This week was all about preventing paralysis, physically and psychologically.
I have a detrimental relationship with perfection—I strive to catch up with it, yet it doesn’t even care to look back and see if I’m keeping up. How boorish! Now, I know intellectually that perfection doesn’t actually exist so it’s actually only myself I’m running with out there. But I still never seem to be in the lead! And the irrational hope of attaining perfection, paired with the rational awareness that I never will attain it, sometimes leaves me paralyzed with inactivity.
Our task this week in 9 Weeks… is to build our website. Oh, man! So much to fix! I don’t know where to start! So many things far from perfect! (Gasp)
What pictures do I use? I need new promo shots!
Can’t do it!
A bio?! What do I say? I’m not interesting!
Can’t do it! Can’t do it!
I gotta join Reverbation and a daunting plethora of other sites, create a profile, upload music and then place their widget on my website?! It’ll take forever to perfect! I can’t do it! What’s a widget? My fingers and hands and arms are so sore from clicking and typing and scrolling! I can feel my tendons thickening to immobility! I for sure have carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, I’m quite certain I have plantar fasciitis too from trying to catch up with perfection and running to and fro the fridge continually checking out what could be magically new in there!
Can’t do it! Can’t do it! Can’t do it!
All this computing and internetting and perfecting… I’m struck with paralysis of the physical and psychological kind: Perfection paralysis.
How to prevent paralysis?
As Ariel Hyatt says: Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Okay, now I’m listening; biting and eating I understand. I get it: One bite at a time; one site at a time; one step at a time. Don’t let doing it perfectly supersede doing it at all. Okay.
And stick your arms in ice water every now and again. Give them a healthy stretch every hour. If it gets really bad, massage the pain with Rub-A535 with Capsaicin. And while chasing perfection, wear supportive shoes instead of novelty slippers—or better yet, just let perfection go, let it run off into the distance and do its own thing while you do your own thing at your own pace. Yeah.
There. Paralysis prevented. Perfect!
If I were in an elevator for a 15-second ride with an ”omnipotent being who has the ability to make my career lucrative, effortless and now”, I would not ask this question. I would hand them my CD with a charming smile and spew my 15-second elevator pitch that would convince them to listen to my CD optimistically and with the goal of making my music career lucrative, easy and now.
So that means I need a 15-second elevator pitch pronto in case I get in an elevator tomorrow. And, “I’m Kat, listen to this, ok?” probably won’t cut it– and is really much shorter than 15 seconds unless I drag it out or repeat it with a couple different accents. Good thing I’m taking the 9 Weeks to Music Success challenge to help summon a pitch to the page.
I need to describe myself in 15 seconds. Using a reference to another artist could provide context, but it’s got to remain uniquely me. It’s got to be an honest reflection of what I’m about but with the additional edge of being a shimmering lure that will draw a stranger into me, making them want me, need me, love me! (Gasp) I feel like I’ve struggled with this all my life.
As my dad was in the air force, my family moved around every 2 to 3 years. So every 2 to 3 years I had to assert my identity again. I would sit at a new school in a new town among a new set of strangers who knew nothing about me. And a reference to me didn’t help no matter how enthusiastic I tried to be. “I was the girl who saved Billy from those ominous grade 6s and made the grade 4s feel safe while pirouetting and making the whole class laugh. Remember? I was loved! Oh, you don’t remember, you weren’t there, you don’t know me, how could you love me?” (Sigh) With every new environment, I would emit a hefty childhood sigh and start at the beginning… again. How do I make you love me? How do I make you love me fast? ‘Cause I promise you will love me and we’ll be the best of friends and have the time of our lives. But we need to hurry ‘cause I’ll be moving away in 2 to 3 years and we don’t have much time!
Auditions give me similar emotional commotion. I want to bellow at the auditioners, “Come on, just pick me! Spare me the song and dance and let me get to the singing and dancing already! I can do this easy! Let’s get to it! Let’s get to the show!!! Stop auditioning other people! We’re wasting time! Let’s get to rehearsals! We open in 8 weeks!” I feel like I want to scream to the world, “Just trust me! I can do it! I’ll be brilliant! You’ll love me! I’ll make you laugh! I’ll make you cry! I’ll make you pee your pants—“ Okay, this isn’t turning into a good elevator pitch at all!
If only I could prove myself in one dynamic instant. If only I could give you a wink that would place in your mind’s eye a vision of me performing one of my songs. And in that dynamic instant you would sense the core of my spirit, the joy and the gloom, my love for an honest laugh and a sincere cry, and my capacity to leave a constructive footprint before I go. But I can’t. So I need a 15-second elevator pitch for when I encounter that ”omnipotent being who has the ability to make my career lucrative, effortless and now.”
Okay, here I go. Picture it: You and me in an elevator traveling in the direction of your choice. Would you believe this pitch? Would it make you love me?
I’m Kat Leonard. I combine the pizzazz of Liza Minnelli, the passion of k.d. lang, the wackiness of Cyndi Lauper and the sass of Madonna. Madcap and profound, I’m a quirky pop music dynamo whose music oscillates unpredictably between heartfelt and hilarious, leaving you with the drunken joy of a sugar rush.
Eh? You feeling the love? Come on, love me!
I always chose to play goalkeeper because it meant I didn’t have to physically move very far. Being a goalkeeper meant I didn’t have to make goals. I didn’t have to navigate the field all the way to the other end— which was undeniably way too far in the distance. I didn’t have to strategize and avoid those pesky opponent players who didn’t share my objectives. As goalkeeper I had one focus to adhere to, and adhere to it I did: nothing got past me. That’s it. I would stand sturdy and flail far in order to block anything. It was easy to—
Oh, hold on a second. I just re-read chapter 1 of Ariel Hyatt’s Music Success in 9 Weeks. That’s not the kind of goalmaking and goalkeeping we’re talking about. Ooops. But it kinda still applies, eh. It’s way easier to stand sturdy and focus on one concise purpose at a time rather than having to navigate a shifting and muddy field of everyday life and its players. But I guess if it were too easy, there’d be no sport in it. ;p
On the field in sports I am not such a great goalmaker because I become so intense and spastic that the sense of urgency to pee takes over and I have to leave the field. That was a tough lesson to learn, leaving the field on time. It was a long and wet walk home. The point is, I get way over-stimulated way too easily—and, incidentally, my mouth yells off during the process. I suck at surprise birthday parties, I’ve caught second-degree wrist strain playing a game of Pac Man, and I’ve lost a game of Glow Hockey on a mobile phone…right into a toilet. But I am an awesome goalmaker in the context of this chapter 1 of Music Success kind of way. I am an awesome goalmaker in that I’m a great brainstormer—those dendrites fire like mental! I have big dreams, big intentions, big pants—ahem—which is something I’d like to focus a goal on rectifying.
I’m a great goalkeeper on the field because there is just one focus at a time. In the chapter 1 of Music Success kind of way, I find it a challenge to be a good goalkeeper because I must maintain focus to put things into action while the world around me spins. It’s almost as if there’s a disconnect between Kat the goalmaker and Kat the goalkeeper. Kat the goalmaker is able to create bold and specific outlines while armed with a cup of coffee at the perfect temperature, safe and optimistic in her favourite armchair by the sunlit window. Kat the goalkeeper is expected to execute said outlines even though she may have slept in with a headache from watching Arrested Development till 4:00am, again, even though she feels deflated that Johnny Depp didn’t come to her show, again, even though it’s so damn cold out to trek to another open mic and her pants don’t fit anyway, again.
Exhibit A: The Disconnect, a pictorial example: Here, Goalmaker Kat researches the time and locations for the next Weight Watchers meeting and commits Goalkeeper Kat to going…. while (precisely simultaneously, mind you) Goalkeeper Kat uses the information as a holding deck for the chocolate chips she eats while not even hungry. (Sigh)
Of course I am not a complete doofball. I am proud of many of my accomplishments and I am implementing the 5-succeses a day journal to remind myself. But I think I can be proud of more. I came up with numerous specific goals during this week’s goalmaking exercises, but the 3 umbrella goals that I aim to make part of my life as a whole from here and beyond are:
1) to increase the communication and respect between Goalmaker Kat and Goalkeeper Kat: the former to create amazing and attainable goals while remaining cognizant of the latter’s lust for life and lounging; and the latter to make honest effort to combat challenges and accomplish goals set out, and not to dismiss said goals out of revenge for Goalmaker Kat drinking all the coffee.
2) to engage in social media without becoming spastic like I do with Pac-Man.
3) to stop eating like a maniac and to treat my body well, including exercise and rest.
Note to you: Feel free to hold me accountable. If you see me eating Doritos, please tell me I’m pretty and I’ll get the hint! ;p
Love Kat 😀
PS There are a lot of inspirational bloggers along this Blogging Challenge. These ones really wowed me on inspiration for organizing goals! Look at them go! 😀