I used to think I never had a story to tell. Whenever people would ask me to tell them about myself, I would respond with “There’s nothing to tell really.”
Usually when someone says this, they have something to hide. I never had trouble in school, I was never kicked out of the house or got bad grades. I finished high school and went to work in random jobs ranging from fast food to factory worker to administrative support to piano instructor. I had nothing to hide but the fact the I was living a mediocre life. And that's my point. Overcoming mediocrity has become my mission in life ever since I left Seattle in 2014.The first step in this is recognizing and acknowledging things I have done.
When I was working in the 9-5 world, I felt I never did anything extraordinary or went beyond duty. I did my work and went home. But recently I started to look at some of the things I did outside of work. This was my first step to realize and acknowledge that I've done more in life than what I was looking at. Things like like entering into music competitions as a performer and composer and winning, learning how to record myself by trial and error, teaching myself how to play didgeridoo and keyboard, learning how to become a piano instructor with no formal training myself, taking up figure skating and learning many of the jumps and spins we see in the Olympic Games.
It was easy to overlook these accomplishments at the time because my life was so focused on keeping myself fed and housed on a physical level. I didn’t take these things seriously enough to believe that I could actually make a career out of them. Still, there was this little glowing ember deep down inside that kept nudging me to move forward and commit to keep going with more creative endeavors. I opened myself to this small fire and began to fan the flames with envisioning what life could look like in a year, three years, five years. I had all kinds of “what if” scenarios running through my head. What if I could come roaring out of this period of my life and make a life I loved? What if I could do the impossible and be that late bloomer that writes amazing music that blows people minds? I still harbor this one. What if I could actually win a Grammy and have all kinds of music placements in film and television and make a steady living at making music? These seemed entirely ridiculous but possible. Envisioning and feeling into these scenarios had become the driving force that keeps rattling my audacious side into action. So what I'm an older musician? I'm more experienced. So what I'm a woman? I do it anyway. So what I know very little about how the current music business works? I think outside of the box and find a way that works for me. It's required a lot of experimenting, exploration, trust and faith but I'm getting there.
I’m not anyone famous and who knows if I will ever win a Grammy but I’m gaining an audience that loves what I do. Right now, that’s all I could ever ask for – a supportive base that really loves what I do but more importantly the energy I do it with. It’s occurred to me a couple of years ago that it’s not so much about the music I make as it is about the enthusiasm and joy I present it with. I know when I find my way to someone that has so much passion and enthusiasm about what they're doing, I can't help but get fired up and go to work. If they can to it, so can I. I’ll admit, there are days where it’s hard to muster that enthusiasm, especially when self-doubt raises it’s head. But when the enthusiasm IS there, it’s like riding this great wave that carries you to where you want to go. Dreams are more possible when this happens. You feel people collect along side of you and walk with you in the journey of us. And the curious start asking how you did things because they want to do it too. A sense of purpose takes place adding meaning to the things you do. This is gold in of itself and I am ever grateful for it. Finding ways of giving back has filled me to overflowing.
So, do I have a story? Of course I do. We all do. The thing is to find the energy and inspiration in your story or someone else's to let it guide you to what you want. This is the crux of storytelling whether it's a myth, fairytale, folktale or novel. Stories inspire us to dream and take action. They are encouraging and they hopefully guide us to act in wisdom. I'm excited about stepping into this next chapter to go from fulfilling myself with my work to helping others find a way. I plan on revealing more of my story in future entries because if they even inspire or encourage one person then my job has meaning.
Thank you for reading this. Let me know your thoughts. Or if you have a part of your story to share, please do! I would love to hear them. Take care and if you have a dream, let yourself be encouraged to find a way to work on it. It’s the only way it will come true.