I’ve been having a hard time getting myself out on weekly Artist Dates. Ever since I hit that “magic” one-year mark.
Maybe it’s because, as suggested, I didn’t date for a year after my divorce became final. The passing of 52 Artist Dates meant that that year had passed. And perhaps on some subconscious level I thought it was time to date others instead of myself.
Even though nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed in my romantic life. Even though I don’t even have a crush. And for perhaps the first time in my life, the world still feels full of possibilities. That is a big change in my romantic life.
Or maybe it’s because maintenance is hard. Of anything. Eating well, moving my body and maintaining a healthy weight. Staying sober. Meditating. Artist Dates.
Each serves me, makes me feel better, be better in the world. It would seem I would only want to perpetuate these patterns. But somehow it doesn’t work that way.
My brain is a liar. It tells me “I’ve got this.” Which, when it does, is the exact moment I need to redouble my efforts. And I need other people to do that. To remind me that my brain is, in fact, a liar. And of what actions I can take anyway.
It’s why I work for Weight Watchers. Surround myself with sober individuals. And probably why I only meditate in the morning but not the evening, even though Vedic meditation is a twice-daily practice. I’ve been doing it alone ever since I left California in 2007.
The Artist Date is a solo process. No one would know, or probably care, if I did or did not engage in it. Except me. By stating my intention and blogging about it, I invite others in, and I stay in the action of it. Action that always makes me feel better.
So I was grateful when I saw a Facebook post from my friend Lori late Friday night, asking if anyone was available to be background talent for a music video she was filming the following day. Without thinking, I said “yes” – Artist Date 55.
“Who knows?” I thought. “Perhaps I will meet Mr. Right…”
I shared my “dilemma” with a friend who reflected back to me that I am a woman who does what she says. And so I did.
But when I arrived, the first words out of my mouth were, “Do you have enough people? Because if you do…” Yes, she said, adding, “If you have somewhere to be, go…”
But I didn’t.
Knowing that, something shifted. And I decided to stay.
I took a seat on an empty bench where the Windy City Rollers practice and watched the girls go around and around in circles, fading in and out of the fog of the smoke machine – the set for the music video, for a song written by one of the skaters, Xoe.
I joined about a dozen extras as a Windy City Rollers fans. Our job was to rush the red team after winning the bout. To jump up and down and high-five the skaters, and each other. Simple enough…even for a non-sports fan like myself. But first, we waited.
I watched the big cameras zooming in and out. Xoe’s stunt double — dressed like a guardian angel with wings, a wand and a sequined dress — “saving her” from herself, and knocking out a couple of the Rollers in the process. I looked at the snack table and thought it could use a makeover. That I would replace some of the donuts, Oreos and chips with fresh fruit and vegetables, hummus and low-fat cheese. But nobody asked me.
A woman I know just a little, but like quite a bit, showed up and she and I talked like old friends for the better part of the afternoon – telling stories about boys, our bodies and travel.
I noticed the high concentration of men on the set – lots of tattoos and wool hats. But I didn’t “recognize” my mate.
The day ended with a whack upside the head. Literally. It was an accident.
During a “pretend” fight scene,I leaned into the fist of a wisp of a girl standing next to me. She apologized profusely. I laughed. It somehow seemed right. Like I had definitely “connected.”
This morning, I put my hand to my forehead. It was sore. A little tender spot reminding me of how much I fight myself. And of how I can save myself – no wand or wings required.