Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life with Ricky

Inspiration comes from many places, and I know I’ve said that before. And I’ll probably say it again. 

2010 was the beginning of a difficult transition for me. My husband of 15 years unexpectedly asked for a divorce. I felt my world was falling apart. 
And then Ricky Martin came into my life. Indirectly. He’d actually been in my life since he started living his Vida Loca, and Shaking his Bon-bon. Like almost every other gay man, I fantasized over him and wondered “Is he or isn’t he?” He actually did come out just six months before my husband walked out in September 2010, then Ricky’s book, Me, was released in November of the same year. He followed this up in January, 2011 with his first Spanish language CD in about eight years, Más Música + Alma + Sexo.

I find Ricky to be quite good looking. All right, he's damn hot! He has a beautiful smile, eyes that can go from sensitive to mischievous to downright bedroom eyes in, well, the wink of an eye. And let’s not talk of those shirtless pics of him circulating the internet. Woof! And through it all, his soul shines through. There is tenderness there, an essence, a feeling that he is indeed a genuine kind-hearted person. Okay, so maybe I'm a bit biased.

Now, I am not usually a fan of biographies, unless I have some great interest in the subject. (I loved Cher’s autobiography.) And like many gay men, I was curious as to what dirt Ricky would spill in his book. Would he name names? Inquiring minds (and libidos) wanted to know.

But, Ricky is quite the gentleman; he kept his dirt to himself. He talked about his relationships with other men, but no specifics, no details. Even the relationships he had with women, he kept their names to himself, respecting their privacy. And that makes him even hotter in my opinion. (And fantasy!)

But, his book left me with something more; a new philosophy of life. Now, before this, I had come to believe that things do happen for a reason. My husband left me for a reason, a reason that applied to me which I would find out some day. But, Ricky convinced me that while they do indeed happen for a reason, they happen at the right time for you to learn the lesson you need to learn. So, my husband left me, and I was ready to learn why. According to the Universe (and Ricky) at least.

In May of 2011, I got to see him in concert in Los Angeles. It was a very emotional experience for me, having read his book, and listened to his CD ad nauseum and believing he was there for me. Metaphorically, at least. His CD remains one of my favorites.

I've been moved by songs before, but rarely by almost an entire CD. There were lines in nearly every song that seemed to reach right into my heart and speak directly to me.

The entire song Será, Será, had a lot to say, here are the key parts that reached me:
Escondiéndote en las sombras,
No vas a encontrar lo que tú buscas,
Nunca jamás,
Abrazando tu destino
Paso a paso, poco a poco llegas, cuerpo y alma, corazón afuera, La verdad está en tus manos.
No tengas miedo a volar, no tengas miedo a sentir, no tengas miedo a soñar, no tengas miedo a vivir.

(Roughly translated; Hiding in the shadows, You will never find what you are looking for, never ever. Embracing your destiny, You will overcome. Step by step, little by little you will arrive, body and soul, heart out, The truth is in your hands. Don't be afraid to fly, don't be afraid to feel, don't be afraid to dream, don't be afraid to live.)

The entire song is one of encouragement. In an interview, Ricky alluded that this was his message to encourage those who felt who feel unequal, condemned, marginalized.

From the title song, MAS:
Nunca te detengas
Haz lo que tú sientas
Sigue tu destino
Fuera del camino

(Never stop yourself, Do what you feel, Follow your destiny, Off the path)

And although Te Vas, is a breakup song, these lines jumped out at me. Interestingly, I never felt my ex was saying this to me, but Ricky was offering me this piece of advice as I was going away on my new path. 

Te vas
Ya no tengas miedo de volar
Todo lo que quieras tú soñar
No esperes más
Es el momento
Es el momento

(You’re leaving, Now don’t be afraid of flying, You will be all you want to dream of, You will be reborn, Don’t wait any more, Now is the moment, Now is the moment.)

In the theater where he was performing, there were lines from the songs painted graffiti-like on the stage, and some panels around the audience.  Some lines were in Spanish, some in English. The only English one I remember now, two years later, is “Don’t be afraid of the dark.” When I read it, I began to tear up as I felt I was in a dark place and Ricky was telling me not to be afraid of it, that through the darkness will come the light and I will eventually be all right. Sometime. In the future.

I knew it had to be a translation of a line in Será, Será and I waited to hear if he would release an English version. I figured he might, since two songs on the CD has English versions. 

Eventually, he did.

And he spoke to me again in the song, It’s Too Late (English version of Será, Será.)

Don't be afraid of the dark,
Don't be afraid of the tears,
Don't be afraid of yourself,
Don't be afraid of the fear.

I know I haven’t taken the steps forward I’ve needed to. Yes, fear has held me back. Mostly it’s the fear of being hurt, the fear of making the same mistakes again and again and again, the fear of change, and the fear of being who I truly am. And yes, it's easier to tell someone not to be afraid, it's another to conquer it.

I think Marianne Williamson sums it up best:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

With all of these changes I've blogged about happening at the same time I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.

Maybe I need to follow this last part of It’s Too Late:
Piece by piece
Put yourself together
Hands and feet
Connecting with your heartbeat
Step by step
Take back the power

Once this school year is over, I feel I can begin to take back my power

Whatever it is

in order to become

Whoever I am

However long I need.

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