We may all have aspirations and dreams. Those ideas that keep us up at night, playing themselves out perfectly in our head as we envision how amazing it would feel to actualize them. At night, we are passionate and fixated on our goals, and when we wake up in the morning we are met head on with reality.
Or is it fear?
Fear. Something that every day stops me from doing the things I love. Like playing music, or performing in front of a crowd of people. Even writing on this blog. Every time I push that little “publish” button, I get nervous about the words that I’m putting out into the world. Especially since I know that no one but me knows about this blog, or could find it because it is private. But it still makes me a little nervous to get my thoughts out there.
This fear is completely irrational and based off insecurities that I hide from myself. It is the fear of not being a good enough writer. That I’ll never compare to my friends or other bloggers that I admire, so why should I bother making this blog public? Life is so much safer when no one else knows.. Right?
Or my love of performing. It has been over a year since I prepared a song and sang in front of an audience. Why? Because I got so used to performing in front of my friends and in a place that I felt safe that I’m now terrified to put myself out there. In high school, I was the winner of Humberside Idol. Everyone knew I liked to sing. In Halifax, only a handful of close friends know I love music. It isn’t something I talk about. I’m afraid that I’ll fail. That I’ll sound terrible and people won’t take me seriously.
I’d like to blame my lack of confidence on the complete lack of inspiration that I’ve found whilst at school. Back in Toronto, all my friends played music or were passionate about music. Which meant that we inspired each other. We played together, and wrote together. It was what brought us together. Since then, I’ve met so many individuals who play music, and yet no one wants to talk about it or play together.
I remember being at a party last year, and I noticed my friend had a guitar leaning in a corner of his dorm room. I asked him to play me a song and we sat and played “Love Is All” by the Tallest Man on Earth. No one took any notice of us, and I felt like I did with my old friends in Toronto. At the end of the song, he looked at me and whispered, “You’re the first person who has ever heard me sing”. Then he put his guitar down, and walked away. We never spoke about music again.
It’s only hitting me now that he was afraid as well. That we’re all afraid to be judged to harshly, turned away or otherwise.
I am so thankful that I was able to experience such an inspiring and welcoming group of musicians in my high school year. Not only did they make me a better musician and songwriter, but they gave me so much confidence in my abilities.
Where did that confidence go?
I still have ideas. So many, that I lie in bed awake most nights dreaming about playing a cover at an open mic and how I could change it up to make it my own. Or wishing that I knew how to record music properly in my room so I could make my own videos to put on YouTube.
I have the means to do great things with my music. So why don’t I?
I need to get over it and fast. And so does the rest of the world.