Music practice.

This past week, I was able to locate a cool guitar amp. It should work well for what I want to do. And now I’m suddenly realizing that I have everything I need to get started. Which feels strange.

For so long, I’d told myself that I “couldn’t” play or write music anymore, because I didn’t have the equipment to do so. I had created a narrative that shifted all responsibility from myself onto the circumstances of my life. It became a kind of perverse comfort to me. I cast myself as the helpless victim, and gave myself license to feel constantly aggrieved.

Why so much effort? Why would I try so hard to keep from doing the thing that I loved? Now that I’m moving in that direction again, it’s starting to become clearer: I’m afraid. Music is still, on some level, something that I feel was “taken away from me”. And even though I’m engaged in a deliberate process of reclaiming that—perhaps because I am—these feelings are resurfacing.

The visual that I’m getting (because my brain likes to think in metaphor) is of me stepping out onto the high dive platform at my old school’s swimming pool. I used to jump off that thing all the time, back when I was in seventh grade. But every time that I would do it, part of me would be thinking, “you don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

Because it’s true; I didn’t. I suppose that was part of the thrill. I was flinging myself out into space, with no real plan for what I would do between the jump and the water. But I did it often enough that I got used to it. It was fun.

But the specific visual in my head isn’t of that childhood memory. I’m imagining me returning to that high dive now, as an adult. About halfway up the ladder, I would probably start to reconsider the decision. And by the time I reached the top and looked around, I would probably be thinking “fuck fuck fuck”. But then to run and jump off the end of the platform? I don’t even know what I would do.

That’s kind of where I am right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I have a million questions in my head, I’m second-guessing myself, I’m feeling like I’m not up to the task—in short, I’m nervous as hell.

But I have been taking steps toward getting myself back in shape, musically speaking. I practice throughout the day, leaving my guitar slung over my shoulder as I fill out TPS reports for work. I’ve also been using this blog to get back into shape as a songwriter. The way I see it, there’s no point in writing lyrics if I’m not willing to connect to myself and to what I’m really feeling. That’s what I’ve been trying to do here.

I think I’d also like to go out to a record store today. For inspiration, and because it’s fun.

And then, more practice.

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