Joanna at Joanne: GAGA Night

I booked this concert so long ago and it’s surreal how much it brings me full circle. The meaning behind the albumn, the messages conveyed and the positive energy that was undeniable. People were dancing as if no one was watching, proudly and passionately. Love and acceptance for who you are, was clear. It lifted me and brought me joy and tears. 

My highlights. The edge of glory – she played this on the piano and told the crowd she just lost a friend. It fucking sucked. And she’ll never forget when she looked her friend in the eye and said she would live forever – they both knew it was a lie but she said it anyway. That’s when Karen embraced me and started crying – I cried too. It was the sweetest moment and I’m documenting so I never forget.  Sometimes it takes the threat of loss to make the present better. ❤️

Then Lady Gaga played Joanne. The name of the album and a dedication to her aunt that died at a young age from Lupus. She shared that she was passed an intergenerational grief. She couldn’t understand why she and her family were always so sad. But she was born that way and it’s what’s made her who she is. That resonates with me so much because I too have felt grief since the moment I took my first breath. Nothing was ever good enough. Nothing made us happy. No matter how much we had, it felt like we had nothing because we were always coming from a place of lack.

Through this Cancer journey so far, I’ve learned just how much emotional grief affects us as humans. It may seem like hoopla and loopy shit, but energy is real. It’s genetic, it’s self-limiting and it’s infectious. And it’s a part of us, believe it or not. Accept and come to terms that it’s there, take it with us on our adventures and find the way to move forward instead of getting stuck in the past. Everyone is going through something – it’s human to feel pain, but suffering is optional. You can still heal and leave a legacy.  

The beauty of music is that even though it was written with a specific purpose or reason, it can still be so subjective and take on so many different meanings… “I bow down and pray. I try to make the worse seem better. Lord show me the way to cut through all this worn out leather. I’ve got a hundred Million Reasons to walk away, but baby I just need one good one to stay.” Maybe I used to think of this for my relationships or work, but now it’s to save my life. And Love. That’s all. 

“Joanne. Girl, where do you think you’re going?  Heaven’s not ready for you.”

Damn straight. And I’m not Joanne. I’m Joanna.