Monday, October 25, 2010
The last few months have been both agonizing and enlightening – agonizing because here I am stepping away from this life that I love, that I created and that I placed myself in, and luckily enlightening too because here I am realizing that is where I belong. Sometimes I suppose you have to walk away from something you love if only to find out once and for all if it’s where you’re really supposed to be at that point in time.
Most of my “deep thoughts” (in quotations, yes…) come to me when I’m alone, reflecting, but not so this weekend. I knew this past Saturday night was going to be epic if for no other reason than my bestie and I getting to see Greg Dulli perform in Baltimore – that’s right Baltimore (not DC)! We’re old, we’re somewhat set in our ways, and it was lovely to be able to see an artist who we love 15-minutes from our houses. Not to mention, Greg Dulli fucking rocks (even though we had what could be considered an extended “awkward exchange,” which I’ll get to later).
After having spent our first few hours out at the CCRG bouts – and after catching a young couple having sex in the VIP bathroom while desperately trying to tinkle before the car ride – Beatdown and I headed over to the Ottobar for our second part of the evening. We thought we got there after the opening band, so we grabbed drinks and got a good spot up front and to the side. Then we saw the opener take the stage and made the very hard decision to leave our prime spot and go get drinks. We’d figure it out – we needed more beer. Another bonus of having the show in Smalltimore is that we know everyone everywhere, especially the Ottobar, so Tecla (aka, Shevil Knievel – OG CCRG) took good care of us at the bar; we never had to wait. We walked back down to the front and got a half decent spot (it was half decent when I stood on my tiptoes). Sure we couldn’t see as well as we could at the other spot, but this second spot turned out to be amazing, because it was one of those shows where instead of fighting the person beside or behind you for personal space, we all became friends and even held spots for each other as we went to get beers throughout the night. We met the guy behind us and his friends first. Then we met the guy on the other side behind us who was a space-encroacher until I asked if I could help him get to where he wanted to go. Then the guy in front of me stepped back and told me his wife said for him to say hi to me – it was my acupuncturist’s husband! By the time we met all these people I had a ample-sized flat-footed clear-view-of-the-stage spot where I could sing and dance and drink and enjoy myself. Then, it was like the set was written just for me. Ya know, those songs you get stuck listening to at a certain period in time? Well, the set opened with my current favorite Dulli song, and I couldn’t have been happier. With my bestie to my back, I looked around, and I couldn’t help but feel all the love that was in that room that night – it was definitely the driving force behind the cool vibe in the audience, and it certainly seemed to be present on the stage as well.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I woke up still drunk with a smile ear-to-ear that I thought: life's about loving what you got and taking chances and having fun – above all: being in the moment. I stepped away from what I love (derby), and I’m glad I realized the extent of my ties to derby and CCRG. I used to think derby was an obsession, and maybe it was that too at some point, but I really truly love my life in derby, and I couldn’t be more excited to be reentering that world. It’s where I belong. At the same time, I think I’m coming back having reconciled who I am. Before derby I was Tara. For the past 5 years I’ve been Cindy Lop-her (which coincidentally was visible to everyone at the Dulli show, because I accidentally left my change of shirt at home). Now I think I’m seeing how I can be both those people, and being both those people makes me really incredibly happy. It’s still not perfect or easy, but what in life is?
As for taking chances, sometimes I think you just got to take a leap of faith and shake things up a bit, otherwise you’ll never really know if what you have is what you want or if something yet undiscovered is that something more you think you’re looking for. Stepping away from derby made me certain I had (and will again have) what I want. Talking to Greg Dulli after drinking that much was also risky. He, like everyone else that night, pointed to the CCRG patch on my jersey and said “roller derby?” and I gave the same response I had to everyone else that night: “I just came from our final bout of the season, and I left my change of shirt at home…” After that, awkward discussions about derby ensued (although Beatdown will tell you I acted perfectly cool , which I still find hard to believe), and the night ended with me getting schooled by a Dulli superfan who, while having Dulli sign his 25 pieces of crap, explained to me very authoritatively that Dulli’s been clean since blah (he gave a date). Dulli, however, was much nicer, thanked me, and told me he had to get up early the next morning. Was it the best outcome? Maybe – maybe not, but you can’t blame a girl for trying, and sometimes just trying is fun in and of itself!
It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve allowed myself to be fully in the moment – from hanging out at derby to being rejected by Dulli. It was a night where even the bad things were good, and I want to have nights like that more often.