It’s 1998 and I’m at the Fillmore in San Francisco with my sister. We grab our Vodka Gimlets, throw them back, and maneuver our way to the front of the half crowded room. Train emerges on stage and I’m so happy. So happy to be watching my favorite local band that has been grinding it out for years in bars to finally book a venue like The Fillmore – a stepping-stone to the big time. I find myself standing literally just a few feet from Patrick Monahan, the lead singer, as he belts out “Meet Virginia” and “Free”, two of the songs that soon after that night, brought them to stardom. Patrick was singing to me. He was singing MY songs. His lyrics felt as if they told MY story. He sang to me with a passion and understanding for what it was like to be young, a bit confused, but totally inspired to be alive, creative and driven… I sang along as he sang to me, my favorite part of “Free”!
“Workin for something that I can’t touch and sometimes can’t even believe in – who, woh”
“Cradled by the hands of fate the faith that sometimes wraps around to tight – so tight” …..
Fast forward through a whole lot of growing up and last night I once again found myself at a Train concert, but this time with my entire family, and way up on the lawn at the Toyota Amphitheatre near Sacramento. Last night I watched them with a completely different life perspective. We danced and sang our brains out, just like the first night I saw them almost 18 years ago, and I found myself in tears a few times when they played their old songs and especially when they played one of my absolute favorites, “When I Look to the Sky”.
The best moment of the night was when the lead singer, Patrick Monahan, asked us to sing a few notes with him and before he did he asked us all to think about what we wanted to achieve this year, to focus on those dreams that might be so close but not yet in our hands. He asked us to manifest those thoughts into reality as we sang with him and he then sang for us some beautiful notes, we all followed suite, and then he went higher, we went higher, and then he hit this crazy high falsetto note that everyone shrieked out – horrendously.
Patrick paused for a moment and said, “Let’s try this again, but this time, why don’t you wish more for someone else’s dream. Wish harder for someone that also has a dream. Imagine for a moment, someone you care very much about, accomplishing something in life that’s amazing. Now let’s sing.”
Damn it if we didn’t all sound so much better the second time we sang with him…
What an amazing moment. One I am taking with me. I think a lot about my dreams, what I really want to do, what I’m working towards. I love to be “on stage” and in front of the camera. I’ve been working diligently for the last three years trying to break into television, and let me tell you, it’s no easy endeavor. I’ve been so close and yet I’m still so far away. It’s something I meditate on, visualize about, and I’m not going to give up on because I know I would be really stinking good at it and most importantly, I want to reach more people. I have a serious drive to help people make better choices when it comes to their health and I want to go out into the world and hold all of your hands and tell more of you that don’t know me yet; that there is hope. There is more. There is joy. We are together. I just need a bigger stage.
However, the message that hit home loud and clear last night was obvious. I need to wish harder for someone else’s dreams. I have kids with the whole world in front of them, who are smarter, braver, and more amazing than I will ever be. I have a husband who works incredibly hard to always support us and he does amazing things every single day. He is a healer, a teacher, a father, my life partner, and he too has huge dreams that I need to support more than I do now. I have a sister who is a Grammy winner, which is a giant accomplishment, but she’s not stopping there because her dedication, love, and drive that she has to make this world a better place means more to her than anything else and she’s doing just that with her latest project, 900 Voices. I have friends and family who are smart, dedicated, and amazing and who need encouragement and an ear to hear their ideas and a platform from which to launch their genius into the world so that they also can help others become better, healthier, and more inspired.
We all have dreams. We all have wishes. What makes mine bigger than yours? Nothing. Not a single gosh darn thing. I will continue to wish hard for my dreams, but I will wish even harder for yours. Proof that this works happened last night when we all were able to hit that beautiful and impossibly high note after thinking more about the people that inspire us and how much we want them to accomplish their dreams, rather than thinking only about ourselves. I believe deeply in the power of connectedness, of positive thinking, and of visualization. I want for you to be whatever you want to be. I want my family to be happy and loved and successful. I also want to reach for my own stars but I can’t do that by myself, and neither can you.
So, let’s wish hard for each other, support each other, dream big for ourselves of course – but understand that we are not on our own individual little islands. We are together and when I look up to the stars in hopes that all of our dreams come true, I know that I am not alone.