Earlier this week, my lovely Little Blogger (from After Nine to Five’s Big Blogger, Little Blogger program) Mayra from PonderWonders asked me about how things were going with item #5 on my Life List… Record an album of my own original songs.
To say that it caught me a little off guard would probably be the understatement of the century.
In fact, for about twenty seconds my internal monologue was screaming, “Oh my god! Oh my god! Where did you read that?!” before I remembered that the Life List that I rarely ever update or even look at and for the most part can’t even tell you from memory what’s on it contained that little morsel.
You see, that goal is my most guarded secret. (Except for I guess it’s not because I’m writing a blog post about and well… it was on the list.) It’s that goal that I’m pretty much three-quarters convinced will never happen because I will become the great self-saboteur. It’s the goal that I’m horrendously embarrassed about. It’s the one that if you were bring it up to me face to face, I will turn bright red, my throat will start to close up and I will start stuttering and change the subject on you. Or maybe run away and hide in the bathroom.
If you ever end up delving into any literature / programs about becoming an artist / living an artistic lifestyle, one of the first topics you’re going to encounter is about what they call voice injury or voice damage. It isn’t literal voice damage, like your vocal chords still work and make noises and all that but it’s referring to that little thing in your head that says “I can’t do this.” and then spouts off a dozen and a half different reasons as to why you’re not good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, so on and so forth… End result, your creative voice is injured, battered and weak.
For me, there is no place where my voice injuries are more apparent or painful than when it comes to music. It is in this medium where I feel the most vulnerable and the most feeble…. and oddly, the medium where I am most desiring of achievement.
To move forward, I need to let go of the past that haunts me. I need to let go of the fear of asking for help, the fear of rejection, the fear of being seen for who I truly am. It burdens me and frightens me.
I am primarily a vocalist and a lyricist. I know how to enough music theory and how to play guitar, piano, and violin to rough something out… but not enough to really pull something together compositionally on my own. “Writing Music” in my world is being able to play a few chords and maybe rough out a melody line.
For those of you who aren’t musically inclined enough to know what I’m talking about… it means I need to find other people to play with, I can’t do this one on my own.
And well… that’s scary.
It’s exciting and scary on that level that the idea of having sex was when you were a virgin… Like, you might walk up to someone you really like and say something awkward… “I think you’re cute so we should totally go back to my place fuck and make babies.”
Fucking in this case is jamming. Babies in this case are records.
And I’m a virgin, so like… I’m that person who’s going to probably freak out the moment I have to sing and say I can’t do it, and you’ll probably have to drive me around for a couple of hours trying to get me to sing Avett Brothers tunes in the car and I hope you have a car, or else this is going to take a lot of whiskey and rounds of Rock Band to be able to get me not afraid to sing in front of you.
Seriously, I think having an orgasm in front of an audience of strangers would be easier than singing in front of someone I might want to write a song with would be. (In fact, I’m POSITIVE that’s easier.)
That’s all to say that the life list item about recording an album of my original songs is… at this point… a goal on pause. Occasionally, I get the urge to push forward on songwriting, but then it halts. Little of what I’ve written has made it to the point where I might even consider playing it for someone.
However, there are two songs out there on the Internet that I did for a open mic several years ago. If you’re a clever googler, you might be able to find them. Or if you ask… I’m just too shy to link to them.
Do you have a dream that you’re too scared to commit to? What is it?