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    David And Steven And Me

           Someone close to me told me that I presented the problem of “Sensory Overload”. Especially when you first meet me. She said "You are an awful lot to take in. The way you dress; your physique; your energy; your aura. And then when I talk to you, I get a sense of your depth, and sensitivity, and intelligence, and your unique take on things. It can be overwhelming."
           Here’s what may seem contradictory to some, but to me it's simply the ocean I swim in. I wear what I wear because I like how I feel in it. I like how it looks on me. It’s an inside out thing. My sense of style is born within and then physically manifested. My inner sense of style happens to be extremely fond of bright colors, shiny things, clothes with graphics, jeans with some bling, and jewelry, to name a few elements.
           When I'm at a club and hear music I dig, I like to dance. If I'm with someone, I'll want to dance with them. If I'm alone, I'll ask someone. I don’t care if anyone else is dancing or not. Why should I? I’m dancing because I want to, and so does the person I'm dancing with. It’s a team sport.
           I get that there is a high degree of self consciousness that comes with dancing in front of people. And I get that it prevents many from doing so. But my desire to dance is born not from anything other than the fact that music deeply moves me. If there are very few people on the dance floor, and bystanders happen to be looking at me, well that’s just a byproduct of my choice to let the music reach me.
           I don’t do it for attention. I do it because it feels good and it’s not hurting anybody. It’s a big world. If you don’t like what you see, don’t look.
           I am less inhibited than most. I will post something outrageous, say and do things that are different, and do what comes naturally with less concern over what people are going to think of me. But it's all born out of what feels right. It's all born out of creativity. It's all born out of the joy and fun and vitality of vibrant self expression, and using that expression to connect to others.   
           That puts some people off, and I understand that. I will sometimes say or do things that are far outside the norm, that push an envelope, that push a button. Especially for people who may describe themselves as “conservative” or “reserved” on behavioral fronts.
           Do I sometimes cross a line, or push it too far? Yes, to some I do. That’s a byproduct of living more out loud. But my actions have never had such dire consequences that the holes can’t be filled. And if I hurt somebody, I sincerely apologize. If it’s a big enough transgression, in addition to apologizing and making a further amend, I’ll look at what I did, go inside myself, and learn something from it.
           Despite the apparent cavern between myself and the conservative or reserved person, there is much we can learn from each other. Sometimes a more toned down perspective is what I need to see things more clearly, to asses a situation better, and to act more effectively and in a manner consistent with who I am. I value that. I won’t get into what they could learn from me. I’ve talked about that plenty in lots of post on this website.
           What I present to the world may seem at odds with how I am with someone one on one. But the contexts are so radically different. How, through dress, does one project vulnerability? Or depth? Or sensitivity? Or intelligence? Or a huge heart? Would dressing like a hippie communicate that better? Those qualities can not be effectively transmitted by how one looks or dresses. So leave them off the table.
           Let’s say I’m at a party. I’ve been to plenty, thrown plenty, so what I’m about to say is backed by many years of experience and countless examples. At that party, I am just as likely to get into a deep discussion about emotional availability with someone as I am to do a unique version of “My Way” via Karaoke. I am just as likely to discuss the marvels of the universe or my fascination with the weather as I am to dance. I am just as likely to recant an emotional and touching story about my father as I am to get up on stage and drum with the band. I am just as likely to shed a tear as I am to laugh out loud. I am just as likely to tell the woman I’m with how beautiful she is, how madly in love with her I am, and how much I’m looking forward to ripping her clothes off and ravishing her once we get home.
           How is that unreconcilable? How is that contradictory?
           Take a look at Steven Tyler, or in his heyday, David Lee Roth. Outrageous characters. Totally out there. Wild. Flamboyant. Colorful. Unique. Uninhibited. Way Outside The Box. One on one, in interviews, and I’m guessing with their partners, they brought something much different. Intelligent conversation. A certain gentleness. Depth. Sensitivity. Vulnerability.
           But look at the contexts of being out in the world at large versus being intimate with someone. Totally different. It’s all them. The outrageousness, the depth, the tenderness, the sensitivity. It’s all of me. If you can hold all of it, Steven, David, and I (it’s not lost on me how funny it feels to mention myself in the same breath as those two legends and speak of them like old friends), we bring both sides to both contexts. We bring elements of all sides to all contexts. There is a great depth and sensitivity that one brings to acting so out loud. Maybe it’s not apparent. But because it’s real, it comes from within. It’s not an act. The colorfulness happens to be a part of them that translates very well on stage. But there’s lots behind it. When Steven Tyler struts and preens and dances on stage, he’s doing it to his own music, both physically and metaphysically. He wrote the stuff that he’s bleeding on stage. And his inner music, his passion, his creativity, is guiding him in his movements, gestures, behaviors, actions, words.
           If you can’t see the sensitivity and depth there, maybe you’re not looking hard enough. Or maybe you’re letting your own limiting beliefs about who people can be, how vast and expansive they can be, get in your way. Maybe you just can’t hold that a person can be so outrageous and so deep at the same time, and that both elements are there in all they do, whether they are preening on stage, having a heart felt conversation, dancing their ass off, or making love. If you don’t believe it’s possible to be all that, and more, and still be completely consistent with the whole of the being, then maybe you are severely limiting all that you can be. Maybe you are in denial about parts of yourself that need to come out more. Maybe that inability to reconcile and understand and accept and embrace all that, whether you like them or not, says a lot more about you than it does about them.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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