The Performance Life

That’s what my blog should’ve been titled this weekend. I didn’t do much that was child- or home-related, but I did get up in front of a lot of people. Between the 3 times I was front and center and the once I was in a small group, I think I was seen by somewhere around 1,000 unique individuals. Ish.

My local church women’s group (Relief Society) held a retreat down in Branson (AKA America’s Live Entertainment Capitol) this Friday and Saturday. Branson is home to dozens of live performance theaters–family-friendly entertainment that’s usually run by, well, families (Osmonds, anyone?). The Dutton family owns a theater on “The Strip” and generously allowed our fearless leaders (who deserve awards for their mad planning skills) to use said theater, plus sound, lighting, tech guy, and stage props, for the speakers and performers this weekend.

I sang three times.

Two of those times were solos.

Lights, makeup, real mics, and me–front and center.

I was a nervous wreck.

I loved it.

I loved the feel of the stage. I loved the nervous jitters moments before walking into the spotlight. I loved the feel of the microphone in my hand. I loved the sound of my voice over high-quality speakers. I loved hearing that I “looked so poised!” I loved being recognized as I went to workshops later. I ADORED the attention and compliments. I was particularly fond of being mistaken for being a professional performer by a professional performer.

I have a serious problem with being attention-seeking. Can you tell?

It’s fascinating to me, in a detached sort of way, to observe myself when I perform. I turn into something else. Into a presence rather than a person. I love that feeling, and I know it.

It’s hard to let go of.

This was my first opportunity of this kind on this scale. It stirs in me the desire to pursue performance–a desire I’ve put down many times. And why do I put it down? Because I know myself. I know I have the potential to become so obsessed with a certain thing, I lose everything else about myself. I worry that by allowing myself to become really dedicated to anything–be it music, writing, teaching, my husband, my kids, myself, the Gospel–I’ll become obsessive. For me, it’s like Marianne Williamson said: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

It’s about balance. If I give myself to one thing at the cost of others…well, that’s no good!

But by not giving myself passionately to these things, I feel I’m losing something. I want to give myself to all of these good things with equal passion; however, I find that any time I attempt to become more passionate about one, the others fall behind.

There’s got to be an answer somewhere. Heavenly Father created these desires and lights within me for a purpose, and He wouldn’t create me so I could fail.

But He would create me so I had to make a choice.

Years ago, I chose family life. A home. Children. Homemaking.

Do decisions have to be re-made? Are we given opportunities to modify as we grow? Or are we simply tested again, to make sure we really meant it the first time?

The balance. There has to be one–somewhere. I’ve just got to keep going until I find it.

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About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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