I will be giving a new kind of me tonight to this audience.
I have internalized the stay-grateful-stay-humble mentality and it is changing the way I perform.
I dreamed last night that my beloved children went on a bus ride that took them to the home of a friend of mine who I rejected about ten years ago.
I decided to buy some Valentines and bring them..heart in hand..to the home of the friend where the bus had taken my children to visit her.
I came to the door.
My friend came to greet me and said that the children's father was there as well, with his new wife.
She said, "Come in if you can be happy and be glad for everyone, otherwise, we don't want any bad feelings here."
I walked back out the door and stood looking over the beautiful rolling hills of her property.
I stood alone on the doorstep, my own children happily enjoying the visit inside.
I looked out over the beautiful world and I didn't know if I could drop all my feelings of self pity.
I had my hands full of Valentines, and I had already arrived, but I couldn't walk through the door because I was roiling inside with all my old feelings.
(Look, it's my blog here and I'm blabbing away about myself and my dream, yes, but it's my blog.
Get your own blog and write about yourself if you don't like this.
Or go read a blog where the person writes exclusively in an outside of themselves sort of way.)
I'm going to contact that friend today, right after I finish this.
I'm going to tell her about the dream and beg her forgiveness for ruining our friendship.
I ruined our friendship because I told her that I was going to be poor and divorced and struggling and that she wouldn't like me any more, but mostly that I didn't like her for being.........yes.........a wealthy politically conservative and capitalistic thinker.
But I miss her anyway, even though our conflicting views have always been problematic.
I want to come to her house with Valentines in my hands.
This dream is also about the conference coming up though.
Ever since my father lost everything and disappeared, ever since I went to northern Minnesota and lived alone in the cabin, I've been a self-pitying outsider.
That is a losing game, I am here to tell you.
It puts you out the door of every party.
In my dream I am standing outside feeling my insides battling the desire to leave and be miserable with my pride and my self pity, or to walk through the door with a genuine smile on my face and get on with the joys of life.
Can I be happy for everybody?
For the record, I left the husband, he didn't leave me.
I am the creator of my life now.
I chose to pursue my dream in the face of all conventional wisdom.
Be happy for all of us or go home.
Be happy for everyone or leave.
Truth be told.
If you're going to be Ebenezer Scrooge, then just stay home.
If you're going to be the new improved Ebenezer, after the visits of the three spirits, then go to the party and have fun.
This is my story and it all hinges on staying grateful and staying humble.
Today I drive to Wisconsin and play my music for house full of listeners.
They don't want me to come there with the wrong attitude.
They're planning to have fun and to feel something, and to be lifted up.
The only way I'm going to help a whole room full of people make that happen is if I keep my head on straight and allow my heart to be pure.
This is getting to be a serious venture now.
I have asked for a lot.
When people say "be careful what you wish for" they're right.
As I say what I want to do, and as people take me up on it, I have to be all that my biography says I am and more.
I guess the best thing to remember is that I have been this person since I performed my first original song at age ten in my church.
Just be yourself.
That's what they always tell everyone.
How do you know who that is?
Just remember who that was when you were ten and you didn't even think about it.
Okay, I'm going to shovel snow and then load my car with guitars and the PA and my merchandise which includes the really groovy new t shirts.
See you tonight or see you soon.