Control

Janet

I'm still so off my game. Things are wobbly. I don't know if anything I care about is coming to fruition or is about to blow up in my face. Which is hard when I'm working so hard at it. Patron Saint of Getting-it-Together, Janet Jackson, set me straight. It's been a rough few weeks. Shit is live wire and a little raw. I had a very long dream last night that my BFF had spent the last 10 years getting kicking ass in the real world, and I had been in prison, and we were comparing our progress. It was not good. I felt powerless and embarrassed. Today I'm thinking about how powerless is really my least favorite of all the options.

It feels prescient, therefore, to cement some solid truths I've accumulated about life thus far, set to the lyrics of Ms. Jackson (if you're nasty) 's best pop song EVAR:

This is story about control
My control
Control of what I say
Control of what I do
And this time I'm gonna do it my way
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do
Are we ready?
I am
'Cause it`s all about control,
And I've got lots of it

I am typically the architect of the major functions of my life, and when I find that I'm not, you can bet I am swiftly working behind the scenes to correct that before anyone even notices.

Additionally, I typically feel like I'm in pole position for success and it's just a matter of follow-through to get to the next goal. I need the rules, I need my playbook, I am thinking three moves ahead, at all times. You don't realize your dependence on such arrangements until they're impossible. Hence my constant desire for a fried chicken sandwich. I don't have my mise en place and it's CRAZY annoying.
 

When I was 17 I did what people told me
Did what my father said,
and let my mother mold me
But that was a long ago

You should probably hold onto the things that brought you joy when you were young, and honor them. The little "you" chose those things for a reason. For instance, I have danced since I was tiny. I did ballet for 13 years, hiphop and choreography for 6, did stage productions and small town theater for my entire life and it was the shit. My wife put on a dance movie today and I was 12 again watching it. The idea (corny as it sounds) of taking music, and amplifying it FURTHER by choreographing it, is fucking amazing. You think that you'll continue to find primary joy like that through life, but it's not necessarily the case. These things that moved you when you were young (and without a prefrontal cortex) are vital and life-giving. Savor them when you feel lost. Returning to the barre, in my case. Plié, ronde de jambe, relevé. I'm taking a ballet class this week for the first time in 10 years and I can't wait.
 

I'm in Control - Never gonna stop
Control - To get what I want
Control - I like to have a lot
Control - Now I'm all grown up

I have zero patience for people who are not passionate about something and don't profess ZEAL and enthusiasm for what they do every day. What good are you to the planet otherwise? Get it together! Christ. There are a million things to be done in this world. Fucking pick one. Make something better. Improve the place. It's not complicated. You don't have to cure ebola (though that would be great). Just do something. You're sitting around high, appreciating your wealth, taking pictures of your food at yet another restaurant, or whatever that benefits only yourself, I have no patience for you. Call me annoying. I don't care.
 

First time I fell in love, I didn't know what hit me
So young and so naive, I thought it would be easy
Now I know I got to take control

I feel very free to fall deeply in love with people at all times. That does not mean I should marry them, share a life with them, or even a root beer float. Some people are wandering around out there being ALL kinds of perfect for you in certain ways. But perfect match in spirit does not mean life partner. THOSE are rare. So filter, people, filter. Love deeply, be brave, and add to your treasure box of deep relationships with people who matter to you. It's one of the things you can do to make the world better (see above). But have boundaries, and be selective about the ones you take in deeply. Build your life with the ones who deepen your understanding of the world, the ones who want to carry you, and only those who will amplify your greatness. You owe that to yourself.

For instance, the first man I ever loved is still one of my favorite people on the planet. I am so very thrilled we did not build a life together. He found the person who was right for that. And I adore her, and I root for them every day.

There's an urge to define our bond with others in puritanical terms. I think that's bullshit and vastly prefer the idea of "chosen family". Some people are forever, and your heart will stay with them no matter your classification of relationship. That shit just does not matter.
 

Control - Now I've got a lot
Control - To get what I want
Control - I'm never gonna stop
Control - Now i'm all grown up

Getting old is super lame. Not because I feel weird about being older, but because my visual no longer matches how I feel about myself, and the disconnect is strange. Everything around me continually feels new and alive and has great potential. Last night my (pilot) uncle told me it's too late to become an airline pilot. I hate that it's too late to do ANYTHING being that my list continually has 150 urgent things on it. I'm not at the point where I'm UN-vain enough to just wear flowy purple outfits, if that is something we can agree on being an ultimate necessity. I want to be hot still. Charged, commanding, with great shoes. But in the authentic body of a 43 year old. I feel like there's no middle ground; either be a J Crew model with the hips of my 13 year old, or look like I'm ready to be set out to pasture. I shaved my hair even shorter today, dyed it chestnut, and stopped off to pick up some fresh hoops. God dammit, I won't go down without a fight.
 

Rebel, that's right
I'm on my own,
I'll call my own shots
Thank you

If you're griping a lot about bosses who don't know that they're doing, you should probably try being in charge. This little pearl is new to me, but is ringing true a lot lately. I LOVE great employers. They're rare and precious and I can list the ones I've had the joy of supporting on one hand. But I know a lot of way too smart people working for not as smart employers. I wish they would unearth and situate themselves front and center, and just run shit. It's hard, but I wish someone had told me that when I was young, so here I am spilling to you. Just be the boss if you can do it better than everyone else. Some people just can. 
 

So let me take you by the hand,
and lead you on this dance (Control)
Is what I've got, because I do with chance
I don't wanna rule the world,
just wanna run my life
So make your life a little easier ...

When you get the chance just take control

Sigh. I wrote this and finished a bottle of Viognier. I feel slightly better, but that's probably the 13.75% alcohol talking.

I'm trying to calm the fuck down. But I want to ravish a to-do list. I think I'm getting up early tomorrow and I'm going to wrestle this week into submission. Janet or no.

 

Amy Cray