All That Jazz

For years I've lived by the mantra:

"If you have the desire, you have the ability."

The Universe isn't that cruel to give you a dream and no way to attain it. You may have to bust your ass for years and give up and restart a thousand times before success falls upon you, but it is absolutely possible to achieve your dreams. You're just going to have to work for them. And dreams don't have to be career goals. Dreams can look like any of these...

Having a healthy, joyful family

Getting in your best physical shape by losing weight or getting strong

Learning a craft or new skill

Improving your relationship with your husband

Having a more fulfilling sex life

I've recently tweaked that mantra to:

"If you have the desire, you have the courage."

This is much more approachable. We rarely see ourselves brave enough to go after what we want. Fear stands in our way. Fear of looking foolish, fear of failure, fear of success. The list goes on. But it's helpful to recognize fear for what it truly is. Fear itself is also a desire. It is the desire for self-preservation. To remain in the status-quo. Only when the pain of the status-quo grows larger than the pain of the unknown do we step out of fear and change occurs. But if we look at fear as a desire to stay the same, can we also look at bravery as a desire to grow?

Since I watched Catherine Zeta Jones belt out All that Jazz in 2002, I have fantasized about doing the same. For fifteen years I have thought about that song and how I would make it my own one day. Then last spring I was given the gift of opportunity. I was to perform for a fundraiser to benefit Music and Theater Company of CT. Those gifted and kind people of MTC said I could sing anything I wanted. A nano second went by before I blurted "ALL THAT JAZZ!"

Instant hand over mouth. What was I thinking? This is a hard song, not in my register. I've got more Ariana Grande pipes. No, this has been a desire for fifteen years!! I have to do this. Outwardly, this was a done deal. Inwardly, this was a fight to the death between the me that could and the me that couldn't.

Sooooo for three months I spent an hour or more every day, including spring break in Costa Rica, with my computer and Aaron Anastasi's Superior Singing Method. I practiced and practiced and practiced some more. I was actually seeing progress. Then the week before my big show I got a head cold. I couldn't believe the Universe was fucking with me so badly as to give me sinus congestion days before my performance.

"I can't do it," I said. "I have no voice!" but still I practiced with the phlegm, up until the very afternoon of my show. I remember closing my computer on Aaron for the last time thinking I had no business performing for the enjoyment of others!

"Who are you doing this for, them or you?" my often wise husband asked.

"Me," I said. That was all the reason I needed to go out there and be as good as I could be, phlegm and all.

So, I did it. I went out there in front of a hundred people and belted out All that Jazz. And it was fucking great! Was I great? I have no idea. To this day I refuse to watch the video. All I know is that I proved to myself that my dreams matter, fear is a fallacy put in place to keep me small and stepping out of my comfort zone is why I'm here on the planet at this time in history.

So my question to you is "What's Your Jazz?" What idea scares you to try but you know in the truth of your heart, if you don't, you'll regret it?