In my last post I mentioned I was trying to change the way I looked at certain things in my life. I decided to give myself the “gift” of exercise and not dreading it or making excuses for why I couldn’t or didn’t make it happen. Instead I decided to be appreciative that I was capable of exercise.
Maybe that is not a gift you would give yourself. Lest you think I am one-dimensional or a sudden exercise nut, I’ll share with you the second gift I decided to give myself. Now this is not something many of you know, but by sharing something personal you might decide to look within and find a “gift” you really want to give yourself. My second gift is more specific than exercise. It has two parts to it. I can’t really express the first part in a simple word, so I’ll try three: “continue writing songs”.
I started taking guitar classes a few years ago and then without intentionally doing so, songs began to shape themselves in my head. I wrote down snippets of verses and explored various chords. Over the last two years I have started five songs. They are in various stages of completion. I have no idea what is holding me back, if anything. Maybe I don’t give myself enough time to dink around on the guitar or experiment with lyrics. Maybe I wait for parts to come to me when I’m doing something mundane like loading the dishwasher.
I could have said I want to finish my songs, but that sounds more like something on a to do list. The second part of my gift is “perform original music in public”. No, I don’t want to be a rock-n-roll star, although I have had a blast playing in an ensemble over the past nine months. A fellow band mate in the ensemble more or less encouraged me to perform a song at a local bar that has open mic nights on the second Friday of each month (Fretknot Friday at Independence Tap in Chicago, if you want to know.) I have yet to accept her challenge even though several other of my band mates have. No one has performed original music for Fretknot, only covers, which is perfectly fine. What counts is they are getting up and performing, sometimes alone and sometimes with others.
I am jealous. I found that through playing and performing with the ensemble, I like being on stage. I like putting on a show. I am also frightened because when you are all by yourself it has to be good because no one can cover your mistakes. So, I’m still working on the material I have. I am proud to say that one of my songs has a pre-chorus. I think what keeps me thinking about music and performing is that more people play live music but fewer write their own music. I’m more than a little curious about how others will interpret my music. I’ll keep you posted.