I declared 2017 to be my journey to Divalicious!
I should explain that to me the word Divalicious means being who you are supposed to be. Respecting who you are at this moment. Experiencing life and not hiding from it. Living outside the boxes and limitations that society and we ourselves put around us. Vivacious, Divalicious! living. I haven’t lived a Divilicious! life. My goal is to find it and keep it.
Now, back to my journey. I’m ½ way through my year and it has been quite a year at that. But how am I doing in the Divalicious! Department?
There have been gains (literally and figuratively) and losses – but I’m making headway.
As you may or may not be aware, I’m recording my debut album, Plush Red Chair. That’s pretty Divalicious! for a gal my age. I’ve worked hard to get to this point. I’ve had to overcome my own fears and limitations. I’ve had to push aside the naysayers, both verbal and internal. I’ve forged ahead with my dream and keep it in sight. I’m trying very hard to not limit myself, but be open and free.
I wrote the lyrics to a song called Divalicious! An anthem of sorts for women and men (Divolicious!). An avenue for us to declare our place in this world. To know our value despite which decade we’re in. Or how much we weigh …. Lord. That’s a biggy for me. Pun intended. I’ve always been a curvy girl, but I’ve never been you know … big. But in the last year the weight has piled on me. There are a few reasons. I had an operation which changed my hormonal balance completely. It limited movement for over a month. Then I had and still do have issues with my feet. Plantar fasciitis. Lord have mercy that hurts. I was recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes and will find out next week whether it is now diabetes. My thyroid needs an oil change. I’ve dealt with stress. Loads of it. Death. Incredible hurt, spousal cancer, major operation and recording an album. All in eighteen months. All that to say – here I am at the largest I have ever been in my entire life singing a song about being Divalicious! Are you kidding me? Is the universe laughing at me?
And then I realized how appropriate it was. It’s easy to say I’m all that! when I’m curvy and in shape. But to embrace and enjoy who I am right now at this moment? That is an epic opportunity to practice what I preach or label myself a hypocrite. I choose the former. Lucky me! I get to practice what I preach on my debut album – to the world – or anyone who cares to listen.
To be honest, the past month I’ve been struggling over it. The way I look. I’m not used to it. I’ve cried over it. I’ve said Why? Why now? Last week I recorded the song Divalicious! in the studio. I had to give myself a pep talk before I sang it. It’s a great song by the way. Then, this weekend, I sang the song for the first time in public – I had to embrace and love who I was at that moment. I did. Or tried to. I'm not perfect. Even singing the words helped. Being Divalicious! isn't always easy, but it's worth it.
When you're in the public eye you set yourself up to be mocked and ridiculed. I remember the sting of receiving an email from a concert goer a while back. It still hurts. She told me that my knees were fat and that I should cover them up. I know now this was the beginning of the inflammation I’ve been dealing with. The blood sugar issues – but at the time, the comment stung. I wore pants for a long time after that. I have been told my whole life I had beautiful Mitzi Gaynor type legs and one email caused me to cover them up. But not this past weekend. I put on my pretty red and white dress. I put on my red lipstick. I went out and sang Divalicous! And All About that Bass. I smiled. I felt good. I embraced who I am. Right now. At this moment. And I showed my knees. They looked good. I looked good. As a matter of fact – I looked Divalicious!
Do I want to be this way for the rest of my life? No I don’t. I’d like to be able to pinpoint what is going on and then deal with it. But until then, I am me. And if it is something that I am unable to change then, so be it. I’m not suddenly hideous because I carry extra pounds. I’m not suddenly unworthy of love from me or others. I’m still recording a kick ass album with kick ass musicians. Bill and I have written some kick ass songs. I’ve still accomplished more than some dare to dream at my age. I’m still moving forward. I’m still Divalicious! on occasion anyway … I know I'm still journeying towards it.
I guess if I had advice for anyone – at any age, whether young or more experienced. It would be to let go of the limitations we put on ourselves. If I were to die tomorrow, the weight of me in my coffin would not be my top priority. I’d more than likely regret all the years spent worrying about how I looked to others or how others thought of me. I'd regret not enjoying life's precious moments. I'd regret not pursuing my dream.
We all have an inner Divalicious or Divolicious. Its that thing that makes us unique. You. Me. For me – it’s performing and, perhaps, telling my story. For you it could be writing a book. Or taking up painting. Or becoming a chef. Or accepting the way you are right now. Or realizing that it isn’t over because you turned 30, or 40, or 50 or 60 or 70 or 80.
My motto is this – unless you’re boots up it ain’t over … or until the fat lady sings … whichever you choose.
PS - If you would like to pre-order Plush Red Chair so you can hear Divalicious! for yourself. Or maybe you'd like a Divalicious! T-Shirt. You can do so by clicking here.