I'm not going to lie. I can take or leave the pop phenomenon of Psy's Gangham Style. Most times I am decidedly on the leave it side. I also don't watch the AMAs, or the Grammys, or any other award show for that matter. I prefer to wait for the highlight reels and keep those few hours of my life for something more useful.
When I heard that Psy and MC Hammer had teamed up for the AMAs though, I had to go check it out. And I couldn't stop grinning.
Even the most cynical must be able to see the entertainment in this clip. Just look at the enthusiasm in the room and the energy of the dancers and singers. It's absolutely electric and most of us don't have a freakin' clue what he's saying. Which makes us look utterly ridiculous when we try to sing along. I digress though, because it doesn't matter if we understand what he's saying, because there is something in this song that moves people and for that it's a brilliant connector.
You know what else was brilliant? Bringing MC Hammer on with him. Not only has Psy bridged ethnicity with his song but by bringing Hammer with him on stage, he bridged generations too.
Yesterday I sat my children down to watch the video from the AMAs and when they asked who MC Hammer was, I explained how he was my generation's PSY. He was huge. And how saying "You Can't Touch This" meant "I'm like the best thing since sliced bread" and that nobody can stay "Stop" to me all these years later without me adding "Hammer Time" at the end. And then we watched U Can't Touch This. There was lots of laughter, lots of booty shaking and a brief moment when my kids realized that indeed, I was young once too.
Then we had a serious talk about harem pants. Because, mothers don't let their children date boys who wear harem pants. Just putting it out there now.
There's a scene in the movie The Matrix, where everything suddenly becomes clear for Neo—the protagonist of the story. He sees the world for what it really is—nothing but code. Computer code.
This is where this science fiction classic becomes a bit of a horror story for me, because if I was only surrounded by code, I'd probably pull my plug.
Lord knows I love my technology, but as soon as you start talking about how it actually works, I start to break into a cold sweat. Not only is it a different language, it's a different language comprised of numbers. For me, the stuff of nightmares.
When I first started blogging, I had the luxury of just writing on Erica's site, here. I didn't have to worry about the code behind it all. That was the editor's job. *Sigh* Those were the days.
Now that I'm writing on my own site, it's become much more complicated—I have to worry about how things look on the surface, and if I have the latest and greatest options available to maximize traffic. For the most part, I have a dear friend who answers questions for me, but I hate to bother her more than four times . . . an hour. So occasionally, I need to figure it out on my own. This is when my brain starts to hurt, and I worry that the world really is just comprised of binary code.
The other day, I asked about embedding videos on this site, and Sharon, being such a dear, responded almost immediately with this:
"Depending on what wordpress theme you have, you may need to download a plugin—I had to do that for mine. Also, try switching to HTML code, embed the Youtube code, save, and then view it in regular view."
Whaaa? Is this even English? The way she says this so matter-of-factly slays me, too. Does she not realize who she's talking to?
Or then there's something like this. This is what came up when I went searching for a way to remove dates from posts on my site:
from this code under index.php:
<p class="meta">Posted by <?php the_author() ?> on <?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?> under <?php the_category(', ') ?>
<?php the_tags('Tags: ', ', ', ''); ?>
<?php edit_post_link('Edit', '', ' • '); ?>
<?php comments_popup_link('No Comments', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?></p>
remove this code <?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?>
This is why most days, you can find me at my computer, banging my head on my desk, and cursing to the code gods. It's also why there are still dates on every post on my site.I envy all you people out there who can look at code and read it as if you were reading the words on this post. I think it's a second language, just like being able to speak French or Chinese. I also think you're incredibly talented. I, on the other hand, am proving myself to be more and more obsolete everyday. Soon, I will need a full-time code reader beside me each day. Or, if this really is The Matrix, Keanu will do. Rowr.
I just think you’re amazing. Really, you.
You sitting there at home mired in self-doubt right now and wondering if you can do it. Let me be the first to tell you....you can.
Because I don’t see the things you do. I’m not in your head and I'm not privy to the demons that taunt you behind the scenes. Oh I know you might think I can see your oh-so-obvious shortcomings, but the reality is that 90% of our flaws are self-manufactured and only visible to your very worst critic....you.
I'm saying this now because I've had several moments of clarity on this issue lately. I often walk around with bravado and confidence....in my own head, but then immediately diminish my accomplishments or talents the moment someone points them out to me. I am the master of deflecting compliments. "Oh thank you, just dumb luck that I'm here." or "That's so nice, hitting the sauce, huh?"
But then I had a conversation with a woman I respect greatly in Jamaica. While talking about women and confidence in general she said this is passing, "I mean, you're in your forties for crying out loud. When are you going to start believing you're enough?" Cue the awkwardness here. Because although I outwardly said, "Pfft, really. Like time to get over it ladies," as if I was innocent of these charges, on the inside I was writhing.
Indeed, when was I going to start believing I was enough?
For a long time now, I have had friends tell me I should be public speaking and sharing my humour and ummm, wisdom with others. I would brush them off. What could I have to offer? I'm no big deal. I can't do it. There are so many more out there better than I am. More of the negative self-talk that walked with me through my teens, twenties and thirties. Do I really want to carry this with me another thirty years? This is a totally rhetorical question. Of course I don't
It wasn't the fear of public speaking that was holding me back, but rather niggling doubts about whether or not I had information worth sharing. But if my friends thought I did, why didn't I? What were they seeing that I wasn't? So I sat and wrote out the things I would say to my friends if we were sitting around having a discussion.
Then I did it. I swallowed the fear. I believed I was enough. And I did it.
This is just a small clip of a 15-minute talk I gave on work/life balance to female associates at Future Shop in Ottawa. And now, I'm ready for more. I'm excited to see where I can take this and yes, now that I've started you may never shut me up.
I look at all my friends (each and every one) and I can so easily see their amazing abilities. I am awestruck by all of them, and yet, I see them do what I do. They share their fears with me about failing, or not being good enough and I shake my head. Why, when it's so clear to me, can they not see it? So I grab my pom-poms and cheer them on.
And I think that's what we need to do more often for each other. We need to be each other's inner voice. It has been my experience that my true friends see me better than I see myself.
So, enough about me, let's get back to you, k? If you're currently wondering if you can do it or not, stop asking yourself. Ask your friends. And then listen to them.