When I was in primary school, around 8 or 9 years old, my class teacher at the time gave me a solo piece to sing at the school’s concert. Before this, I was in the choir which basically doesn’t count as singing really because kids are cute, no matter how the notes come out. The piece I did was from Micheal Jackson’s “Heal the world”. I can still remember how nervous I was. They had made each of us hold a candle in one hand, while doing some sort of formation in circles, then my part came and I had to step out into the spotlight. I nailed it – every note and every word.
When I was in high school, about 15 or so, my school hosted a talent show and I was apparently bold enough to decide I want to do a solo. How many of you know the symptoms of nerves? Shaky voice, hot flushes, involuntary swallowing right in the middle of a word. I had all the feels but I felt such a rush when the crowd erupted into cheer. It’s not something you can explain to someone without them having experienced it for themselves. From then on, I was in every school concert and sang at every school event.
My upbringing is unusual in that I didn’t ever have the “mom and dad with kids living together as a family”, so music was a bit of an escape. When I was on stage, It didn’t matter where I came from or where home was. I could just do my thing and live in that moment. Maybe that is what kept that spark alive.
I had to make a decision about what I wanted to do after school and my obvious choice was to study music, but the decision wasn’t mine to make. I tried to argue and plead my case, but it just was not going to happen. “Singing will not put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. You need something that you can live off.”
Until a few days ago, I didn’t realize how much those words affected the way I related to my gift for all these years. It had become just something I was really good at. I’d do shows and I’d be all the way in, but it was never something I took seriously enough. It was never something I thought I needed to cultivate and make bigger and better. What you talking about writing and recording my own music? Aint nobody got time for that! Saying I don’t have time literally became my programmed response when people ask me about it. The thing is though, that I do have time, I just choose what I prioritize and spend my time on.
So starting now, this has GOT to change. I’m depriving myself of so much fulfillment that comes with creative expression. I’m depriving someone else of an experience that could change them on the inside. I’m not saying that I’m all of a sudden going to start dropping tracks like there’s no tomorrow, but I’m making room for it in my “busy” life.
Wont you come on this journey with me? Whatever it is that you’ve put on the back-burner to provide for everybody else and make sure things are held down. Commit to availing 1 hour a day to work on that craft of yours and share it with us. Your future self will be so grateful that you made that decision today.
As always, I am grateful for all the love and good vibes that you guys send my way and I could not do this without you.
Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world – Brene Brown