It was exactly one year ago, the afternoon right before the first nightof Sukkot, that I first posted on Instagram. As usual, I was very late to the tech party. I resisted any form of social media, viewing it as a vacuous hole of self aggrandizing white noise.
I am clearly a creative person with a lot to say. I have always been that way, thankfully. What I lacked was the right kind of audience that would be my sounding board for self expression. It was very stifling and frustrating. I felt stuck in that my channels for sharing were nonexistent. Yes, I love to cook for my family. I love to dress for myself. Play music for my own soul. Write for my personal needs. But it wasn't enough. I had a burning ache to share, and I didn't know how to do it. Looking at my drawer full of notebooks became stressful. Poems, lyrics, and ideas locked away, without the prospect of being known by others. Aspirations and goals fading with each year, as they tend to do if they're not nurtured. Dreams turning to fear that my life would never take further shape. People have always told me I should do things with my talents. It took me a long time to admit I had talent, since it ceased being definable in my head. I would have done anything given the opportunity. I wanted to write greeting cards. I wanted to help people write custom, clever invitations, funny songs and poems for occasions. Anything just to write and dust off that muscle.
My dream was always to write song lyrics, as well as to hang with the Seth Rogen gang. I swear; I had vivid visions of just being with that group of friends and coming up with mischievous, whip smart plots and witticisms all day. We'd just riff and see what happens. I even wrote a poem about it three years ago. On carpool line. After listening to Seth on Howard Stern, and crying in my car that all I did that day was get groceries and do some cardio. What was once enough for me was no longer enough. Speaking of Howard, and I still do this; nonstop fantasies about being a Robin type of cohost. I knew exactly what I'd say to Benji (that offensive idiot), Gary, and JD. I love Gary, btw. Ba Ba Booey forever. I'd continuously seek approval from Fred, the seemingly most elusive and hardest to please. I'd get it too, because of my quick wit and propensity towards the utterly ridiculous. Howard, the true King of all media, would silently knight me. That studio has been the only place I've wanted to be for decades. I've been a listener since I'm 15. Howard was an escape for me in adolescence, and continued to be throughout my entire life. He gave me a sense of belonging when I felt adrift as a grownup. If I wasn't yet aware of any real sense of purpose, at least I could laugh. I could pull over and piss my pants, listening to Howard impersonate his parents. I could listen to the super intelligent Robin reporting current events. This is admittedly my sole source of news. If there was a shitty evening at home, I'd seek solace in my mom van and just lose myself in wit, sharp observations, and belly laughs. This has always been my home. I dream of writing those spoof songs that rip apart certain staff members. I've got the Jewish humor thing down pat. The dark humor, the silly stuff, the self deprecation, the imagination. I'd sit listening to Sirius radio and feel my wackiness wasting away. I still want to be in Howard's club, except now there are so many other things I want to do too. Things that perhaps, are a tad more realistic.
It's very hard to have your dreams remain trapped in the tiny circumference of your own brain, because they aren't meant to stay there. I likened my thoughts to prisoners trying to escape, but if they were successful, to where would they run? This Shawshank comparison contributed to my Ambien addiction. I'm trying to ween that now, which I've only just begun to attempt given my increased amounts of inner peace. Peaceful, satisfied people do not need pills to fall asleep. It's those of us that cannot shut down or turn off our minds that can't drift off naturally. I've never smoked or tried any sort of drug. Truth. This was my only vice. I knew why. My head would pound every night knowing what should be bursting but couldn't. Ideas boiling over with nothing to catch them. Our entire beings are meant to be open and release. Muscles, tissues, our hearts, and souls, our bodies themselves, are designed to be in constant states of release and expansiveness. What we trap within us will eventually begin to erode. We are human beings, not dark, dusty attics built for storage.
My dear personal guide to life, a fellow LB, convinced me to start an Instagram account. I admire her tremendously, and would sit in Times Square and bark like a dog if she instructed me. She was like, you are an artist. You must express pronto. I was very skeptical. I didn't believe in myself enough. Bad conditioning and things I won't write about are mostly the reason for that. But some friends just know. I recall with a pounding heart and shaking fingers, pressing the keys that would start to send my stuff into the vortex of social media. I needed my 14 year old to do it the first few times. A good friend of mine who is a successful businesswoman advised me to pick one lane. That I could not do. I am too passionate about too many things to suffocate any avenue. We must give in to every area in which we are able. First to ourselves, then to others. It's not egotistical to understand I have gifts and talents. It's simply self awareness. You wouldn't go to someone who considers themselves a mediocre gastroenterologist, would you? Let Kanye talk about his gifts. He earned it. The instant you've decided you aren't worthy, you have already surrendered. It's over before it started. And that feeling sucks. "I gave up on discovering my own dreams years ago, and now I'm in a great place" said NO ONE EVER.
Instagram, my little fashtunkunah private one, gave my mental prisoners their first place of refuge. And it felt good! It was gratifying to write poetry that meant something to a follower, or share a recipe with friends. Sharing soothes the soul. Yes, it's too easy to plummet down the rabbit hole of time sucking likes, accounts, followers, blah blah blah. But it teaches us balance like all else in life. The inspirational sayings I read on IG sometimes get me through my day. There is so much uplifting material to be found. If this is the means of finding it, so be it. The day I went to hear Norma Kamali lecture, she, who built her career decades ago without all this stuff, told the crowd that using your iPhone to get yourself out there is simply and factually essential nowadays. If Norma could embrace this, so could I. It was almost permission from someone I so deeply admire. We follow each other, btw. When she likes or comments, I do a major happy dance. I'd never have connected to her otherwise. My little IG became a stepping stone to what has taken shape as Lady Blaga, in just a few months. I am blown away by the speeding train that my first, frightening post set on the rails. It led me to being more comfortable and confident in sharing. It led me to Tzvia, who zeroed in on my potential. It led me to dig, to delve, to divulge. It led to all of you reading this. Which goes back to my original dream of being seen and heard. It is not bullshit when people say when you want something badly enough, the universe will help you get it. It's alive via Lady Blaga.
I have been told I provide a voice for various things, especially within the Jewish community. One friend was inspired to finally pursue her dream of singing and recording. Another finally filmed the pilot she's been cooking up in her head. It blows me away that I have impacted anyone. It's proof that we are all roots on the same tree. Help, climb, support, reach. This applies to both ourselves as well as others. When I try to remember the timid, shaking leaf who didn't think anyone would care about her words, I see it's getting harder to remember her. That wasn't me, it was just a hollow version of me. It's ok, we have phases just as the moon does. We all have our barren winters and blooming springs. We are never just one thing. To view yourself as the same way means it's your time to shift. To create an idea, to choose a location, to press SHARE. Releasing with purity is like a boomerang. It will come back to you. Don't ever not give yourself credit. Work for it, be proud. People will listen, and the first and last person will be yourself. Bookend your own life, for no one can do that better than you can. It's ok to be trepidatious. Opening up isn't easy. But as the lotus emerges from the mud, so will you. What's not ok is not to try. Ignore anyone who tries to convince you otherwise. Delete their account from your life. The right followers will come. I love and appreciate you all very much. Thank you for finding me. 🌗🌘🌑🌒🌓 Lady Blaga