I recently made a reasonably life changing decision to quit my stable job and dedicate time to pursuing my dream of being a musician. The number one question from people was 'are you not scared?' Well, in a word, yes. I was quite terrified and I adopted a defeatist attitude for a while. Then, after an unexpected and overwhelming amount of support from those I told, my attitude turned around, but this occured after I accepted a few things. 1) I may never be successful 2) I may never be rich 3) I shall be devoting my life to music regardless.
I now spend a lot of time with people of the same mind set. People with holes in their clothes and happiness in their hearts. To me there is nothing more beautiful then watching a musician perform, seeing them lose themselves in the memory of where the song stemmed from, reliving the emotion and forgetting about every other person in the room. London is a daunting place for a musician, as the talent is beyond anything one would ever imagine before diving into the music scene. This I found extremely tormenting, and I found myself resenting other musicians who I thought were better then me. It might hinder my chances of success. I am glad to say that that pompous attitude has now been replaced with an immense respect for these people. I have also realised that the beauty of this art is that majority of what I see is incomparable. It comes from a piece of someone's soul, which therefore makes it unique. I now focus on the courage it takes for someone to show their deepest, darkest and dearest emotions, often the most tender of emotional wounds, for the viewers to treat or trample as they please.
For me, doing this was the beginning of complete and utter self acceptance. It took me 21 years to be able to showcase my music, to which the reaction was completely varied. Some praised politely, some criticized openly and some had no reaction at all. Honesty is the key to creating beautiful music, something I always knew and the reason I ignored my desire to try and create it. To do that I would have to face my whole self and all my flaws head on, a difficult feat for anyone. Now after doing it for two years I am at ease with it, and therefore at ease with myself.
I don't want the stability of knowing what's to come. There is this constant fear of the unknown and I love it. It's what I thrive on. It keeps me going. And stability by whose standards? I am quite certain it is a mythical concept, created by those in power in order to deter us from reaching our full potential. There are social standards that exist that I feel are extremely toxic to human beings and are the cause of much of the vanity, insecurity and depression that is, in my opinion, prevalent these days. I used to be ashamed of being a musician. I made excuses and would always refer to other, more respectable things I was doing when asked; studying for a degree, working in an office etc. I have the utmost respect for everyone who does these things, however I never should have myself. There are people whose personality or natural skills do not suit that lifestyle. Instead of nurturing and developing them skills they are often seen as idiots and irrelevant. Trades, art and other forms of work that aren't seen to be excelling in academic skill have lost the respect of society, which I think is both worrying and a real shame. I'm not going to change this aspect of society, however I will live according to my own principles. I now hold my head up high and tell people I am a musician with confidence. Come and see me play before you judge, listen to my CD before you cast me off as a wannabe with a pipe dream. Our attitude needs to change. If you ever thought of diving into the unknown DO IT. There is hidden beauty everywhere and there are millions trying to find it with you.