Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fulfilling the Vision and Feeling the Rush

I am a firm believer in the maxim, "Things happen for a reason". I also believe that when you set firm goals in your mind and consistently work towards them, circumstances tend to accomodate you and opportunities present themselves. It is up to us to decide whether or not to avail ourselves of these opportunities when they occur. The choices we make determine our path. These beliefs are the result of my personal experience. For me, these are universal principles, not just dogma.

At the beginning of this year, I created a vision board on which I placed three stated goals that I wished to accomplish before the end of the year. One of those goals was to return to the stage. My performance days were severely sidelined due to my sudden hearing loss and I sorely missed being in front of an audience. I particularly missed bomba, the Afro-Puerto Rican drum-dance genre that is not only a wonderful form of entertainment, it is a celebration of our culture and identity. So when I received an email announcing a series of bomba workshops, I jumped on it. At the time I did not know that one of the requirements would be for the students to participate in two performances.

I'm going to skip straight to the juicy parts so as not to make this entry too long. I was one of three people who sang lead for the first performance which took place on Friday, April 11, 2008. This was odd in and of itself because I am taking the dance and percussion workshops, not the vocal workshops. As if that wasn't unusual enough, I was the only one of the three who sang original material. Yep, that's right. I sang a song I wrote myself. The musical director added some interesting rhythmic breaks which made the number more intricate and interesting. My number was the finale piece and the crowd loved it. One of the elder women in the audience made a point of congratulating me on the short bit of dancing that I managed to squeeze in during the show, telling me that I knew how to dance bomba de verdad, real bomba. What a rush! I have been blessed to not only fulfill one of the goals on my vision board but I did so in a way that far exceeded anything I ever imagined.

Getting back to my original statement about things happening for a reason and setting firms goals. I was seeking an opportunity to return to bomba in some capacity when I received the email about the workshops. I made the choice to enroll in the workshops and therein came the opportunity to perform. But there's more. I was able to make progress in fulfilling one of my unstated goals...that of improving my marital and family relationships.

My husband and children came to the performance with me. Our family outings are more often marked with bickering and in-fighting. This time, although it began a little tensely, by the time we left everyone was in a good mood, especially my husband who spent the whole night cracking wise. It was a rare moment of fun family togetherness.

My fellow students and I are scheduled for another performance in the middle of June. I don't expect to sing again but I'm okay with that. I've already had my 15 minutes of singing fame. Whatever the case, I can't wait to see what the future has in store for me.

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

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