Last post I was at a point of crossroads, uncertain if I should give up music altogether or continue on with the journey. Feeling listless, uninspired and generally craptastic, I hauled myself out to Auburn Hills Michigan for Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.
I had purchased the $99 ticket way back in March for the September event. I am thankful to myself for buying a ticket because I didn’t realize at the time how needed it was going to be.
This was not my first time seeing Oprah. I saw her in Toronto a few years back, but that experience was chaotic, disorganized and not that fun. This show however…life-changing!
Oprah did a two-hour presentation/speech/motivational talk on the Friday night. Silly me forgot my pen and paper so I was hoping to capture the moments by “O”smosis…(get it?). As I listened to her speak, the feeling I had overall was one of clarity. What I came to understand is that I am going about this music thing all wrong.
Everything I have focused on in regard to being a performer has been external. What I’ve been missing is the connection that music makes for me. I’ve been so worried about what everyone else thinks that I have cast aside what I think. And after spending 2 days with Oprah…I am DONE.
What purpose does it serve for me to continue thinking I’m not good enough, talented enough, smart enough, attractive enough, thin enough, cool enough et al ? (Who put that idea in my head in the first place? Because it certainly wasn’t me.)
The greatest experiences I have had in my life, HANDS DOWN, were the ones that other people believed couldn’t happen. The times that I said to myself “I can totally do this”, despite the idea being far-fetched and crazy to others, were the times I was most likely to pull it off. Because what I’ve come to recognize is that most people talk themselves out of even trying. And more importantly…
Everything that I’ve ever been sure of has come to fruition.
I was confusing the frustration and difficulty of carving out a path in music with the idea that the universe was telling me to give it up. Oprah invited us to tweet the “trailblazers” our questions, and I was ecstatic and shocked that they chose mine (typo and all!) for Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love)…and Oprah read it out loud too!!
This is what her answer was…and it was everything I needed to hear:
I guess by just recognizing that the tricksters and the obstacles aren’t a departure, they’re the normal, you know what I mean? I think we just keep expecting that the path is gonna be really smooth someday, you know that somebody’s just gonna come and mow the lawn, you know that’s it’s just gonna be really smooth and even, like a perfectly frosted cake. So whenever I get agitated or bent because things are going tricky or sideways I’m like, no this IS the life…like this is the (inaudible)…this isn’t a departure, this is normal…this (pointing to her heart) is the only part that you’re in charge of. The rest of it, let it be the crazy circus. Not your circus, not your monkey. (pointing to her heart) this is what you’re in charge of.
I’d been waiting for something to tell me that going “all-in” to doing music was worth the effort, because it takes a lot of time, focus and energy to keep at it, and I was feeling like the effort I was giving it was not giving me anything back. What I came to know thanks to this weekend was that the pursuit itself is the reward, not any outside “success”. How many people are lucky enough to be born with talent, and the means to pursue it? Regardless of whether people think my music is moving or “cheddar cheese” (yes, I was told I am the cheddar cheese of music) doesn’t matter.
When I was a teenager in high school I had this quote up in my room:
And I still feel that way today. So here goes everything….