Have you ever realized something so obvious but it was so big that it made you have an emotional release of some kind?
Today, that happened to me.
So really, there is no difference between excitement and anxiety physiologically. It’s all the tone of the thoughts that come with it. This is not the realization but it was the beginning of the unfurling of my situation.
I get excited when I am going to see something I want to see. I get anxiety if I’m already in a sensitive state and then that excitement goes awry. Most times, I don’t lose to anxiety but recently on a BART ride to the city, it did. I had to get off the westbound train at the Orinda station and head back home. This is not the realization but it was a point to reference to arrive at the realization.
The question was posed: When does my excitement stay with the positive context rather than turn into a possible snowball effect of anxiety?
The easiest 2 moments to pull up: 1) Going to see music. 2) Creating/going to play music.
When I’m going to a concert or live performance, I’m excited just to be in the same room as people on music equipment making those pieces do what they want it to do and make awesome sounds I am deciphering in my head as I listen. When I’m in a studio setting or at home creating or going to see friends and have a jam session, I’m excited at the possibilities of what original ideas will be played… or maybe I have the idea and I am excited to make it real.
I have recently tried to stay out of being so expressive about politics on social media. I don’t like creating open political debates anymore in the comments section. It just doesn’t get anywhere and people end up frustrated…
But from the same mind (my mind), I will freely post music and share it as much as I can and open to receive feedback/criticism.
Interesting that I am not willing to do the same with a political belief.
I picked an inconsistent job to do concert load-ins/outs at big known venues that involves audio equipment rather than a “normal” job. I have always been available to do local events as sound engineer but feel uncomfortable try to enter the workforce in retail or unspecialized labor.
I am okay with socializing with people… but I feel my soft-spoken awkwardness sometimes presents a very different image of me to people. I have always thought in the back of my mind that if people want to get to see me in my potential-pushing best, they should see me in a recording studio setting playing, producing, and/or recording. It’d be tough for people to get into that situation with me, so I still try my best in socializing.
I remember when I was about 20 or maybe 21, I was talking to a friend about how I’ve “been this long without being in a relationship” and “What if I just do this music thing and my future wife starts out as just a fan?”. Thinking back on that question, a “fan” would probably not be ideal. The bigger thing about that is that I thought I would just do music and someone would appear to me.
It is now about to be 2017 in a few weeks. 2016 had me going through some things and for most of it was lacking in my music creation. I tried to do music whenever I could with friends. They needed to see me doing okay and the best way was music. When I was at home, the environment for most of 2016 was not the best for focusing on music. It was a tough year from the start of summer through to the beginning of fall.
I was learning a lot of mindfulness, spirituality, and faith during that time. None of it Abrahamic.
I was realizing my attempts to be independent, “strong”, “normal” by most of society’s standards was… not working out great.
Finding the root of my discomfort has been quite a journey and it will probably never end. What I am getting from it though is that I must have found my genius, my passion, my creative spirit in music really quickly. Right around the time everybody else was going off to 4-year colleges (Because they could. My parents weren’t quite as ready to support me financially to go to UC Berkeley like I wanted to. I settled for LMC… which was fine.) and I’m supposed to be learning to go to work and be a part of the workforce, I was getting music creation software and ended up getting on the radio, and getting quarterly checks for people buying instrumentals.
It’s too bad my 20’s after turning 21 became so soul-suckingly depressing on the family front. It’s too bad I wasn’t prepared to fight an anxiety disorder that left me confining myself to a small-radius bubble around my hometown for years. It’s too bad I didn’t know then what I do now about how to maintain my motivations and be mindful.
But I do now.
It’s almost like 2016 decided to tell me that I can live like I was 20 again and regain traction on my musical endeavours. It’s like it decided to remind me that I can push my boundaries still and feel the pain but I’ll get through it.
It’s like it decided to remind me that music IS what I do. Music will bring me everywhere I want to be and it’ll bring who needs to be in my life.
There are two motivations to doing the things we do in life: 1) To avoid a negative consequence. 2) To achieve a possible positive consequence.
Music never led me to a negative consequence because I’ve never thought about music having a negative consequence. I can’t even force any thought like that for music.
Maybe for all the time I wasn’t doing all of the “normal” things that really I was avoiding them because I had a greater positive motivation in my life – music.
I never could fit in with that “normal” life constantly talking about my work week with the boss yelling at me and the customer yelling at me and I missed out on an event because I was closing.
With over 1000 (yes, a thousand) music ideas on my hard drives, why in the hell are 98% of them still on my hard drives and not out where other people keep the music they listen to?
And that’s where it hit me… *LIGHT BULB*.
I am not “normal”. I am a musician in every sense of the word. I have been that way since I got my first keyboard that one birthday in the early 90’s. I get excited about creation and I’ve been excited thousands of times that way in the past 17 years.
My motivation has always been to create a reaction in people with my music and I see no bad in that even if it’s not the reaction I wanted.
If I can see consequences of music that way, maybe I should just do that… you know… music?
It’s been tough to grasp how strongly something would have to be for me to believe it was my point of creative genius that I really should do that. I think I understand that now. So many things revolving around music has brought me back from the depths of certain dark moments in my life. So many things this year alone revolving around music have brought me a refreshed set of people and opportunities. It’s the perspective I needed to see and feel. The negative arose when the music subsided but then was restrained when the music came back. This is it. This is what I must do.