"Do what you love", "Follow your heart". These are timeless pieces of advice romanticized by Hollywood and spoken with questionable conviction by parents trying to encourage their kids to dream while praying inside that they will keep at least one foot in reality. When those "family discussions" happen and the son or daughter boldly announces their intention to be any number of things besides what the proud parents had envisioned for them, the outcomes can be transforming in uplifting, OR devastating ways. Since I am a parent myself and now have that vantage point to add to my perspective, I can say it is a precarious balancing act wanting your offspring to be responsible and at the same time wanting to see them attain their loftiest vision (within reason of course). I don't know what your parents were like, but mine tended to lean heavily toward the "follow the proven path and be responsible" concept. Wanting to be the good son, I did what they urged. I kept that day job to have something to pay the bills, as my step Father would preach firmly. It was as if he had seen in his crystal ball that I would fail miserably. Don't get me wrong, he is ALSO the man that kept me playing guitar in my teens when I might have given it up. See? that precarious balance. But, my parents over all seemed more certain that I would NOT be wise or successful in my musical pursuits, than the alternative. They did however manage to exude the mildest acknowledgement of my achievements, such as they were.
So, some forty years later, I find myself jaded with the whole performing process. Why? I have been asking myself that very question. Why would I begin to feel the need to say goodbye to something that I said was my passion all of these years? Why could I never quite get beyond a certain involvement level, or feel the confidence that my skill and talent should have given me? It seems the answer lies in that message that was drilled into my brain as a youngster about keeping something to "fall back on". Something about that has kept me from fully applying myself in all the areas that are vital to excelling no matter what the field or endeavor. I cannot blame my parents for wanting to protect me from utter failure and ruin.They loved me and believed they were looking out for my best interest. The best thing they could have done was given me every bit of support and then let me fail if that was to be my fate. They never questioned their beliefs and neither did I.
The questions are coming now, albeit rather late in the game. Still, if all IS as it should be, then I am second guessing myself needlessly. It is unsettling to be at this juncture at this time in my life. Career change is for the young and mobile and multi-skilled. Blissful ignorance and lack of planning on a few of those days I was "living in the moment" have made for interesting decision making now. I find myself seeking inner guidance and direction only to feel more lost or unsure of what to do or which way to go. next. It may sound like I am whining, buit I am not. I am merely stating the facts as I see them.
There is movement in new directions but progress is not easy to recognize when taking the first tentative steps of a whole new adventure. There is always only one way to go; FORWARD. So, I will be telling more of this story as it unfolds for me over the coming year. It feels like big changes are right around the corner and no one now has a voice strong enough or loud enough to convince me I can't do what I set out to do. I just have to settle on WHAT that is. More soon. Happy New Year!