The struggle

I have struggled – really struggled this fall – to keep my blog going – evidenced by the starts and stops over the past couple months, and that I re-blogged another’s post just to have something on here.  (granted, it was a lovely read, and I enjoyed the reading and sharing.)  I actually have one draft I keep as a rotating list of things to blog about…and all the good stuff is currently crossed off…and all the stuff left… meh… What started as something I did to amuse myself and to catalog my musical journey has become something that people actually read, and (as the people-pleaser I am) I want to post what I think will be appreciated.  The (self-inflicted) desire to please has become paralyzing perfectionism.

Concurrent with this struggle (the Blahgs?) is another – the struggle to maintain or to jump-start my performing life.  I have one gig on the calendar, and I am excited for it, but to keep performing, one must get one’s name and voice and face in front of those who do the hiring.  And this is again where I struggle.  I know that I am perfectly capable of performing at a certain level – a level for which there are a number of organizations in my area – but the conductors don’t know who I am.  Why is this?  The simple answer is this – I am paralyzed by fear when it comes to asking for an audition.  As my wise husband keeps saying, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Rationally speaking, the worst is that they can say no thanks – either to the audition, or to hiring me.  On the other hand, the best is that they can say, “Where have you been?” But I will never know which until I get over my fear, and make the phone call or send the email.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the issue of fear and conquering fear keeps coming up – in songs, articles and other blogs, and cute little memes on Facebook.  Or that my current favorite album has more than one song dealing with facing and overcoming fear.  Not sure how it is that I’m listening, listening, and not “getting it” – or maybe I finally am.

Today’s first step in overcoming fear – tackling the fear of success! I talked to a friend this morning about doing some auditions, and we’re going to brainstorm together and come up with a plan, keeping one another motivated, accountable, and moving forward!

Today’s second step – posting on my blog.  I started out talking about what I wanted to talk about.  I started out pleasing myself.  So maybe my lovely reader isn’t interested in my struggles, perhaps this won’t get any reads, but it’s what I’m going through, and it’s what I need to talk about.  If next week I want to brag on myself or my family, or talk about the amazing shoes I saw, or cry over a disappointment, so much the better – so long as it it stems from a desire to communicate and connect, rather than the fear that has been paralyzing me lately.   I hereby re-commit to posting at least weekly – look for a new post on Mondays, since that’s usually my free day.

I invite comments – what has been holding you back lately? what’s your struggle?  We all have them, and we all like to keep them under wraps – makes us look so much more put-together to the outside world!  I hope putting a couple of my struggles on display lessens their hold on me – and who knows? maybe it’ll encourage someone else to overcome, too.  Enjoy the video below – Jason Gray is an artist I admire a great deal, and I hope you are encouraged by his message.


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