Going Back and Moving Forward

Posted: January 23, 2011 in disappointment, healing
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Some things take longer than others to come full circle. For the past year or so, I’ve been working on putting a band together, which is something I haven’t seriously considered doing since I was seventeen. For most of that time, I haven’t been healthy enough. Being a lead singer requires willingness to be open to the critiques of others, and the ability to accept the fact that some people aren’t going to like you. It’s scary to put yourself out there where others can judge you. This is the same reason I put off looking for a literary agent for my novel…I knew it was going to entail a lot of rejection, and the thought of that was devastating.

The bottom line is that rejection, no matter how prepared you are, hurts. Unless you can add several doses of healthy self-confidence to counteract that, it can be devastating. I’ve avoided that devastation at all costs because I wasn’t sure how to do anything else.

I’ve been on several auditions and played music with a few different people in the past few months since I’ve been looking for bandmates. The chemistry just hasn’t been right with any of them. I knew that finding the right people to start a band with was going to be a challenge, but deep down, the same doubts and lack of self-confidence that I’ve always had have been threatening to resurface. Every rejection makes me wonder if I’m really cut out for this.

Then I have to stop and remind myself that I haven’t done all this work to get healthy just to isolate myself in my bedroom like I’ve done for the past ten years. Every time there’s a rejection, I get another chance to try again, learn from the experience, and improve. It hasn’t been easy putting that into practice, but it’s rewarding – if I’m putting myself in a position to be rejected, it means I’ve put myself out there and I’ve tried. That’s a good thing.

A couple of weeks ago I met up with a drummer who used to play for a fairly well-known band in San Diego. I was a little baffled that he was willing to work with me in the first place, considering how much more experience he has than I do, but so far we’ve hit it off. There are a lot of ways that hanging out with him reminds me of being sixteen again, when I was starting my first band. Last night we played music for a few hours with a guitarist I just met, and then listened to music until midnight, just talking about what bands we like and what kinds of music we want to make. It reminded me of the excitement I used to feel back then, when I still felt like I had all my dreams and my whole life in front of me, even if I wasn’t sure how to achieve them.

I’m finally in a place where I can recapture some of those dreams that I haven’t kept in sight for the past few years. I’m in a different place now physically and emotionally, so the path to achieving them will be different. When I was younger, that seemed like a negative, but now I’m in a place where I can see that it’s just as rewarding and just as worthwhile. I don’t know if this band line up is going to be “the one” that works, and there is still a lot of work to do, but at least I’m on the road to doing it.

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