My first thought was, “Hmmm, nothing!” Pretty much every time I want to try something, I do. Then I remembered that I used to want to jump out of a plane and I haven’t. But the reality is, I don’t really want to. I’m afraid of heights and I really, really don’t want to jump out of a plane. In fact, once I signed up for a charity jumping out of a plane event, and collected all the pledges and then had to give them back because I changed my mind. Now I have two new knees and I am not even allowed to parachute. Whew! Thank god!
Then I remembered my big dream. My B.A.D., my BIG AUDACIOUS DREAM! I grew this dream in 2000 when I was in Maui. I loved Maui. It was so touristy and everyone was transient and very friendly and welcoming. I remember sitting on my balcony and coming up with a wonderful dream, my B.A.D.
I decided that I wanted to go to someplace kind of like Maui. It would have to be warm, touristy, with lots of transient people. But not as expensive as Maui. Some place like the Keys in Florida, or maybe St. Croix. Some place where people go to get away from their history. Some place where people don’t ask questions. Perhaps Spain or Portugal. Or South America. Or Cuba, I love Cuba. Some place where they speak Spanish or Portugiese. Some place safe and friendly.
I want to take a ‘time out’. A time out from my real life and my job. On my way from my real life to my new life—let’s call it Portugal for now because that’s my most likely place at the moment—I would stop and become a new person. I would change my hair, my clothes and my name. Not legally of course; I would just start calling myself something new like ‘Jazmin’ – Jazz for short. Back in 2000 I thought I would get dreadlocks but not now.
I would go to my new life for anywhere from four to six months and become Jazz for short. I would become a painter who paints large abstracts to music. I would become a new person—outgoing, outrageous, fun, uninhibited. I would become Jazz and I would meet new people and create a new—short—life.
I would spend my days painting and my evenings being a social butterfly, sitting in the town square, dancing, drinking, entertaining my new friends. I would keep a journal of my new adventures. It would be fun! Scary! But fun.
Then at the end of my time, I would come home and become me again. I would publish my journal and call it ‘Playing Jazz’.
Of course that was before ‘Eat Pray Love’ and ‘Under a Tuscan Sun’ took my idea—kind of.
Now when I came up with this idea, I wasn’t a painter. Now I am. Now I paint great big abstracts, sometimes to music. I’ve even gone to St. Pete’s in Florida and played this role for a few minutes at a time. I guess I’m practising.
So why haven’t I done it? I’m scared. I think I’m too old. My original story would have to change because of my advancing age. And my son is very opposed. He doesn’t understand why I need to take on the Jazz persona. Why can’t I just go and have a vacation in Portugal? He’s afraid that I will die over there and they won’t know who I am. I’ve tried to reassure him that I’ll still be me; I will just be called Jazz.
This past spring, I was talking to someone about my Jazz idea and she was all excited and encouraging as people always are when I share it. Her enthusiasm was contagious and when I got home I looked into a self-funded leave. That would certainly be possible. But now, things are changing at work and it probably isn’t possible.
Someday I may still go and play Jazz. When I solve the questions: where to go? What to live on? Where to live? Am I too old? What language should I learn in preparation?
Jazz isn’t dead yet. She’s just hiding under a rock.