In the last three days I've attended two incredible concerts. This is a photo from outside the first show in Detroit, Jack White's hometown. Last night's show was at the Masonic Temple, one of the city's great historic buildings, which White had a hand in saving from demolition a few years ago. The first night was viewed from plush seating in the fifth row (though we never sat); the second, from the crowded, screaming, quaking humanity of the general admission pit. I feel so fortunate to have been at both ... and to have given myself permission to be overindulgent and attend two concerts in three days.
I realize that might sound funny. But I'm a mom. A wife. A Registered Nurse. A writer. A homeowner. A pet owner (with two pretty sick and needy pets recently). I'm also a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend. Like so many women, I wear tons of different hats. It is a constant balancing act keeping them all straight and doing justice to each. The one hat I neglect most often, the one that stays crushed at the bottom of the closet, is the one I didn't mention. I am also just Tracy. Before I was any of those things listed above, I was me.
Don't get me wrong. I love being me while wearing those hats. But I learned after having my kids (to be specific, years after having my kids), that if I don't occasionally invest time doing something for the sole purpose of my own enjoyment, I start to really suck in all those other roles. I lose myself. I lose track of the little things that make me me. My love of music, to name one. After my daughter was born, and then my son two years later, I lost a solid 6 or 7 years (not kidding) of music. Forgot about it. And not just music. Books. I missed the release of so many books and albums in that time that when I rediscovered my first loves, after finally climbing out of the diaper pail (gross but that's how it felt sometimes!), I truly felt as if I'd found myself again. Left standing out in the middle of nowhere, still a young adult who hadn't yet grown into any of the hats I am now lucky enough, blessed enough, to wear. Except now I'm not a young adult so much as a forty-something adult. And it is so much fun nurturing that forgotten part of myself now, especially since I've discovered that the infrequent times I do choose to indulge, those experiences make all the hat-wearing versions of me a nicer, richer, more engaged me. True story. I know most of you know what I'm talking about.
Two most favorite moments from the last three days of concert whirlwind:
*Being part of the hushed audience at the Fox while Jack White sang You've Got Her In Your Pocket, completely overcome with raw emotion, his voice cracking and his hand covering his eyes at one point. THAT is creative passion.
*And singing along to Just One Drink, my friend and I turning to face each other and shouting "I drink water, you drink gasoline" at the exact same moment, before turning our attention back to the rock concert onstage, that strange and wonderful joyful not-guilty pleasure that feeds my soul and makes all of my hats fit so much better.