LIVING OUT LOUD

So last week…or some weeks ago, I went for karaoke. I sucked. Big time. Now, I’m a church singer…soprano…able to sing on f-sharp without making you feel like a Concorde is taking off by your ear. But something about karaoke, maybe it’s the key or the feeling of people just waiting for you to screw up so that they can laugh at you…something about karaoke sha turns my melodious soprano into a wailing, whining nasal sound that is just really…not it.

But I sang anyway. Because I’m really working on this living out loud thing…living life to the fullest and taking advantage of every moment…not being afraid to make a fool of myself and all.

You see, I hate public attention. Hate being looked at by a crowd, hate looking or sounding foolish. So I rarely do anything without calculating its resultant effect…which means I miss out on doing a lot of the silly stuff that makes up life’s best minutes. I avoid crowd situations, places where my errors are out there in the public face…where I can’t quietly fix them without notice.

Anyway, now that I’ve decided to start living out loud, I’ve decided that I will take every opportunity offered…do everything I can…at the least, it would be a fun memory…at the most, I might experience one of those moments that totally change your life.

Which was why I went for the Finix Open floor Uncensored event last night. I planned to just go and listen to Treadstone and chill, but when I mentioned it to a friend of mine, she warned me to better read something or I would be in trouble with her…I think there was even mention of grievous bodily harm. So I did. I stood up in front of a crowd and for the first time in my life I read my stuff in front of a crowd. And I didn’t suck. People clapped, came up to say well done…and…it was awesome.

And that is what living out loud for me is. Taking the chances, creating the shading that makes life more colourful, the moments that you will look back on with a smile. I want to live out loud in love and work and life. So many of us are hesitant, we’re reluctant to let go and enjoy the moments, because…what if they end, what if something goes wrong? We want it to be perfect, or we don’t have time, or it’s not what we usually do. Well, if something does go wrong, at least you’ll have the memory of the awesome time you had, and that will make it all right….or better at least.

I’m going for karaoke again today…hopefully a different type of song might make me sound almost bearable…Beyonce’s Halo probably wasn’t the best choice now that I think of it, after all, we all know that bathroom acoustics are the best there are…but even if I still suck, meyne, I’m still going to have fun!

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BATTLE CRY OF THE INTROVERT

I don’t write as much poetry as I used to…probably because I am no longer as depressed as I used to be. A few years ago, I suffered some really bad spells and it seemed that the only way I could work my way out of them was to write how I felt…because sometimes I was literally incapable of speech.

In recent days however, my muse seems to have resigned from the poetry inspiration department and moved to short story writing…my muse is obviously unable to multi-task. Anyway, whenever I do write poetry, it is no longer the deep heart wrenching expression of loss and brokenness and greyness that I used to write…my poems are more..well…they’re just odd…I don’t mind though, I like discovering how my mind works.

So anyhow,  this is a poem I wrote about being an introvert…I think that it puzzles many of my friends and acquaintances that I can completely disconnect from the world around me and retreat to the relative safety of my room and the world in my laptop…my family just accepts that I’m cuckoo and gets on with it but anyway…here’s the poem

PS. I’m currently contemplating whether to publish a piece on body image that I wrote some days ago…it still needs some work I think… I’m also contemplating a piece on Nigeria and our seemingly incurable tribalism…but it will require research and any time I contemplate it, I get suddenly and overwhelmingly tired and open Bella Naija instead (I’m lazy like that)…anyway, both pieces should be up soon…and I think that they will both be quite interesting…and I must write about my karaoke experience…I’m getting tired again just thinking about all this creativity I’m supposed to express…

Anyway, enough dilly dallying…the poem:

BATTLE CRY OF THE INTROVERT

I am not an extrovert; I am a socially proficient introvert

I interact not because I like to, but because I can

I have learned the art of conversation

Of meaningless sentences strung together to make a pleasant sounding thread

Just like white noise

I am not an extrovert; nothing wears me out more than people

With their pettiness and their drama and their lies

I have learned to listen but not absorb

To understand without accepting

To be present but not involved

I am not an extrovert; crowds bore me, people tire me

I do not wish to know who did what to whom on what day with which witnesses

I promise you, I do not care

Life is complicated enough without needing to puzzle out the details

Of everyone else’s drama.

I am an introvert; and that is why,

No matter how sweetly I smile,

Or how deeply I seem to listen,

Nothing pleases me more than curling up in my bed

With my books and my thoughts for company

I am an introvert; and so,

Despite how well I put words together

I would much rather write, or tweet

And free myself to expression,

Without the burden of interaction

I am an introvert; the chronicler of your stories

Watching from the side-lines, I’d rather not go on the stage

I’ll watch and talk and listen

And then eagerly rush home, to recount all I have seen and heard

To my patiently waiting computer

I apologize if I seem rude, or unconcerned or distant

It’s just that life is so much sweeter

Standing where I am

I love you very much, I promise I do

I am your friend, I promise I am

But allow me to be one, from way over here

Where I can love you, without having to talk to you

Thank you

English: Adult with fully protruded introvert ...

(This picture has nothing whatsoever to do with the piece…it’s a worm…)English: Adult with fully protruded introvert of the priapulid worm Halicryptus spinulosus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)