I went to a bar last night. Not for a drink. Not even for the social party scene, the mood or anything. I dragged my thirty something daughter there, mostly against her will, bribing her with dinner first. I went because I have an amazing friend. She is beautiful, talented, hip, smart, funny and is the lead singer in the band that was performing. She is also a partner of a sex addict and is traveling my road with me. I watched her on stage last night and was happy, and wowed, and excited for her as she did her thing. I was also strangely proud and hopeful. I admire so much this young woman who is living through her pain, embracing it in some ways through her music, allowing her talent to grow along with her strength and being vulnerable and open. Enough to let people love her as her heart loves back…deeply and without reserve. She inspires me, she supports me, she makes me laugh and we cry together. We love each other and I am grateful for her.
As I looked around at the crowd, from my uncomfortable and quite miserable daughter (clubs are SO NOT her thing), to young hipsters dancing and drinking, to older couples having a drink and appreciating the local bands, I thought of something in a new way. These are all just people. Each struggling with their own private issues whether they be minor or devastating. Each walking one day at a time through life, learning and growing…sometime in spite of themselves. But the thing that struck me was that these were all people out LIVING. Living their lives. They were all brave and vulnerable. Courageous enough to get out there in the world and be who they are, to not be afraid to face life and let go. To dance and sing and scream at the top of their lungs as fans of the band they came to see. Weaving their way through the crowds, stepping on toes, dodging sloshing drinks and flying elbows. And smiling….so much smiling. These people were having fun. Struggles? Issues? Heartbreak? Sure…I know that most everyone there had something they were dealing with in their lives. But last night at the bar, there were no wusses. All I saw were brave, beautiful, amazingly strong people. On stage and off. I was there too and I was smiling with them.