Saturday, October 19, 2013


Well, it finally happened. 

When the Disney movie, "Beauty and the Beast" came out when I was 11, it changed my young life.  Obsession is too small a word for what I experienced.  I didn't just love Belle; I wanted to be Belle.  I didn't just want to watch the movie and listen to the soundtrack over and over and over, I wanted to live the story as my own personal story.  I would pray at night that God would let me grow up and be just like Belle.  And when my 11-12 year old brain, which was, even then, prone to realism, understood that I could never actually BE Belle, I would pray that I could at least go to sleep and dream that I was Belle every night. 

To my recollection, God never let me have that kind of a dream.

But that didn't stop me from dreaming about being Belle while I was awake. 

Now, I had other obsessions.  I still have lots of obsessions.  I have one of those annoying personalities that is either disinterested in something or OHMYGOSHTHISISTHEBESTTHINGEVER.  But Belle and "Beauty and the Beast" always held a dear, dear place in my heart.  And I used to wish and pray that there would be a play version, which eventually became a reality.

Now, the reason I wanted a stage play version was that I could go into musical theater and BE Belle.  And even when reality struck again and I realized that being in musical theater was just NOT going to happen for me (for several reasons--mainly because I just don't have the right kind of personality to be a successful actress), I was still obsessed with the stage musical.  But first it was only in New York.  Then it was touring, but not near me.  Then it was touring near me, but I was too broke to go. 

Then something miraculous happened.

The mom of the kids I watch called me and said, "I won two tickets to 'Beauty and the Beast,' and I can't use them.  I thought of you first!"

And 22 years after I first saw the movie, I finally got to see the stage play.  And you'd better believe I was excited.

I only found out I had the tickets the day before the performance, so I didn't have too much time to get myself psyched up.  I mainly couldn't believe it was finally happening.  I just figuratively started pinching myself on the way there, as we entered the theater, as we took our seats. 

Now, since the tickets were freebies, I thought we might be getting some really good seats.  But...we were in the last possible row of seats, in the second balcony, of the theater.  But no matter.  I was about to realize a dream, about to fulfill a fantasy, about to start an obsession all over again. 

I was a little bit afraid of what would happen.

But here is what actually happened.

I watched the show.  And the show was good.  The show was amazingly, awesomely, good.

But it was just a show.

I remember feeling a little bit deflated during the intermission.  I thought perhaps that it was the fact that we were so far away from the stage that I could hardly see what was going on.  I thought perhaps it was the fact that I'd put on good-smelly lotion right before the show and was self-conscious about how strong the smell was.  I wasn't really sure why I wasn't as deliriously happy as I thought I should be.

Now, when the stage musical first came out, sometime in the late 1990s, I immediately bought the soundtrack.  I memorized the songs.  I knew them all by heart.

But a funny thing happens to musicals when they've been out for a while.  Some songs get cut out.  Other songs get added in.  So I was surprised when near the end of the play, Belle sang a song I'd never heard before.  It was one of those haunting melodies that makes your soul wake up and pay attention, but the words really made me think.

It was called "A Change in Me," and ironically enough, this song--a song from this musical that I'd been dreaming of seeing and LIVING for years and years and years--explained why that childhood dream was no longer at all important to me.

Here are the lyrics:

There's been a change in me
A kind of moving on
Though what I used to be
I still depend on
For now I realize
That good can come from bad
That may not make me wise
But oh it makes me glad

And I-- I never thought I'd leave behind
My childhood dreams
But I don't mind
For now I love the world I see
No change of heart a change in me

For in my dark despair
I slowly understood
My perfect world out there
Had disappeared for good
But in it's place I feel
A truer life begin
And it's so good and real
It must come from within

And I-- I never thought I'd leave behind
My childhood dreams but I don't mind
I'm where and who I want to be
No change of heart
A change in me

I had all these crazy dreams of being in musical theater, of pretending to be different people, of escaping reality to temporarily become someone else.  But the thing is, I love my reality so much, now.  I love teaching my preschoolers.  I love writing.  I love singing in church and writing songs about God.  I love the work God has called me to do.  My life isn't perfect and there is so much I still long to pursue, but there's been a change in me, too.  It doesn't come from within as much as it comes from God--but it's because God is within.

My childhood wasn't always happy (not because of my family, but because I never fit in with others in school, etc.).  I wanted "so much more than that provincial life," and I got it, but not at all in the way I expected.  And that's okay.  In fact, it's actually pretty good. 

I'm really grateful I finally had the opportunity to see that play.  It was a great play.  I had a great time, but then I went back to my house and lay my head on my pillow and thanked God for the life I have, the life He's given and is giving to me. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Silly Superfluous Saturday Stew

I missed the last two Fiction Fridays.  To make up for that, I'm going to stir you up a little Silly Superfluous Saturday Stew.

So, I recently moved into a new house.  I also obtained a new housemate, in addition to my previous flatmate, who moved from the flat to the house with me.  I'm not British, but flat sounds so much cooler than apartment.  So there's extra estrogen in my life with all the female housemates, which can only be amplified by the new PINK bedroom, in which I currently sleep and keep my stuff.  And, due to the fact that mummy dearest sells Mary Kay (you need a consultant?  She ships anywhere in the continental USA, my friends...and maybe even further, but probably not to the moon.  Yet.), I have acquired lots of PINK stuff which I can use to decorate my new PINK room.  In addition to that, my good friend Dianna got me one of those shiny metallic balloons that is PINK, looks like a tiara, and says, "Princess" in large princessy letters.  This balloon remained airborne, floating near the ceiling, for over six months.  And in fact, it was still floating on its side a few inches off the floor, like a dying fish, flipping its little special fin, fighting until the end, when I took a pair of scissors to that sucka, let all the air out, and folded it up to pack to the new house and the new PINK room.  Because when a balloon lasts THAT long, it deserves to come with you wherever you go and add PINKness to your life.

So now I have a PINK room with PINK stuffs with a PINK tiara to hang up somewhere...and well, pretty much, I have the bedroom of five-year-old me's dreams. 

Thirty-three year old me is coping.  Just fine.

The jobs are all going well.  My stuff is slowly finding its way out of boxes and into places on shelves or in closets or somewhere inside the depths of my tiny PINK room.  I'm hoping to start writing again.  And...maybe find some gumption somewhere so that I can start trying to SELL some of my writing...again.

Also, I've had a discovery lately that if Grumpy Cat were a human being, she would pretty much look just like me.

We're practically identical.  Also, I taught one of my barely two-year-old preschoolers how to use a banana phone this week.  He used his sippy cup, but he still got the general idea.  I'm teaching my preschoolers lots of important things, I am. 

And speaking of Grumpy Cat and Banana Phones, I'm thinking about going to see Beauty and the Beast--the Broadway musical version.  It's coming to a nearby city next week, and I really want to go.  This has pretty much been a dream of mine since before Beauty and the Beast--the Broadway musical version--was even a thing.  Because about 1991 or so, when the animated Disney flick came out, I was 11 and I was OBSESSED.  I would run out into my back yard and start singing "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!  I want it more than I can tell!"  Only Philippe would never come and tell me that my Papa had been captured by a Beast in a scary magical castle.  And I didn't live in a French village.  And I wasn't being pursued by a burly attractive chauvinistic idiot.  But who cares, no big deal, I wanted MORE.  ...wait, wrong Disney movie....

I wanted to be Belle.  And when reality set in and I realized I could never ACTUALLY be Belle (and that Stockholm Syndrome isn't all its cracked up to be), I started praying for a Broadway musical version of Beauty and the Beast so that I could grow up and portray Belle. 

Only...musical theater and I could never happen.  I can sing all right, but I can't dance.  Plus, I'm allergic to rehearsals.  And I doubt my acting is as great as I once imagined it was...but I digress.

So basically, I just try to live as much like Belle as possible, and I pray that some day I'll find me a big hairy guy to marry.  And maybe a talking tea pot. 

And until then, I'll at least try to go see the musical.  And try not to sing along with all the songs.  Even though I know them all.  And probably could sing them rather well.

I still can't dance.

I'm also thinking about seeing the Christian guy group, "Tenth Avenue North" this month, but I have never had any dreams of being a Christian guy group.

Well, until I get my act together and start blogging like a real blogger again, stay PINK, my friends.