I did it.
For my birthday in August Genna, Nathan and Kaleena went in and got me a Burlesque 101 class at Detroit School of Burlesque. Along with the gift came a heartfelt letter from Genna explaining why she wanted to get me this gift. We had never talked of this or anything like it. This was all their doing.
I was shocked. What? Me? Doing this and having to show off my body. No. My initial reaction was “ummmmm thanks?” And then two seconds later I was like, “Hell yea. Thank you!” I can do this. The thought of trying something new was scary. But I was up for the challenge. I didn’t tell people. I mean, I told a select few, very slowly and spaced out. It took me weeks to tell JAMS. I wanted it to keep it just for me. A secret. I had a few rough weeks and had second thoughts of performing. After many chats with my besties and Adam, I decided I wanted to still do it.
After 8 weeks and two private classes, the day came for me to take the stage. Neves came over me. Good thing I had a day of mini sessions to distract me. Sara came over to do my hair and makeup. I left the house feeling good. Still so nervous.
I got dressed quickly because I wanted to practice on the stage. I tried but my nerves got the best of me so I got off the stage. As I was walking back down the stairs I tripped! Oh no!! It was like slow motion! I tried as gracefully as I could to not break a bone. People came running over asking if I was ok. I stood up checked my body and said, “YES, no broken bones!” Alright, that was out of the way. I had a good laugh. 10 mins later I tried to practice again and made it through. My face was so serious. How was I going to do this!? And in-front of people!? The show started. I gave each lady a big hug and told them to rock it out! There was a TV in the back room so we got to watch them perform. I was beyond ecstatic for them. Cheering and laughing. All the squeal sounds I could make and a huge round of applause.
Number 8 was up and that was me. I don’t remember what was said when they announced me. I was just listening to the music. Don’t miss the beat and have fun!! I feel like I spaced out. All I could see where the VIP seats. That was when I saw Andrea to my right. A big smile came on my face. I knew she was coming. I had invited Adam, my besties (JAMS, Amanda, Kaleena, and Genna) and Beanie to see the show. I had no clue she was going to be in the front! I teased and stripped down. I did it. I held my last pose and waved as I walked off stage. I walked down the stairs almost tripping again and breathed. I started to tear up. I had done it. The thing I knew I had in me and I actually did it. Cheers met me in the green room and congratulations. I walked to the back room and broke down. I cried for the last few months we had had. I cried because of my brain and what it has taken from me over the last three years. I cried because I lost weight. I cried because I took my clothes off, for the most part, in-front of 60 strangers. I cried because every layer I took off it’s like I was pulling off parts of trauma from my life. I cried because my best friends were there to see it. I cried because I was proud of myself. I cried because Adam saw me at my most venerable moment and he was giving me a standing ovation and was proud. I cried because it was a great gift that I didn’t know I needed.
During intermission, I went out and saw everyone. They were in tears as well. All so proud and just shouting it to me. Pouring the love and encouragement over me. Adam grabbed me and held me. He wanted a selfie with the star. ;] We chatted for the next nine minutes before I had to head backstage. We got a certificate at the end of the show and afterward, we went out for dinner.
Again, it wasn’t about taking my clothes off. It was about believing in myself again. It was about finding Miranda. Who I am and having confidence again. It was about finding myself. It was about believing in myself again. It was about caring for myself and no one else. I allowed myself to do this even if it made Adam feel uncomfortable. I got to feel venerable and then remember that I can live through it and come out stronger. The class was full of women from all over and all so different. All going through different things. We all needed it for one reason or another. I am proud of each lady from my class and the one before. We all cheered for each other. We all have this amazing experience. Watching myself and the others blossom with each class and supporting them every step of the way was amazing. Thank you, Holly, for sharing this gift with us all.
On Monday after the show, I sent a rough draft of this blog post to Kaleena and Genna. Their responses were so positive. Again, I got super emotional.
“You are a true force of nature…and my god girl, you have been through the wringer these past couple of years medically, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are formidable, more than I could have ever been, but it had left its marks on you, how could it not? You hide it so well, but to me, you are seen, Miranda. I knew you were in a place of loss and dismay. Your sense of fear and “what next” is understandable. If I could, I wanted to help you get some of your power back, and I’m so grateful that Nathan and Kaleena knew from the very beginning how this could be a moment of transformative self-love. We wanted Adam to be reminded of your beauty and power. We wanted YOU to be reminded of your beauty and power…and we love you so much that we seriously didn’t care if you had to quit. That’s real love. I was surprised when you pushed through, and so proud! You put the haters on notice, and that includes the part of you was shrinking back in the dark during this class.” – Genna
“I love every word you wrote. When Genna told me the idea, I knew exactly why she was doing it. It was something for you, to find yourself again. You have been through so much, and it’s not just been this past year. It’s been a crappy couple of years, and through all this health stuff and other issues, I could see your light slowly dimming. Genna’s idea was so unique and perfect to slowly start putting you back together. Watching your husband watch you do this makes me hope that he knows why you needed this. He was so proud of you!! I love you, friend. I’m cheering you on all the way!!” – Kaleena
I love my friends. I love my best friends. This is friendship and I just want to make sure I remember this. Remember that I have been on a high since November 17th. I did it. YOU did IT MIRANDA. You can do anything. Always pay this feeling forward. Encourage others. LOVE.
It was so much fun it was but I will not be back on that stage. I got what I needed back and I’m perfectly fine celebrating and cheering on from the audience. I have a newfound appreciation for burlesque performers. Cheers!
Go do something that surprises yourself.
Much love, Miranda
PS. Now that life feels “semi normal” I will be blogging all of my 2019 sessions and events! TIME TO SHARE AGAIN!