Terrible Case of the Past {Amanda Palmer}

Being completely ready for anything is a fallacy.

There is a unique timing for action when readiness meets opportunity. Willingness to fail is a far better approach than waiting for the elusive ‘complete readiness’ to appear. Opportunities come and opportunities go, what you do with them when you have them is what matters.

  • Mostly, nearly, just about, kinda or quasi ready seem more accurate to me.

What can I say? I am a woman who likes to qualify things.

never ready


There are no guarantees in life, health, love or business. The past year has presented me with an incredible amount of opportunities to fail and I have taken nearly all of them head on because when opportunities, people and experiences which make my heart come alive find their way into my life, “Yes!” is the only answer which should be given.

Ready? Never.

Willing? Always.

Meet Amanda Palmer, an enigma who is always willing and rarely feels ready.

She is a deep soul of mystery, love and authenticity; a woman who embodies a willingness to risk failure to get what she wants out of life.

Amanda’s music is reminiscent of sitting on a rocky ocean shoreline; the crash of the waves fills your ears and the mist seeps through to your bones, yet somehow you remain warm.

As are with most things and people in life which you deeply appreciate and love, you find them when you’re not looking for them; I found Amanda through my love of memoir, not the radio.

Reading a memoir of someone you admire or who is extremely interesting is like going for a long idyllic walk with them and then finding yourself sitting out on their back porch with a glass of wine and your legs tucked under you while you watch the sun fall off the edge of the earth and start to count the stars. The conversation and sharing doesn’t stop until the last page is turned; the stars give way to the sunrise and coffee finds its way into your hands.

  • Around this time last year, I was deep in Amanda Palmer’s memoir, The Art of Asking.


Amanda is an intriguing and interesting soul, but not just for the reasons you find on her Twitter feed and album covers; she is who she is without apology and embraces the journey of being vulnerable and practicing love, whether fully ready or not.

A few days ago, I came home from an extremely emotionally exhausting day that was full day of coaching and consulting and felt the need to, “find the human statue singer lady’s music … what’s her name?”

Have you ever had the experience where you are supposed to know someone’s name and their name simply doesn’t exist in your brain?

Then you’re supposed to introduce them to someone else?

  • Embarrassing, awkward, demoralizing.

This sums up my ability to remember names of songs, bands and musicians. I hear something and the sound sticks in my heart while all the pertinent information about the song simply vanishes. When people ask me what music I listen to, I literally have to look at my phone to see what I have downloaded and am listening to at the moment.

Whatever you do, DON’T ask me to sing the song for you because I just might and you will never be able to get those 15 seconds of your life back.

If my life depended on singing even reasonably on tune, I would be dead. This may be one of the reasons I avoid traveling to the Middle East, simply because if I were to encounter a hostage situation and be forced to sing O Canada! to prove my subarctic heritage, no one would believe me.

Let’s just say googling with all I had left in my sparse recollection I had about Amanda led to some interesting results before I found her.

Her new song, Machete, made me sob when I listened to it. She sings of love and loss; love of someone who changed her life and fully loved her for who she was and didn’t let her be anything but her best self.

A terrible case of the past.

Her lyrics are haunting and point out the fact that to live a life of love, connection and risk taking creates the potential for huge loss, pain and heartache; in fact it is inevitable. Yet, there is no way else to live but to be free, to love people with your whole heart and to take opportunities that come your way whether you are ready or not; to risk aching for a past which is no longer your present.

Here is the world


To experience a terrible case of the past is both heart rending and encouraging. While reminding you of what you’ve lost, it gives you hope for a future by holding up a mirror to your soul and reflecting back your capacity to live well. It reminds you that you have within yourself what it takes to be happy and live an amazing life.

  • How you live today will be your past tomorrow, make it worth experiencing a terrible case of the past now and again.

Grab onto opportunities, people and adventures which light up your soul when they come across your path and hold tight until its time to let go; allow them to be woven into the fabric of your soul and to change you for the better.

And in the moments of terrible cases of the past, lean into the feelings and savor what you had and then lean out into the big world ahead because there is more, whether you are ready for it or not.

Go be amazing, its the best choice you’ll ever make. 


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  1. I had never heard of Amanda until right now. I guess I don’t get out much. Time for me to learn more. I get the sense the musically she is speaking to women, but so to is this blog. Still, I read, I listen, and I practice to be compatible.

    With regard to fear and living, I am reminded of one of the greatest lessons I ever learned….

    Flying a Cessna 152, solo for the first time, and as the front wheel of the plane separated from the runway, and as I knew I was in the air at my power and my will, I thought:

    Shit! I’m going to die! I’m in an airplane all alone, and I’m going to crash.

    Simultaneously to that though, I also thought:

    I’m flying a freaking airplane!!! My myself!!!! I have never lived as full!!!

    And that, my Canadian funk soul brother, is life!

    If you leap, the net will appear…

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