My top 3 best frenemies are an audience, my alarm clock, and the “publish” button that brings this blog to life. One of these things insures that I have adequate time to live out my purpose. The others are two of a number of mediums with which I do so.
And every time I have the opportunity to exercise those mediums, I am utterly terrified.
This is the part of the “go chase your dreams” speech that no one seems to be talking about. This isn’t the “you are invincible” pep talk nor is it the “rise to the top” spiel. This isn’t Oh, The Places You’ll Go or “there is no one alive that is youer than you.”
This is the art of vulnerability that I attempt practice from time to time. It is where the thoughts, experiences, stories and melodies that I have created, lived, or practiced come to life in front you. They are no longer pieces of me stored within my person. Instead, I am exposed and bare as I extend to you this invitation to my inner world with nervous, quivering hands. It’s like I intentionally tip over a cup of Kool-Aid hoping that the shape it makes on the table’s surface turns out to be beautiful to those who observe it. And in the case that it is not the pretty, fluttery, feel-good writing, lyrics, or melodies, you somehow find beauty in the spilled mess that is in front of you.
Donald Woods Winnicott said it best:
Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.
It is in hiding that I am safe, surrounded only by my thoughts and myself as the only audience member. As I practice my flute or sing by myself, the music notes are only contained within the room in which I am present. But then, the words escape from my head, passing through my heart, and through my fingers and end up in the pages and webpages in front of you. The notes sung or played are suspended in open space with the stage as the source and the audience as the one I hope to please. Everything that was done within my context and understanding is now imbibed in the contexts of others. I have no idea if they will completely understand where I am coming from with each piece of writing or music. I am not even 100% sure if they will find it as appealing as I hope they will.
If I am completely honest, it is this whirlwind dichotomy of nervousness and the satisfaction of the release that keeps me writing, performing, and speaking. It is the thrill of unpredictability, the thought of I hope they like this but they might not that keeps me going in the path of creating and expressing. It is in doing so that I gain feedback, every one meaning more to me that you could possibly imagine. It is in doing this that I am being myself with hopes of being understood and, like a boomerang of sorts, it is in doing this that I gain understanding of those who surround me, both in person and online. I enjoy it but fear it all at once. And it is on this shaky ground that I thrive in the creative process.
Can anyone else relate to this?
I suppose now would be the time to hit that “publish” button again…