I bought a Katy Perry ticket for myself yesterday morning. She is coming to Oklahoma in the Fall, and I just want to be there and laugh and enjoy.
Awhile back I came across a way to be notified by email when Katy Perry would be performing in my region. Setting up the notification felt like one giant step in the direction of letting myself dream.
I don't care much for concerts, and had a very unpleasant experience seeing Mumford and Sons perform live last summer. Nonetheless, Katy Perry and the aesthetics and creativity and imagination and playfulness she throws into her work fascinate me and my ticket is one that will allow me to watch from a distance in my own seat rather than get trampled by a crowd in standing room only. I feel like I bought myself a golden ticket.
I did that for me.
There are many things about pop culture that I resist. If someone or something is popular or trending I am far more likely to go the exact opposite direction. This tendency of mine has been labeled hipster by some. I tell you this because the Katy Perry thing really took me by surprise.
I watched Katy Perry's documentary right around the time I also watched this video with Robin Thicke and both made me wildly happy. It was also around the time I was watching old Grey's Anatomy seasons straight through. (I have never watched a TV show with any sort of consistency, save The Cosby Show when I was small.) This interest in pop culture is baffling to me, but I'm allowing it. And I’m not even calling it a guilty pleasure, because as Shonda Rhimes says, and I concur “it’s like saying it’s a piece of crap.” And it’s not. It’s gold. We artists, we are alchemists, remember?
Like so much in my life, I am having to learn to back off on the judgement and criticism and the self-loathing of the shoulds and oughts and allow myself to simply love what I love.
As humans, we don't make it easy on each other to do this. There is always someone telling you what you love is silly, foolish, unfounded, politically incorrect, un-researched, misinformed, gullible, misguided, sacrilegious, selfish or simply in poor taste. I am finding there is no safe place to be all passionate, exploratory you out loud.
My love for secret messages and my capacity to own whatever it is I choose to love, is beginning to tip the scale away from my desire to people-please. I'm willing to let a secret message show up anywhere, even if it seems childlike and foolish. When it comes to art, I'm not elitist. The whole world is art, creating its own meaning, and I too am an artist crafting the story of my life, selectively choosing, when I can, which secret messages I want close to me.
If Miley Cyrus helps me say, “imma do my thang,” then so be it.
There is always someone available to take what I have vulnerably allowed myself to love and help me twist it into a knot of conviction or shame or guilt. This still twinges when it shows up.
It is not as simple as laying yourself open and sacrificing your reputation for the sake of self love. It is also necessary, if you’re going to continue to be you, to utilize invisible fences, so that your priceless and precious golden ticket that means the world to you (if to no one else) can't be snatched out of your hands and torn to shreds on the exact same day you purchased it.
These lessons are learned by making mistakes, and I have a friend who told me she hoped my new year would be full of mistakes. I’m off to a great start.
Secret message collecting is not for the faint of heart. Sometimes they must be tucked between the mattresses to honor and protect. I do believe I’m creating an entire world there between those mattresses. No one has to follow me there, but everyone is invited. So often these days I feel like a parent protecting the soulful, innocent child within me. I would do anything for that child.
The hard work it has been and continues to be to stand up for my own Madness when very few others will gives me a softness and a warmth about me as I watch others try to make it in this world. We are all exiles. None of us fit. Do we sit back and criticize and blame others or do we create a place for ourselves? I have done both. The latter is my new mantra. I will have me. I will belong here. I will make space for me. I don't expect you to accommodate me. It is a nice surprise when you do. My love for everyone is softer when I make a way for me.
This scooping up of giant armfuls of pop culture and hugging it close - it's also part of my return to innocence, and it means everything to me, and very few will understand that, but I still have an unfounded hope that some day, they’ll see it for themselves. Because it is about self, as much as we want to say it is about everyone else.