Lessons In Repurposing Seeds To Serve A Dream

My musical journey started with an instrument similar to what you see in the photo above. This is a Magnus table top chord organ that was made in the 60's and early 70's primarily for kids. If it hadn't been for this humble little instrument, I would not be here typing on this blog about my journey or making music or performing or recording or making didgeridoos or, or, or.... I most likely would have traveled a path of an endless string of service industry jobs till the day I could retire on a meagre income and I would have never gone past what I call a working class mindset. 

Like many artists, there have been many things I've overcome and are overcoming in order to thrive with my work. Chosing to be a full time musician is a huge risk. There are no guarantees you'll make it and enormous amounts of competition the farther you go so overcoming issues that you've carried with you is imperative to whether or not you succeed at your craft. One of the biggest issues I've been overcoming is that of the working class mindset. While this might not sound like much to overcome, it's actually a big issue for many of us who come from a blue collar working class background and one that is not so easily understood by those who come from more middle class. 

First let me lay out what those of us who come from this kind of background are up against. In our particular family we value practicality over dreaming, thrift over abundance and sticking with what you know over exploring possibilities. Authority rules over enthusiasm and emotions are thing to be avoided. So imagine being a kid who is a huge dreamer and isn't afraid of exploring potential and possibilities and is stubborn and audacious enough to push past the envelop to see what happens. That is me. 

I first discovered this part of me when I experienced the joy of exploring my musical gifts at the age of six. I remember sitting on top of a high boy dresser at a friends house playing the little chord organ she had. I don't remember exactly what i did but my mom explained it to me years later that I was picking out a song I heard on the radio. Apparently, she realized what I was doing and later that year got a chord organ for me for Christmas. Little did any of us know, it was game over at that point when it came to what was expected of me and being true to myself later on down the road. The door was opened for me to come in and discover what I had inside. It was an invitation far too tantalizing to resist.

It was also an invitation that set up a lot of conflict down the road as I came of working age. I wanted to go to college to learn music but it was expected of me that I go get a job or if I wanted to go to college it was strongly recommended that I study something more practical. It was the typical battle of wills that required flexibility on my part because parental authority and wishes were not to be messed with. So, I agreed to get a job but it would be a job that I would like and not just any job. I found what I thought was going to be a job teaching organ to beginners at a local organ and piano store but as it turned out I was 18 and didn't fully understand that it was up to me to bring in students. Needless to say, I wasn't very successful with this job and ended up working in fast food for the next five years. But even as I worked through the string of 9-5 jobs, I never let go of the idea that I was going to be a composer for film and television. 

But I digress......sort of.

Part of overcoming the working class mindset is not so much weeding out those seeds that no longer serve us but repurposing them so they can serve us in the moment while you cultivate better seeds. Thrift is one such seed that I've repurposed for the moment to direct much of the money I make back into my business so I can grow it. It means going without many other things for the moment but knowing that those things will show up when I need them or are ready for them. Practicality is another seed I've repurposed to serve the dream I have by taking action steps toward what I really want in life while keeping my eye on the prize. Even the string of jobs I had developed skills that I still use today. Skills like customer relations, typing, working with computers, fundraising, relationship development, marking and PR all of them I learned on the job and are serving me now. This is how I'm overcoming the working class mindset by repurposing it and making it serve a dream. So if you find yourself in the same boat, I want to invite you to take a different perspective of what you have and use your imagination to see how you can repurpose it to serve what you want out of life. Especially if you're an artist no matter what discipline you're in. And remember back to when you started your practice as a musician how it felt to engage in your explorations and let that enthusiasm return. This is what remembering playing a little chord organ has done for me. 

Thank you so much for reading this. If you're a musician or even a closet musician I hope you found it helpful.

Take care all and sending you much love,Pam

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