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mtomlinson

Do you ever think about the fact that there are things in the world that exist, currently unbeknownst to you, that upon your discovery of them, would totally rock your world and give you a renewed sense of wonderment, purpose and energy about your life?

I LIVE for those kinds of discoveries, and this month I have gotten that in spades thanks to this girl:

I’ve known about Amanda Palmer since she hijacked my dream of touring with Cyndi Lauper.

Amanda was in the Dresden Dolls

My impression of Amanda back then: love her style, not her music.  So I never paid much more attention after that.

Then all the brouhaha started over Amanda’s highly successful Kickstarter campaign. (At the time, she raised more than any musician had in the past, over a million dollars.)  And she’s kind of been on my radar since.

She gave an amazing TED talk about “The Art of Asking”, which to date has had over 6 million views:

I, like millions of others, instantly connected with Amanda’s philosophy and as such, that sealed the deal for me as a fan.  While I still don’t find her music congruent with my tastes, and I don’t think she’s part of the diva singers club (you can sleep soundly, Celine), I can’t help but be totally inspired that she’s created such a global impact through the connections she’s made with her music.  I love in the TED talk how she says her music isn’t for everyone.  But her message…that absolutely is.

Amanda then released a book inspired by her TED talk:

And EVERY PAGE has been riveting. I should be reading it with a highlighter and sticky notes, because the information inside is like a treasure map on every page.  I have done the opposite of what I did with Orange is the New Black, and not rushed through. I read a few pages each night before I go to sleep, and look forward to the next chance I have to read it.  I don’t want it to end!

But when it does end, I will be filled with a greater sense of purpose, a stronger belief in myself, and the knowledge that there are no rules to this music thing.  I don’t have to be in the business of trying to please everyone.  It’s okay that people pass me by, because the ones that stop to listen are the ones that get me, and appreciate what I do.

I answered a Kijiji ad this week, a drummer looking to play.

So I took a chance and sent him my soundcloud link and asked if he wanted to play.  His reply? “You’ve got a great voice, but your music isn’t really my style”. That’s the same answer I’ve been hearing for the last 20 years.

Maybe there’s a reason that I’ve had to do this all on my own.  I used to think it was because I sucked (and yes, there are people who would agree with that). Now I see it as what it is…an opportunity for my music and expression to be solely mine.  If I have to use a drum machine instead of a real person, then so what.  The important thing is making the connection, and that’s what Amanda reinforced to me through her book.

I went to a funeral recently and at the home someone said to me Thank You, which I thought was a strange thing to say at a funeral!  I said, Thank You for what? And she said, track 3 on your CD has been such an immense help right now.  I replied, well, that’s why I wrote it, for people having hard times.  Thank YOU for listening to it and I’m glad it helped.

I did write track 3 for people dealing with difficult times, and this one person validated that the message was received.  So there it is.

Make the connection.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Dream big!!


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