Archive for October, 2014
Tonight my friend Aileen is getting to see Fleetwood Mac in concert and even though I am seeing them in 2 weeks myself (in Saskatoon) I can’t help but feel a surge of excitement for Aileen myself. After all… tonight she will be in the presence of Stevie Nicks…..
I love you … Aileen, Stevie, Lindsay and all of Fleetwood Mac!!!!
Two ‘little things’ that meant a lot to me this week….
1. My friend Ashely surprised me with fuzzy dice for my jeep – which came as a total surprise. I have dreamed of having fuzzy dice in my vehicle for years, even years before I ever had a drivers licence! Upon opening up my mail box this week I found this surprise waiting for me and it make me laugh out loud in delight. Very thoughtful. Very much appreciated.
2. My cat Doobie was never especially affectionate when he was a kitty; but over the past 5 years I have noticed he has become more and more affectionate with me – especially upon his move from Ottawa to Flin Flon. Its become a regular part of my ‘morning routine’ to find that he jumps up on my lap while I sip coffee and read blogs and news feeds. Not only that, he purrs and sits perched on my lap without hesitation – I find it warms my heart and even has the potential to make me later for work !!
Here’s to the little things that mean a lot…
Do you ever feel like such a phony?
Sometimes I do, and I particularly felt it last night.
To begin, my first love in life is music; listening, writing, playing, singing and recording. Though music has had a significant place throughout my entire life, I am by no means a formally educated or trained musician. In fact, low confidence as a kid compelled me to avoid things like choir or the band because of fear – as a result my passion was largely confined to my bedroom, where I could feel at ease to explore it independently.
Fast forward to present time and I’m a far cry from hiding away; the years have been good to me in terms of being able to slowly step outside of my shell, embrace the experience of working musically with people. What a joy these past 4-5 years have been; finding inspiration through the gifts of so many talented people but also being able to hone in on my own skills as a singer, songwriter, performer.
When it comes to ‘playing’ with others, I do not discriminate – in general I’m just happy to work with anyone willing – and I can certainly appreciate how each individual comes with their own unique skillset. I’ve learned that I thrive most in the presence of artists who come equipped with experience and this stems from appreciating the guidance of those who have learned how to hone their skills.
However, on a bad day – I feel like a big phony. Well perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, and not entirely true – but I certainly recognized a feeling of being a bit of a ‘fraud’ or imposter after last night’s rehearsal and I had to sort that out in my head. I knew it was crazy.
You see, I’m playing in a couple of bands at this time – both of which include artists I admire incredibly; either they come from musical families in which their skills have been fostered for years, or perhaps they’ve had formal education in music or simply have played in a group setting for long enough that they have a ‘voice’ in which to communicate with each other. Not a voice in the singing sense, but the voice of communication and direction, which is definitely a component to playing with others. One must know how to take cues or express the finer details involved in bringing music to life, i.e., know what they’re talking about.
Generally speaking – the folks I play with, I find are SO multi-talented; it’s not unlike them, as musicians to play several instruments, and with great talent too. Not only that but I hear them discussing things like tempo, keys, transitions, etc. – it’s amazing to me and I see that as such strength. A strength that I don’t have.
The lamest part of all: I allowed myself to go to that place in my head, (where as I’m listening and observing the dialogues taking place as we unite to create our show for December), where I could hear thoughts like “Beyond your ‘voice” you have nothing to contribute or bring to the table CC”, or “You can play guitar, but not on par with these people…” At times I really just felt silly, quiet and awkward because of my own deficiencies, which I felt, were fully exposed. The fear of not being ‘good enough’. Cripes hadn’t I already been there – done that? I kinda laugh now.
The night was incredible – and the music we’re playing is downright pulsating with life and so the overall feeling I am having is definitely one of enjoyment, make no mistake. What I’m talking about, I realize has little to do with the specific group/scenario for which I’m referring to – and its more about that inner feeling of being an weaker-than. I’ve heard it referred to by some as ‘imposter syndrome’, a sort of psychological phenomenon in which it’s said people are unable to internalize their accomplishments, despite external evidence of their ‘competence’. By no means am I certain about anything, but after reading up on it I was intrigued by the notion of how those who really do struggle with this ‘phenomenon’ remain convinced they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof is apparently dismissed as ‘luck’, timing, or as a result of deceiving other into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be…
I am not self-diagnosing but I can’t help but take something from all of this. What I do know: we all have our innate ‘gifts’ and in the context of playing in a group with other people perhaps any of us ask ourselves “Yeah but what am I bringing to the table?”. Each and every one of us, regardless of however formally trained or experienced we are within what we do – also has room to grow.
In the end I remain proud of whatever gifts I may have, and I also make a commitment to myself to continue moving forward despite any of these insecurities, because these feelings aside – I want to enjoy making music and be a part of something joyful. That alone is worth the icky (and changeable) feeling of inadequacy.