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I’m Not Coming Down

I’m Not Coming Down

“I found out that there’s so much more to this life…”

That is the opening volley of Martha Wash’s latest, ‘I’m Not Coming Down’, (currently stuck on repeat in my car), a rip-roaring empowerment anthem sure to shore up even the most timid of spirits.

It’s Pride weekend here, in Minneapolis.  A few weeks ago, in a TMI post, I shared what Pride means to me – it’s something I live every day, wherever I am.  But this year, it feels particularly poignant due to my recent emancipation from my own self-imposed ‘cage’.

Recently, I found a few moments to reflect on where I was in my life one year ago.  Events in June, July, and August of last year sort of helped catapult my ass off the end of a certain couch where it had been parked, more or less, over the previous seventeen years. 

Seventeen years! It absolutely boggles my mind.

Sure, I was hardly sedentary during that time period: 
  • I mounted two productions of an original musical (last gasps of theatrical ambition)
  • Graduated Summa Cum Laude from college with a GPA of 3.96
  • Wrote a ton of music
  • Adopted and raised six special needs dogs
  • Went through three major job changes
  • Created a property rental business
  • Rehabbed eight houses
  • Travelled
  • Finished my first novel
  • Created this blog: ‘Wonderland Burlesque’
  • Helped care for my father who is in the grips of Alzheimer’s
  • Survived a mountain biking accident where I broke my neck in two places
  • Volunteered on and off at various non-profits   

…among other things.

I also did a lot of things I am now not so proud of, or, at least on this side of things, am not as pleased with as I once was.  But, I regret nothing.  It – all that acting out – got me to where I needed to be - which is where I currently am.

As plays go, this would be Act Five, something, as a former sort-of playwright, I can tell you, is rarely a good idea.  Audiences rarely have patience for such things.  But since mine is now a one-man show and I’ve dispensed with any and all ambitions, my concern these days is not with my audience.  These days my one ambition seems to be to remain true to myself – someone who got trampled, censored, and nullified during Act Four.  Someone who nearly died in Act Three (We never talk about Act Three).  Someone who was ambitious, deluded, disillusioned, betrayed, and embittered in Act Two.  Someone who hadn’t a clue how the world worked in Act One.

Like I said… it’s been one long-ass play. 

With no intermissions.

And I take full responsibility for all of it. Especially the ‘now’.

Now?  I’m happy.  And I forgot how liberating a feeling that can be.

So, I totally relate to Martha Wash’s latest anthem.  It speaks to me like no other.  A year ago?  My legs did shake with each step.  I was fighting for each breath (anxiety will do that, you know).  Spiritually and emotionally, I am soaring “above the ground”, and, in light of all that…

…I have no intention of ever coming down.

Have a Happy and Safe Pride!


whkattk said...

Great voice! She's new to me, but with a disco sound that isn't surprising.
Upton, my friend, you are one fucking AMAZING guy. You are deserving of admiration. Act Five is proving to be a damn fine one! Keep writing in that script!

Stan said...

Great song and video. Love the three male dancers in the background especially. Stay strong my friend.

BlkJack said...

Looking forward to rediscovering Martha Wash. Thanks for the post.