I know, I know, some of y’all out there think I’m the world’s biggest idiot. To have a 1 in 4 shot at winning it all and walking away from it? What am I, stupid? Wait… don’t answer that.
I feel like I owe some of you guys a bit of an explanation. I know that some of you guys had a WTF moment last night. So let me try to lay it all out…
Believe me, bringing the curtain down on myself wasn’t an easy decision for me to make. Like posting most of my entries this season, the actual decision to pull the trigger was made at quite literally, the very last minute. But it was one I felt that I had to make. And far from being a chivalrous and altruistic gesture (though I appreciate the sentiments I think you guys give me way too much credit), the choice to pull the plug was ultimately made for my own reasons and for myself.
Kristen (pixiebelle for those not already “in the know”) has told me many, many times over the course of the season that she didn’t want me to sacrifice for her and so, being the obedient boyfriend that I am, I didn’t consult her and just went ahead and did it anyway.
See, I’d literally just walked out of an appointment with my therapist… it had been a really good session that gave me some much needed perspective and food for thought. Kim had actually encouraged me to not play this season at all. (I clearly have issues with obedience) But once I chose to play anyway, she encouraged me to just be who I am and go for it full tilt.
But I digress...
So… I’d walked out of her office and was pondering some of the things we’d talked about as far as where I’m choosing to invest and spend my emotion and my energy, how to contain and diffuse my anger when poked with a spoon, the need to prioritize those things as well as the other aspects of my life. Our conversation really had no connection to Idol but as with most everything, I can take what she says and apply it to other areas of my life.
In this case, I applied it to Idol.
I make no bones about it… I freaking love this game and I love the community. I love the people who make this such a vibrant place. I’ve met some amazing and remarkable people who fill my life with total happiness just because they’re in it. Idol has opened up a lot of doors for me, exposed me to a lot of new ideas and new perspectives and has populated my world with people I’ve come to cherish. Things that I will be forever be thankful for.
But I have to admit that I haven’t been very good to Idol this season. If I had one word to describe myself this season… particularly in the latter stages, it would be “surly.” “Combative” might be another. “Dickhead” might be yet another. Any way you phrase it, I’ve been downright grumpy and have completely and viciously lashed out when provoked. I’ve been in the middle of several different dust-ups, which is unlike me. I enjoy a good brouhaha as much as the next guy but I typically don’t get as heated as I’ve gotten this season. Undeservedly so in some cases. And that’s not good for Idol nor is it good for the community as a whole. Dealing with my own emotional baggage and an increase in some stresses and pressures have combined to throw me way off balance and some days, put me in a really bad headspace. I haven’t really enjoyed this season like I have seasons past. It hasn’t been as much fun for me. And that’s nobody’s fault but my own because I can choose how I react to things and obviously, I chose poorly in a lot of cases.
Clearly, I needed to take a few steps back, get some perspective and clear my freaking head. A change was very obviously needed and I had to prioritize where I was going to invest my emotion and my energy. Something had to give. Which is why I chose to pull the plug.
And happily, very happily, I got to do it at a time when it really mattered. See, I happen to believe a whole hell of a lot in pixiebelle She’s passionate and she’s dedicated to improving herself and her craft. She works hard at it. Very hard. You guys don’t get to see her really scrutinizing her pieces, agonizing over every word and every sentence. But I do. And let me tell you that she really pours all of herself into her work. She’s harder on herself than a member of Opus Dei with a flail in their hand. And just in the time I’ve known her, I’ve seen her take such huge strides and come so far. Is she perfect as a writer? Of course not. But then, who is? To me, the important part is that she busts her ass to learn and grow as a writer. She's never satisfied with being "okay", she wants to be great. She has a genuine passion for it. And I don’t think that can ever be overvalued.
Plus let’s not forget that she was in the Top-20 in Season 6, Top-10 in Season 7 and now here she sits in the Top-freaking-4 this season. And, as Gary pointed out, she topped the contest/jury-only poll… something I think says a hell of a lot about her. The girl has some chops. I’m so very, very, very proud of her and am really looking forward to cheering her on and seeing what she can do in this final push. No matter what happens though, I’m so proud of all that she has accomplished this season. She’s absolutely earned her spot in the Top-4 and deserves the chance to fight for the title. And you better believe she’s going to fight. I really believe in her and think that if she continues working as hard as she does, the sky is the limit for her. Not just in Idol but in life. She’s an amazing and remarkable person who’s well worth getting to know. And I’m truly honored that she’s chosen to share her life with me.
So from my perspective (yay, I finally have some!), all of this couldn’t have had better timing. Everything worked out at the right time, absolutely beautifully. I have some really, really, really great things going in my life that I can dedicate myself to 110% Will I miss being there and slugging it out to the end? Of course I will. I’m a competitor at heart. But I’ve also learned something REALLY valuable this season, if only valuable to me. Namely, that winning isn’t everything. See, I used to belong to the Tiger Woods school of thought that said “Second place sucks.” But now, as I stand on the outside, I’m truly content. At peace. I can finally look back at and respect the journey from Season 6 to where I stand now, smile and say “eff yeah, that’s awesome.”
New friends, renewed passion, new opportunities abounding and I really feel like I’m standing on the threshold of some really amazing things in my life. And I’m excited as hell for all of it.
I just wanted to say thank you, guys. You have all supported and encouraged me for so long and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. It’s because of all of your love, encouragement, support and the well-timed kick in the ass that I have the courage to roll the dice and not be afraid of them coming up snake-eyes, that I’m able to let myself pursue the opportunities that I am and that I’m really envisioning a life radically different from the one I’d planned on but is the one I want so badly that I can taste it. So thank you for helping me to make a run at making this happen. You mean the world to me and I love you guys.
This may not have been the most “fun” season for me but in its own way, it might be the one I remember the best for I learned some really valuable lessons through it. Idol and the people who make it what it is have truly and genuinely changed my life for the better. So in walking away for the season, I have zero regrets and the sense of balance and peace returning that I felt immediately after pulling the plug tells me that I made the right decision. For me.
So that's what was up. See? Not altogether altruistic and chivalrous, eh? :-)
And lastly… thanks once again for putting this all together and keeping it afloat for us, Gary. You know I love and treasure all things Idol. It’s always a fantastic and interesting ride through the Idolverse and I really appreciate the fact that you devote so much of yourself to giving us this wonderful, wonderful place. Thanks a ton, Gary.
The Top-4 is a kick-ass group and the run to the finals should be exciting to watch!