So here’s something interesting....
After 20 years of performing in front of audiences of all sizes all over the country and having zero problem walking onto a stage, I’m suddenly finding myself uncomfortable 🤔
Like, crawling in my skin, want to blink like I Dream Of Jeannie and be anywhere else but there uncomfortable.
I thought maybe it was just some “first time back around people” jitters when we played our first show last weekend but last night when I crawled up on the semi flat bed stage and looked out at our crowd of strangers, my vulnerability hit me hard and now I know that I have some work to do.
Part of that work will be showing myself some 𝑔𝓇𝒶𝒸𝑒 ...starting with taking the tape playing in my head that sounds like this -
“get it together Jonelle, you are a professional and this is ridiculous. Stop being so sensitive and do your job” and replacing it with this one-
“This feels strange and that’s ok. Everyone feels strange right now. Music brings people together and you are here to do just that. God gave you this gift and it’s your time to use it. You’ve got this”
I really believe that we are all going through some changes that we can’t see. I think when we were first quarantined, we felt emotions & anxieties that were new. We were separated from human connection and our brains had to adjust. Now, we’re being thrown back in together and in my case, thrown into crowds of 200+ people staring right at us and now it’s time to learn to adjust again.
If you are feeling this too it’s time to show yourself some 𝑔𝓇𝒶𝒸𝑒. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It might feel weird and that’s ok. It might feel amazing, and that’s ok too. The main thing is- don’t beat yourself up over the way you feel. If you are not ready to walk into a store yet- don’t. If you are ready to meet your girlfriends for a glass of wine but feel more comfortable wearing your mask- do it. If you find yourself on a flat bed stage staring out at 200 strangers and you want to tell them all, in the mic, how good it is to see them but how you feel like this is the first time all over again- tell them.
We are all hurting a little, nervous a little and trying to navigate some pretty hefty emotions. Be kind to each other and yourself and show yourself (and others) some 𝑔𝓇𝒶𝒸𝑒 today. Kindness, understanding, compassion are a few ways to begin with yourself and with others. Try to step back and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Try to remember that you will make mistakes but that’s because we are human. We are not perfect. When you screw up (and you will) show yourself grace. If you find yourself with zero patience and tolerance for someone else, show them some grace too.
Like I say in More Than A Country Song - “After all, we are all just walking each other home” lets try to make it a beautiful walk.