Like I’ve said, I love this time of year. I love the feeling of resolutions and new beginnings. Perhaps that’s because, so far, every year of my life has been better than the last. Even the hard years, and this was a hard year for me personally (as well a hard year elsewhere in the world).
Though the years are more and more delightful, I’m never sorry to bid them farewell. I like dusting the old year off my fingers and turning my face toward the new.
I have a mission: to be able to continue living my life as a musician without burning out. You see, I flamed out as a musician in my 20s and stopped doing it for over 10 years. Performing was too painful and scary. And I was too fragile.
I’m a much stronger person now than I was all those years ago, but still, I know I need to take care. This business can be discouraging. It’s a hard living to make. It involves quite a lot of vulnerability and rejection, and it can be lonely, in between the periods of intense connection. The financial sacrifices can be a little hard to take, too.
Some days, it’s easy to think: “What the heck am I doing? Why don’t I go get a nice office job and sit on my backside for a guaranteed salary?”
But that’s not the life I want.
What this job takes in terms of money, energy and (sometimes) heartache, it more than pays back in creativity, freedom and (sometimes) elation.
This year, as part of my burn-out prevention plan, I’m getting rid of all the “should”s.
“You should apply there, you should play at that festival, you should, should, should….”
When I have the energy, I’m going to humbly ask people for opportunities to play. But when I don’t have that energy, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m just going to work at my craft and focus on becoming a better musician, a better songwriter, a better singer.
I’m going to nurture my light. And shine.