Blackbird

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 can swim. In the midst of it I'd been working on a guitar thing from a song you know. Most new guitar players start out, preferably at age 11 and not age forty-twelve, learning the recognizable licks of everything from "Smoke on the Water" to "Barracuda" to whatever floats their 11-year-old boat. I never got that because I'm a songwriter and I don't need to play Foghat.

But I guess it was the fragile confidence that made me want to play a guitar thing that everybody knows because I kinda thought I could do it, even though it has a lot of finger spacings that my short stubby fingers keep insisting they cannot do. So then the thing happened that made me feel undertalented and excluded, and I wished I had someone to cheerlead for me, and I knew I had to cheerlead myself, so I went back to the guitar thing because it's something clear and simple in my overly complicated world. And now I realize that none of that complicated stuff has to matter.

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Because I can play "Blackbird." And I couldn't a week ago. And it doesn't matter who approves of me or thinks I'm a loser. I can make my own proof, when I need it, that I can do this. Take these broken wings and learn to fly.

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