Thursday, September 04, 2008

Existential Crisis - the mild version

Since I can't currently hold a pen long enough to put this in my journal, I am putting it here. If you'd rather not know the inner chaos of my brain, skip this entry.

A festival is hitting Nashvegas next week, NBN (Next Big Nashville) which is meant to showcase the NON-country side of Nashville. It's a weekend of great shows, great panels, great speakers, great info for the aspiring indie artist. I'd like to go.

Here's the hard part for me: I am afraid. I sort of think of myself as a washed up wanna-be musician in my darkest moments and those bleed over into the light. The Geek has a heartwarming way of telling me that it doesn't matter if I don't make any money at it, as long as I am doing what I upbringing (however mistaken) tells me that if I am not contributing financially, I am not pulling my weight.

So I get into the story in my head (script pre-written by by character defects) and tell myself that my old music crowd will be secretly rolling their eyes to see me there, 6 months pregnant and not having put out an album in oh...say...nearly 5 years now! I think they will think me pathetic, mostly because I think of myself as pathetic. I tell myself I didn't try hard enough, I didn't go for what I dreamed of because I was afraid to fail, afraid to succeed, so I did nothing. Shouldn't I give it up yet? I mean, I currently can't even hold a pen or play my guitar!! Shouldn't I just settle down and be a mom, not worry about writing, singing, or any of the drama that comes along with being a full time musician? I try to. I try to do other things and divert the creative river that has to come out of me into tiny streams, but eventually, I see where the river should flow. And then the guilt follows, and then the determination wells up as I start to think I CAN do this...and then the fears start yelling in my head. "No one cares what you have to say.", "No one thinks the things you write are any good.", "No one will come to your concert because of how you look/sound/act. You are the quintessential dork, as always and you will never escape that." Then I give up and go back to diverting the river.

Perhaps this has something to do with being a mother. I see it as an end to part of myself, even though it is a welcome one. And yet, I don't want to resent my children for the part of me I had to set aside to become what I thought a good mother would look like. I don't want to wait until my children are all grown up to be myself again. I know THAT much is unhealthy. If I don't bring all of myself to the table, as a wife, as a mother, as a friend, as a human, I have nothing to offer.

The answer is to go and participate (and take care to drink lots of water so I won't swell up) and critics and cynics be damned, if there even aren't any besides the one in my head. Still, I could think of 100 reasons not to go, including how much it costs. Will it be a waste of my money if I end up doing nothing (financially solvent) with my music again? You can see the crazy train of thought here. I could ride this rail to the end!

I will go. I expect you to hold me to that.

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