumed kierkegaard nightmare
  7. take my annual "on the beach in my black bikini" photo
  8. (...look absolutely spectacular in that black bikini, by the way...)
  9. open an IRA account
  10. live alone

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