A few of you know I’m writing (when I have *&@! time) a book about the unexpected gifts of cancer. More on that another time.
A few of you also know I’ve lost more than my share of people to that ridiculous disease. And I have my own little condition to deal with, too.
Couple that with a few near misses with my own kids, and I’ve been ruminating on the temporal nature of our little lives (that would be, “how frickin’ short our lives are” for those who prefer words under$5) more than usual.
Originally this post was going to be about staying true to your own voice in social media, and not getting lost trying to fit in with some neo-cool Tribe.
I had attended the Chicks Who Click conference in Denver, and three of the speakers — Erika Napoletano, Shelly Kramer, and Tara Anderson— all came back to more or less the same point: beeeeee yourself. It reminded me that though I initially created this blog related to my work, without my voice, it’s just a bunch of links. I needed to be brave and show more of who I am; and if you don’t want to work with me because of that, well… that’s probably for the best.
(You don’t like Disney references? Sorry; when my kids were little I saw this movie at least 200 times. Ask me about the deep revelations in Lion King sometime.)
But things change. Over the Winter I lost another friend to cancer — this would be like, the 27th or something; and I came across a video where half the people were alive just a bit ago. And well, you should still stay true to your own voice in social media. But now this post is about something more than that.
Three of those guys aren’t here anymore. John Lennon w as sharing really wonderful parts of life just before he died, and George Harrison and Richard Wright spent more time writing and singing about what was important to them than they did the cancer that would eventually kill them. Which is fine — the video in a way is more a musing about what might have been.
But I was really struck by how they seemed to be enjoying themselves. We’ve all heard about the drama with both those bands. But those moments on the stage looked like power and looked like comfort, and pleasure, all at once. I like that as much as the wacky mashup.
They found a way to express themselves. It sounds cliche, but it’s powerful. That’s why people blog, right? Or find themselves sharing weird little thoughts on Twitter and Facebook?
They reached both back to themselves and out to us.
What will ultimately express who you are? Do you know? Can you take a shot?
Hey, I’m not saying that you should go around blurting anything that comes to mind, unfiltered. I’m saying, express your best self. The one you’re comfortable with. Secretly proud of. Respect. Why wait?
One last video. This one’s really personal. This one’s my daughter, a few years back. I’ll spare you the details, but it was not a happy time. And yet… since was little, she has been singing. It’s who she is. She used to climb the apple tree outside our house and sing to strangers as they walked by.
That particular night she was in some pain; it wasn’t easy for her; she was a pretty brave girl. But you see that little smile she flashes at the end? It’s a reminder to me always, that being your truest self gives you a road back from wherever you are. And lets others find you, too.