I have been held hostage for 10 years by the dream of an 18 year old girl. It was a good dream and it led me down some interesting paths.
Following those paths allowed me to meet Joe, move to Nashville, get to make music with some cool people, and get to sing in a few cool places. But for reasons I could never quite understand, it never manifested itself into technicolor reality.
I’ve waited in lines at iconic Nashville spots, hoping to be “discovered.” I’ve played for an audience of two people (one of which was Joe) hoping to get to “meet the right people.”
I have been told platitude after platitude. “All it takes is one song.”
“You just have to keep working.”
“If you want it bad enough it will come true.”
These are all good and encouraging words that never took full root in my heart.
After a while, I told myself I needed to continue pursuing this dream because I didn’t want to disappoint the people who were cheering me on in my life.
In reality, I didn’t want to disappoint myself. Although, it was too late, I already had. No matter how many unique and fun experiences I was able to have, I still felt unfulfilled and listless.
Every time someone I knew had a success, jealousy would creep into my veins. I wasn’t becoming a more whole person in this fantasy. I was crumbling.
About two years ago I started realizing this dream of mine...wasn’t sustainable. But I was trapped. I was held to a code of honor that an 18 year old built.
Anytime I thought of a different course to take, she pulled me back. She was a phantom tyrant, holding me to truths I no longer believed.
So, I started cutting one chord at a time. Imagining my life differently, remembering deep and old yearnings I had set aside to obey my captor. I am embarrassed to say it took two years of painfully breaking free to finally feel my age.
Because this is the truth.
I am not 18 anymore. Thank God.
I am not as naive as I used to be. Thank God.
I am evolving as a person. I have tried and failed to imagine my life without writing music. This is it for me, until another dictator takes it’s place.
The difference is, I’m learning how to govern my ambition to suit my needs and passions, instead of bending myself to it’s will.
I wish I were a faster learner. I wish I could turn on a dime. Instead I have to trudge in the trenches one shovelful of dirt at a time.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind...or to simply change. It’s not fair to force yourself to live by rules that were fashioned when you had less knowledge. There will always be rulers trying to dictate your actions. But sometimes the tyrant you need to revolt against...is yourself.