Jump, jumping, jumped

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I'm in a very introspective place right now. Last night I hosted the moderators/speakers workshop for InterPLAY, the St. Louis Interactive Festival so many of us have been yammering on about. We held it in Chris's building and it was the very first time such a large group of people outside Chris and Doug's circle saw it.


It was also the first time that I met a handful of area bloggers whose work and personalities I've admired from afar. One by one I met them at the massive metal side door before we trekked through unfinished construction and up the elevator to the finished Shock City offices where we sat in a ring of metal chairs, cracked jokes, talked shop, and shared a beer with Bill, who brought a case with him. I looked around the room at my contemporaries, members of an unofficial official industry, and felt an immense sense of privilege to be able to embark on such an ambitious project with them. I know that I'm one of those people that others either love or hate, and this says more about me than I've ever wanted to reveal about my personality, but I just assume that people will always feel the latter. I assume they will and hope that they won't.


After the meeting Chris gave an impromptu tour of his building. This building has shaved an easy five years' off of our life. But what is duration if it's hollow? What is life if you don't at least stick a toe into the unknown everyday? I hung in the back as he explained each room, his motivation, the purpose of the place. That building is his dream manifested. We are going through such a stressful time right now, it seems like this past year has been a series of those. Looking back they seem nothing more than a bunch of scattered vignettes, frozen moments of tears, heartache, frustration.


I tried to downplay my absolute terror at the enormous weight of such a dream, to scoff at the various amounts of stress we've been under to pull this off, by making a couple of jokes here and there. I didn't know what the people there thought of it everything, until I read Mae's account this morning. Her words pierced through it all and relieved some of the pressure, somehow, simply because she gets it. (Read her post.) When I told her that sometimes Chris and I lie in bed at night, turn and look at each other with terror in our hearts and tears in our eyes, and silently communicate "Oh my gawd. What if we fail?" it was the most honest I've ever been about this entire experience with anyone. Like, just by even admitting the possibility will make failure a reality or something.


The good - or sad - thing is that I am so driven for him, that drive, that belief in him has eliminated my doubts, my cynicism that it won't work. He doesn't have bad ideas. His planning, his execution, is spot-on. Sometimes I get so frustrated living with a counterpart who is so much better than me on so many levels but it's the reason why when he extends his hand while standing at the edge of a cliff and says "Jump. Trust me," I do.


And I jump.


I also enjoy watching him on the cusp of accomplishing his life's dream, second he says, to us. (I don't care how sappy that sounds. That's where my head is right now.)


So as he was telling everyone about recording music, about his building, a legacy really, and sweeping his arms all around, I was proud. Pride tempered with fear. For so long I've felt very alone in this feeling. Because of that I'm thrilled to have met Mae and realize that she gets it, too, she's there herself. She's right on the cusp of something amazing.


When people do well in St. Louis, St. Louis does well. I am so hopeful.


A lot of them will be at InterPLAY this weekend. I would be over the moon if you could join us.


I too was thrilled to meet everyone last night. I'm so excited to be a part of the inaugural InterPlay. We are going to bust this blogging thing wide open. And I helped! (Cue the 70s Shake and Bake music).

The studio is amazing. You and Chris are so going places. I agree with Matt's comment on Mae's blog this morning. You have got it goin' on and someone soon is going to recognize that and you're going to go off like a rocket. Just remember us little people, mmkay?

Your entry gave me chills.

Mae's blog post made me laugh.

Thank you for sharing both.

Oh, to pursue our dreams! This is wonderful! I feel that way watching my husband sometimes, and even better, I know he feels that way when I do the things I love.

Good, supportive marriages are grossly underrated. Pursuing your dreams -- your actual, deep-down dreams, not the ones that look good on paper -- is even more so. I'm so glad you both had the balls to do this, and each other to see it through.

Much love.

I read Mutha Mae earlier today. I left a comment about how awesome I thought it was that two strong women got along so well.

Pursuing a dream is scary. While all of the world is moving along on Plan A, I always feel like I'm on Plan 31.5 of some other manual. But what I want for my life... how I plan to live my days... it's not an average road. I find myself doubting and wanting to pick up the other manual every now and then (read: daily) because I want people to like me. Then I snap out of it and remember that the opinions of those people don't really matter if I'm unhappy.

Thanks for being so raw and sharing these "scary" thoughts with us. It's very reassuring to know that everyone feels this way sometimes.

so so so so happy for you. both of you. GO! GO! GO!

When you introduced me to Chris last night, I thought, Oh right, we haven't met! The energy / synergy you share, it's sweet to be around. So go on, share those dreams, let them be second to the thing that joins you. They're big enough -- ambitious, for sure; impressive, in fact -- but not as big as a couple who choose one another, who choose life together.

I have always envied your career. I'm ten years older and sitting at home just dreaming while you're out there, living your dreams. What I did was take that envy use it to motivate me to get out there and DO SOMETHING! Your career inspired me to get one of my own. I'd read your posts and freak out because it reminded me that I could be doing so much more.Why wasn't I? Because I wasn't trying hard enough.

You are always going to battle with people who don't understand you. That's the downside of being someone who stands out. You speak up when people want you to be quiet. You have strong opinions and you follow what you believe. You want something and you go out there and make it happen. That's going to rub people the wrong way because it reminds them of what's lacking in their own lives or the flaws in their own thinking.

Don't hate the playa, hate the game. It took me a long time to learn there's enough good to go around for everyone. Wouldn't life be better if we took that envy and let it fire us up and make changes. Wish people well and send them on their way. Then put on those blinders and keep trudging forward. Don't make comparisons. Don't get caught up in negativity. Maybe it's old age that's taught me that. Or maybe just following that route and getting results has shown me that negative thoughts destroy your soul and slows you down. Focus on the good and good will come to you.

I've also learned the only opinions that truly matter are Matt and the children's. The most important thing for me to be is a good mom, a good wife, a good person, and a good employee so the bills can get paid. I love this expression, and yes I over-use it and yes it's crude but, "You don't pay me, you don't lay me, get the hell out of my way."

At the end of the day, remember that Chris and your boys are your biggest fans. They are the ones who truly matter.

I just want you to know that I admire you very much. For a long time it was from afar. Then I was thrilled with the opportunity to meet you in person and I hope to get to know you better through the Guild. I admire your drive and your passion. I, too, possess both of those, but sorely lack the confidence and self belief that I could pull any one of my dreams off. Being a mother is one sort of dream and it's a great one, but I have a couple of others that I've hesitated to pursue because I'm scared of failure, scared of looking the fool, scared of letting my kids down, mostly scared of letting myself down. But you've inspired me, espeically with many of your recent posts. It will still take some time to get over this nasty mountain of fear, but being in your company and the company of so many other talented individuals gives me the courage to take those little steps forward. So thanks.

YOU inspire me. After reading an article on how divorce is not only OK, but maybe better for women, it's refreshing to see a strong woman who isn't afraid to support her husband and his dreams.

I too am one of those people you love or hate but I like it that way. I don't want anyone to feel wishy-washy about me because I don't feel that way about life.

When I feel scared of my plans, I look at yours. If you and Chris can attempt this, I can chase my dream.

Good luck to you!

Geez. You made me miss St. Louis. Not that I ever stopped missing it.


i hope to see you this weekend. i'm so glad you all put the whole shebang together. and whether you know it or not, there are a ton of people out here pulling for the loesches. i hope you all succeed in your endeavors.

I think this is probably your best post ever.

Cutting to the chase: I'm sure that you get plenty of comments (either first-hand or second-hand) along the lines of "how lucky" you and Chris are for doing all these incredible things. I've seen the same thing where I work, even.

While I'm sure that luck factors in, I think most luck is really an individual's ability and drive to take advantage of opportunities.

Within SECONDS of meeting Chris last night, I could tell that this studio was his life's dream. SECONDS. And it truly is an amazing thing.

Within minutes of seeing you both together, I could see that you are peas in a pod with regard to ambition, determination, sense of humor, etc. and also easily complement each other.

There's where your success, past, present, and future comes from: A shared vision and support for each other's dreams. You are both truly inspirational in so many ways. It's an honor to know you!

I went home last night and told my wife, Dianne, "Wow. Just....wow!" I think that sums it all up the best.

Congratulations on weathering the storms and trials that doing so many great things often brings! I suspect that all this is just the beginning.

Those feelings of insecurity that you have are what the those of us looking in at you from the outside call humility. Never lose that, or the knowledge that where you are right now is not the limit of what you are capable of.

I'm so thrilled for your family, Dana, and feel so much for you guys, especially after reading Mae's post as well.

It seems especially hard for my family right now to think or speak of dreams as ours are the ones that have crashed to the floor--our kids are no longer with us and we're still mourning that loss.

At the same time, however, I am so, so glad to know that for some people out there, dreams do come true. Please keep us informed of your progress.


good for you. and congratulations to chris. hard work will pay off. the bldg. looks awesome.
it will be a great place to work. i liked the part you talk about his confidence. he says, trust me...how cool. it's nice when a guy says trust me.

So true! I'm a St. Louisan to (Tower Grove area) and my husband and I love to see people putting their energies into revitalization. Good for you!

So true! I'm here in STL city, too. I love to see revitalization efforts and people feeling good about putting their energies into this place!

Cheers to you!

It's always inspiring and interesting to read of someone truly going after their dream. My husband and I are trying to do the same right now. It's a great feeling yet terrifying like you said at the same time.

The best of luck to you and your family.

I have read your blog for quite some time, starting after I found you from the (cough, cough) paper that you used to write for. I loved your writing then, and enjoy it even more now. I am also a St. Louisan, we live on The Hill, and have finally started blogging myself after reading other people's writing for so long (writing is a long time dream for me). My husband & I rehab property all over South St. Louis & so I love that you are also a city dweller & notice the amazing beauty/potential we have right under our noses. They just don't make them like they used to! I've enjoyed watching the pictures of the studio come to life and can't wait until you post the "finished product"! I would so love to come tonight, I'm just trying to figure out how to get out of the house in time (as you know, when you're self employed, you're never off work so I never see my husband).
I also loved Mae's post, I just found her through your site and look forward to reading more from her.
Good luck this weekend!

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