Sometimes you're the pearl, sometimes you're the swine.
This is my cute thing that I say when my song(s) don't do well. And boy did my songs tank in the Smoky Mountain Songwriters' Festival Competition. I entered a few, and the last time I checked they're as good as the ones last year, but not one made the finals. This, as it turns out, is not the end of the world.
Is it braggy to say that winning contests held me back in some ways? yeah probably. Contests were helpful to me when I needed confidence, but like David Wilcox says, "you can get what's second best but it's hard to get enough." ("Eye of the Hurricane" lyric). Apparently confidence is something I need to generate on my own, and I'm working on it. In the meantime, I get to actually have fun at the festival playing out and seeing my friends, and making new friends, instead of being in my own head about nailing the performance at the finals, and who's gonna win.
For the past 5 years or so I have doubted myself as a performer more than I can believe. Before that I sang my own songs, sang in church (sometimes my own songs), sang professionally, recorded, etc. Didn't think much about it. But these past few years, for complicated personal reasons I am working through - and possibly because I really needed to be really, really humbled - it's been rough.
If this were a Disney movie, there would come a beautiful moment where I realized that all this adversity has given me the gift of Believing In Myself, preferably with a Believing In Myself song. Nope, I don't have one.
This isn't a Disney movie, so it's all messy and hard to see the good changes that are happening. Recently I got my feelings hurt and my fragile confidence kinda banged up by an incident of everyday sexism, which is too tedious to go into. It opened up the subterranean flood of sadness and lostness that is always in there, and boy do I hate that but whatever. I c…