The Thing About…STARTING (again)

So, for the past several months I have been studying…a lot. Not only am I a singer/songwriter/actress/dancer, I work with children with special needs. I was studying because there is a law changing November 1st and when this happens, many of my clients will be able to get insurance reimbursement for my services. However, my clients would only be eligible for these benefits, if I had different qualifications. This entailed my getting a masters degree and passing a board exam. After finishing this masters in May and taking and passing the board exam this September, I am now finally free to again wholeheartedly pursue music.

And it feels like I am starting again. I haven’t been able to focus on writing music, or even listen to music, for the past few months. The entire capacity of my iPod was filled with chapters and chapters of textbooks and articles that I painstakingly read into garageband to help me study. Earlier this week, when I found out that I passed the board exam, one of the first things I did (after joyfully screaming, calling people, and going out to celebrate), was reload music onto my iPod. To be able to listen to music for pleasure again, what a dream! For these past few months, I have felt stifled, every creative thought shoved away, scrawled on a notepad and saved for later. And, after all of this suppression, I find that I don’t know exactly where I am with my thoughts. I have been pushing impulses aside so often that it is hard to feel them at all right now. Also, I keep getting sick- three weeks ago I had strep, last week I had a chest cold and was considering if there would be a career for me as a contralto… Then, there’s the kid I work with who tried to rip the fingers off my left hand four weeks ago, making it still painful to shape chords on the guitar. All of these things getting in the way, excuses holding me back from what I want- to play music. I wasn’t imagining these excuses, but why did it seem that everything was getting in the way, rendering it impossible to do the one thing I dreamt of doing every moment that I was stuck studying for months?

Then, the moment comes, when I am again free to voice what I feel, create new music, and play, play, play, and I am silent. Perhaps my body has not yet caught up with my thoughts- I know I am done with the exam, done with the classes, done. But, my body is still frozen by the stress, the impending doom of failing and having to possibly study and re-take that exam again. (Thank goodness I passed.) So, I just sit, empty. And, since I haven’t been listening to how I feel for so long, I don’t even know how to listen. I don’t hear music, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know where to start, I don’t know how to start.

So, I just play. I pick up the guitar and play one of my songs. And, I’m almost in tears. Oh, I missed you! I play another song and another. And, I’m not creating new music, but at least I am re-visiting these friends of the past, the people who have inspired these songs.

And, I feel that I am surrounded by my journey and I know where I am suddenly- in the middle of it, all my music.

I’m in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end of journeys every moment of every day. I find an unfinished song lyric and, from memory, try to figure out the chords to accompany the melody floating through my mind, and slowly new comes from the old. What was unfinished becomes completed with where I am in my journey today.

And I have begun, again.