Good Sunday night to you, Reader. I hope you had a great week. After a surreal few weeks of feeling modestly famous in Germany, it’s back to reality for me. I just spent the whole day touching up paint in the urinals in the men’s restroom at my building. From center stage to urinal drains in less than a week…quite the juxtaposition of roles. Honestly, I think I prefer average-joe-dom to stardom; there’s less drama in the former.
This week’s Sunday night reflection comes at the heels of a surprisingly great Kickstarter reward show that I played on Thursday night. I say “surprisingly great” because I went into the show prepared to be miserable by the time it was over.
Here’s what happened.
A woman by the name of Pat pledged last year’s Kickstarter campaign at the reward level that earned her a concert in her home. She went on to donate that concert to be auctioned off at a raffle held by her Unitarian church.
At the church raffle, two women named Wanda and Barb bought the concert to be used for the campaign of Democratic Illinois State Representative nominee, Tricia Sweeney.
Tricia Sweeney then went on to use the concert to bring people to her rally on Thursday night. I was told I would be playing the rally right before I left for Germany.
My initial reaction? I was furious.
I am nothing if not principled. In my world, telling someone that they will be used to support a campaign they know nothing about is just WRONG. And when things feel wrong, my principles kick into high gear. I generally fire back quite hard in the direction of the injustice. My stubbornness causes me to dig in my heels, and I verbally tear down anybody who makes me do the unjust thing.
Which is to say: I’ve spent my life being an immature know-it-all, too hotheaded to control my tongue when I get angry, missing opportunities left and right.
So lately, I’ve been keeping angry Emily in check, and the results have been incredible. If I would have reacted to Tricia the way I wanted to at first, I never would have played the show. And then I would have missed finding out what an incredible person she is, what a kindred thinker she is, and what a wonderful State Representative she would be. She’s a truly tremendous woman. In the end, I felt so honored to be playing at her rally, supporting her campaign in any small way I could.
The moral for me? Pause before you act on your principles. Run with what’s happening for a while. Maybe there’s a reason the universe put you in the position you’re in. To squelch opportunities before you even investigate them is to close the door on things that could be positive and meaningful. Reader, I hope you’re able to find the good in every opportunity that comes your way this week.
I’ll leave you with this photo I snapped of my son playing in our neighbor’s soybean field on Friday. All day, I had been bemoaning the weather because of how overcast and dreary it was. Then I got outside in it, and realized it was actually a really nice day. I went with what was there, and I got something good out of it. Go figure. See you next Sunday. -Em