On Being Careful

1. There is a reason for lists. Lists separate things into biteable chunks and make things easier to digest. You can agree with 1, and then 3-7, but not 2, and 8-10 … only feeling 60% negatively about it. You don’t go away with a bad tinge in your mouth. This seemed like basic math to me.
2. Denise math doesn’t work the same as other math.
3. I’ve been a diarist and an over-sharer for a long time. I thought a long time before typing that word.
4. Writing words like “over-sharer” are risky; just like phrases like “This live recording sounds like ass and I don’t want to release it,” or “This shirt is not flattering” or “This song has a sub-par vocal track so I am surprised it is doing so well in the voting.”

Which are statements of fact.

Typing these sentences is also a risk because standing up for yourself is difficult. And I have been painted with a certain brush my whole life. Don’t know what it is about me … I think that I might have something sticking to me – and I think it fixes it so that I shouldn’t criticize myself. No… not even just criticize – critique, even. Because when I do- I feel nailed for it. This is why having a blog has been so risky for me. When I blog, it feels like a diary that I am tempted to write down every thought in.

I can’t help but feels a little embittered though, when I see a sea of other women, and men who are “down on themselves;” and I seem to be one who often gets called out for a lack of self-confidence up to the point of being very seriously mentally troubled (with labels that would and have been career-stoppers, for me). There definitely is no shame in getting help, but sometimes, there are unfortunate consequences for needing it. And I notice that it is actually true that there ARE people who self-flagellate FAR more often and MUCH more violently than I do. There are turns of phrase I don’t say to myself. The only area I REALLY need to work on this is during practice time, when I can actually be really harsh. This is bad habit more than anything, left over from music school – where I feel I was trained to call myself “stupid” for missing notes. Not helpful (now THAT was a risk, to share that, and I imagine pads of papers and pencils being drawn out and my whole blog being ignored now for THAT statement).

I could give examples of people around us who we all admire a lot who say things about themselves that if I said them, I’d probably be in serious psycho-trouble online AND at home. These people don’t get painted though. Maybe it is because they have bigger careers or are higher up on the pole and obviously have hella self-confidence; wouldn’t need the advice or the boost up; wouldn’t need to be told not to be so hard on themselves; wouldn’t need to be reminded that this thing we do really isn’t that hard core.  I won’t point it out to these really talented people that they too probably should shut their yaps and be more positive or maybe they will get called out like me someday, certainly not in public. We’re all going through it so sometimes if it occurs to me I just say something. Sometimes I don’t. But this doesn’t mean I’m better or worse because I do or don’t say something in a particular way. I appreciate any attention. Even if I have to clean up afterward.

But I will say this once, and only once. This thing we do is and can be hard core. If you’re not on the ball about things, the days pass you by – this is just how it is. If you get less sleep – you have more time to do things. If you get more rest, you are a more quality person during the hours you are awake. You have to do body-math. I will say that I am a professional and have been all my life regardless of whether or not I am currently being paid.

But I should be further along on my road than I am, because the particular things that *I* do and that *I* am good at and that only *I* can do … I’m very good at. Given time and focus, with little distractions, there’s no telling what could really happen. I don’t see anyone that makes me feel bad or jealous. I think I’m on a par or more equipped than everyone I meet in some way, and when I meet someone who is better than me I take what I like from them and add to what I know.  I speak in generalities sometimes, so it’s hard to understand me, but there it is.

Saying I should be a lot further along is not a statement about how I should push myself, it’s a risky statement of fact. I’m not flagellating myself, I’m looking back on a series of setbacks, unfortunate occurences, and sometimes … mistakes that have led me to the point where I’ve been “held back more than a few grades.” In my case, it has proved disastrous more than once to get into explanations. So *I don’t go there.* It’s private. I’ve said too much about it already. Much of this blog and this “sharing” is as close as I come to doing something against myself, if you want to know the truth, because I have extended vulnerability in an attempt to say yes … I know I am okay.

Why this, you wonder? Well, I do overshare. I’ve been talking about my feelings with loose tongue. On here. In chat. I have started trusting. And I have forgotten that for some reason, I don’t necessarily have that luxury. I don’t have a lot of time. I have a job. If I ever DO want to make this a living where I DO something with it, I can’t go around diffusing these sorts of bombs.

Because that is not who I am.

Now later I will fix the link to my nur ein contest song. I don’t think it will win the round, certainly – there are problems. It’s much better than round one though and I think that if I get to round two I can probably get even better with more prep time (which was what I lacked this week.)


ps. Comments can be sent to me directly on twitter or wherever else you normally go about finding me directly as an individual.

On Being Careful