“Fun” is my brand. You already know that!
I like to wear bright colors and crazy outfits. I also like to play high energy music. I am aware that my vibe is very "fun." That is the right word, and I get that a lot. When I am running around town doing errands (like today) I often get asked if I have just come from some fun party or adventure. This happened to me literally four times today.
Still, there is this weird inner dissidence that I have to the idea of being seen as “fun.” The tiny pissed of teenager inside me says “ARE YOU REALLY HAVING FUN, HAYLEY?” She has the voice of Daria and she is wearing black.
The answer is usually no, I have not come from some fun party - I am just working like everyone else. Trying to make a living and be a good person and find time to make art and be there for the people who I love.
I have dealt with anxiety and depression since I was born and been medicated on an off (as well as self medicated on and off), dealt with addiction and put myself in terrible relationships and situations - as well as caused an insane amount of BS and pain for those who love me. That's why I am here, being "fun" now.
At one point, I did the most dangerous things that I could as often as I could because I wanted to test the idea that I was worthy of being here. Yeah, not a great idea. If you're feeling this way, seek help or call a friend. I had the help of medication, therapy, family and I still read a lot of self help books, as cheesy as that sounds.
I have a lot of mental illness in my family and I never felt I could really trust the intentions of my own brain, and as young as I can remember, wearing bright colors, singing along to the oldies radio and making ridiculous art projects with my sister were the ONLY things that ever made me feel OK or like there might be more. I have learned that people who seem fun are usually the ones who need something to hang onto the most. It's not denial, it's a choice.
Do I want to show up for my life today or hide and become smaller? Often I want to hide and that is when I have to do the big crazy thing that is scary as hell. That means throwing on some red lipstick and boots and getting on with it - the music, the writing, the truth-telling, the boundary setting, or the career stuff.
Growing up, punk music gave me the strength and inspiration I needed to come out of my shell. It is not lost on me that all of my heroes are complicated, loud and STAND OUT. All of them are very loved and very hated. These are the people that allow everyone else at the party to relax. To facilitate the having of “fun.” Whatever that means.
I heard something the other day that struck me right in the gut. Funny, because it’s just such a simple concept. Weird how you can hear something, strung the right way, at the right time, by the right voice…and it feels so powerful.
You can’t stand out and fit in at the same time.
Crap. That means you have to abandon the tribe or be swallowed by it. You can’t really “kind of” make a stand in a relationship or “sort of” commit to your creative work…unless you want to basically blend into the background and hate yourself a little more every day. There’s a lot of half pregnant people in the world and they are certainly not having fun. Or maybe I am wrong and they are the ones who truly have the fun, comfy lives. #blessed?
Am I having fun when I am on tour? Is tour fun? Tour is work. Writing songs is work. All the admin I do to keep the band going and my freelance career chugging is work. I like work. Work = fun. But also…HOW? I honestly don’t know. If I could choose between sitting on a beach for a week or overworking my brain and body in the studio or on the road there really is no contest.
So many times I think people want to DO cool things but they don’t want to be SEEN fucking up. One thing I have learned, and am still learning: You will fuck up if you try to do cool things. In fact, that is the whole point. You will be rejected. Maybe the idea is to get knocked down so many times it becomes fun to get back up, to see what happens next. Maybe you’ll have your own self respect and love the feeling of hitting the ground because it meant you were truly at the party.
I think that’s all you can really hope for as a creative person. Is there any greater thrill? What could possibly be more fun that that??