You may recall, if you’ve ever been bored enough to browse this website before, that I have been working very hard to ban fear from my life. My mantra of “Be Brave” has led me to make a myriad of decisions that have proved to have been EXCELLENT choices, because they have made me feel alive for the first time in years. It’s like I was sleepwalking through my life. I was so afraid of experiencing anything remotely negative that I missed a lot of experiences that could have enriched my life.
Well, no more.
A dear friend of mine said just last night, “If only the Pammy I met could see the person sitting in front of me right now. She’d be like, ‘That’s not me.'” And she is 100% correct. The girl I was when I went away to school in 2006 claimed to want to find herself and have some fun but…that didn’t really happen. I was too fucked up from the less-than-healthy homelife I was leaving to get anywhere close to having fun. I had to play it safe for a while, recuperate for a while, and find a little sanity-come-boredom. But while I know at that time I needed that, now, as I’m finally, finally, bursting free I can’t help but think, “What a waste, what a waste, what a waste.” I think of all the friends I didn’t make, the parties I didn’t crash, the boys I didn’t hook-up with, the recreational drugs I didn’t try, and I just shake my head. Did I even go to college? I may be a logical girl who knows that, just maybe, not experimenting with drugs wasn’t the worst thing, but seriously, I kept myself so sheltered. It’s like I was still living with my parents, afraid to come home late for curfew. I got one hickey in three and a half years, and I was mortified. Now I’m like, “Hey, it was FUN getting that goddamn hickey.” Fuck.
So now, a couple years late, I’m finally wanting to be a little…adventurous. I don’t want to be a slut or a druggie, I just…want to live. But every once in a while I step back from myself and that shy, fearful girl I used to be takes over and I have to ask, “Who IS this woman?” Well, I’ve decided to dub this new brave, fiery person I’m allowing myself to be my alter-ego…and I’ve named her Amp.
My fantastic and inspirational cousin Stef once mistyped her name in an email to me as “Fest,” and it was such a cool moniker that I looked to my own name for a fun anagram. For a split second I thought, “Oh man, all I have is ‘map.’ Boring.” But then I stopped being stupid and saw that my name comes equipped with a rad nickname that embodies everything I am hoping to be. I want to turn the volume up on my life, I want to be and see and do simply more: I want to open-mouth laugh more, dance all the more ridiculously, sing louder and more off-key, and just…ROCK. I want to rock. And thus, Amp was born.
When I start to shrink away from a new experience, I have to ask myself: What Would Amp Do? During my recent trip to Chicago (so much more on that to follow in future posts), I was considering not venturing into downtown and just hanging out at the hotel. And, you know, I would have enjoyed the peace and solace of time alone in a king-sized bed, but I also would have been very disappointed in myself. So my alter-ego took over, and was all, “Get the fuck up and get the fuck out. You’re in CHICAGO bitch.” And so I did. And then, when a long long lost friend suggested we meet up, my mousier self sort of hesitated: “I don’t really know him anymore, it could be awkward, and I have to get up early tomorrow.” Lame. But again, the fearless girl in me came out and I took a leap and got dinner with a guy I haven’t seen in 5 years. And guess what? It ended up being an incredibly fun night; some people, it turns out, still know how to party.
I was beyond pleasantly surprised, but, frankly, I should just start expecting happy surprises around each corner. You take a chance, good things follow. I have to start believing this with my whole heart, because life has been revealing to me that it is so so true.
So, I don’t even need my mantra so much anymore. Now I simply have a split personality: the sorry excuse for a young woman I was before who just won’t die, and the new, vibrant, lively girl I am becoming more and more each day. You can still call me Pam if you wish, but, these days, I prefer Amp.