Cool and In Control - Bleh.
Originally published on 11-7-13
If you asked me who I most enjoy myself around the answer would be made up of the people I feel most comfortable with. The people who see me at my most relaxed and who I am silly and goofy around. In a perfect world, this would be everyone, but it’s not a perfect world.
Perhaps unfounded, but I am more guarded at times. For example, most times my business cocktail party hat differs from my Sis hat. The Sisses are much more likely to see me break out into a full-fledged sing along to Salt N Pepa’s Schoop, while the cocktail party goers won’t. Came to my senses and I chilled for a bit. Don't know how you do the voodoo that you do. So well it's a spell, hell, makes me wanna shoop shoop shoop!
If you then asked my top ten favorite moments, they would be comprised of moments where cool and in control are not even on the radar screen, and most of the moments would have happened only in the last 5 or 6 years. It took me a long time to figure out how to be unguarded and how to let loose. My folks can attest to the fact that I was a pretty driven young lady who thought little or no time should be devoted to play. “Play, what a waste of time!” Well, it turns out fun and play and a level of silliness is where the magic happens. My highlight reel of fun is made up of moments where I am there, I am in the moment and I am fully myself. These moments are not made up of having conversations with movie stars like Jake Gylenhall, or the moment I finally bought Gucci purse, or even when I graduated from college. There are moments where I was so present and unconcerned with what I looked like that I had the most amazing time.
Moments like, dancing behind the bar with my co-worker Terra at ACL. We would just dance and move and giggle. I would do some weird version of the robot, running man of course I wouldn’t forget to vogue. We danced and sang our little hearts out to Lionel Richie, Miranda Lambert and countless others. “Vodka tonic? Would you like a large?” All while we wiggled around the bar. There were many nights we rang in insanely high sales all while letting loose. It was awesome.
Or moments like game night at the house Carlos and I rented. We’d have a group of people over and play Cranium every once in a while. Cranium is my favorite because it includes humming a tune, dancing, and drawing, spelling and guessing. Everyone participates and everyone is thrown into something silly at some point. Please look at the back of the card and hum this tune while your partner tries to figure it out. You have 30 seconds. To me all humming sounds like, “hhhhhmmmm, hhhmmhh, hhh, hhhmmhh, hmmmmm.” How could you not get that, Catia? It was very clearly, Fame! I’ve never been good at this because my laughter is louder than my partner’s humming. I usually laugh so hard I tee tee a little. Excuse me. I have to go to the lady’s room.
I especially like moments that I laugh so hard and I think something is so funny that I snort. Back at ACL I had a great time laughing with my friend and boss man, Tom. He is supremely funny, and I learned a lot of my funny chops from him. One day, he was telling me a joke about the old days in Brooklyn when Italians ruled the block and sat on stoops. We were no doubt talking about another use for the word salsiccia or some other native Italian lingo when we pushed open the doors to the venue as if it was the entrance to our house, we were hootin’ and hoolerin’ and smiling from ear to ear when, oops. We realized Chris Isaak was on stage in all his beaded glory, sound checking. EHM! Can we take it from the top?
We slinked away into the darkness, giggling under our breath.
In the book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown talks about how sometimes we fear being perceived as awkward or foolish and so we self-protect. We’d rather sit out this dance than risk trying. “No, I’ll sit this one out. Thanks.”
Let’s remember that we miss things when we’re trying to be cool. We’re so worried about being perfectly put together that we miss all the good nuggets of fun life throws our way. Let’s reserve space for ourselves to just be. Let’s not try to be the __________est person in the room. Trying and/or keeping it all together is exhausting. Let it go. Let someone else vie for the title of most well put together.
I have been the most put together person in the room once or twice and it’s not natural, it’s a constant hustle. Authenticity breeds indelible moments.
The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool. -Almost Famous, 2000