Are you waiting to see the light at the end of the tunnel? Do you believe deep inside that your life will be better later?
Sometimes we think that right here and right now is not where we are supposed to be performing. Here’s not where we should make the contacts or start a business. The perfect place seems to be somewhere far, because far is unknown and perhaps (hopefully) better. Even though we are not sure exactly how far looks like, we hope it’s better than here.
The other day I was sending some emails to keep in touch with old friends and one of them told me “yeah! we should get together but not here, anywhere is better than this hole.” And then I thought, that’s exactly what I felt when I was in school. Hell, that’s what I think right now! The same thing happened when I went back to visit friends and play a gig near my old university. The common response to “what are you up to?” was “I can’t wait to finish my degree so I can get the hell out of here”.
And then I think—why? Why are we so desperate to leave? We chose to be here in the first place. Is there a way to be happy and satisfied wherever you are, even if your next performance isn’t at Carnegie Hall?
My friend, we take so many things for granted. Yes, it’s important to stay ambitious but also to stop for a second and see what we have today. What we are today. It’s great to always wish for a better environment, paycheck and benefits, but we also need to enjoy the small things (that may actually be big) we do now.
The hole you live in was created by your ambition, and that’s great—ambition is usually good. Unconsciously or consciously you want something bigger and as you look for an easy way out, the idea of moving far seems very desirable, because you don’t know what it will be like. Not knowing is reflected as a magical land where you get the perfect gigs and everything turns out great.
Instead of considering the things that could go wrong we expand
the fairy idea.
Human nature at its best.
Here and now, you know how it works. Here is bad because things settled. When you got used to living in the same apartment, brushing your teeth in the same sink, wearing the same clothes. It’s all the same and it’s boring.
Guys, you don’t have to live in 10 different places to realize that anywhere you go you’ll feel the same after a year. Every single café will lose its exotic enchantment if you visit it every day. The same with your rehearsal space.
No matter where you go, things will settle at some point. That’s when you have to spice things up. Find new opportunities, move around and do something different.
The answer is not leaving (or is it?).
Once you know that things settled, you’ll want to start a new project, join a club or visit new bars. Practice in different environments, read a book in the library, play a different game on your PS3, make new friends. You may also want to start a concert series (yes, all by yourself). Find the musicians, concert place, money,etc. It’s a big project but it will keep you busy and motivated. You can also take lessons from other people, write a proposal letter to restaurants and hotels, read the Savvy Musician, play auditions, learn about bird watching (what is that anyways), buy a motorcycle or take a plane somewhere else and come back fresh.
When you take the new journey, you leave everything behind, often to start from zero. I know I’ve recommended to take the risk before. Yes, risk can bring many wonderful opportunities but before leaving it all behind think and re-think. You are exchanging the known land, friends and gigs for something that can be better or worse.
I took the challenge a year ago because it was part of my
journey. A journey I chose beforehand.
It’s been a year now. Hard as you can’t imagine, but I really left everything I knew for the unknown. It was part of my quest, but that’s another post.
Your decisions are your future. Choose wisely and don’t look back, if you do, you might not have the strength to keep going. Just in case keep the motion—I’m sure it will lead somewhere worth going.
For the Empire!!