I read an article recently that links workaholic behavior to a traumatic upbringing. Upon first seeing the title, I didn’t even want to open it. I knew it would resonate and sometimes (only sometimes) I idealize the ignorance of the unknown. I don’t want to slow down. I don’t want to smell the roses! I want to leave a legacy of work that I’m proud of! (😡) And so I read it. Because I knew I had to read it. See, I grew up in a household of highly educated parents. Perfection was promoted and I learned quickly how to earn respect. I was ridiculed in school for being too thin, too quiet, too weird...you name it, I heard it. My only real taste of happiness came from accomplishment, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. Our world is hyper focused on doing. Being is scoffed at. It doesn’t lead to “results,” and we want them. We want results like our lives depend on results. Have you ever seen a Labrador eat? He thinks his life depends on eating every last drop of the bird seed you accidentally left on the deck. HE HAS TO EAT IT ALL BECAUSE HE MUST. Then he gets really sick and pukes all over your Persian carpets. You clean it up in wonderment. How can such a smart dog be so fucking greedy? Well. I ask the same of you. And me. Why are we ravenous? We’re ravenous because we believe our lives depend on it. Because we’ve been taught from a very young age to eat ALL the bird seed, reach for ALL the stars, be the BEST at EVERYTHING. We’ve been told our lives depend on it. Well let me tell you something. I have no fucking clue what an em7 chord is. Please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. If you ask me what chord I’m playing, I’ll look at you with an utterly blank stare. And you know what? I’m proud of that blank stare. For once in my life, I didn’t aim for perfection. I just played. It was fun, and so I kept playing. It was genuine, and so I kept playing. It’s easy to lose perspective on that when you turn your playtime into a career. All the logistics dry you of the wetness that once drenched your spirit. I felt that. Have you felt that? Then I remembered. I came to my piano and I remembered. I wrote again and I PLAYED and I cried and I lost my mind. I felt free-dumb in simply being me. And songs were born. Songs I cannot wait to share with all of you who have been waiting patiently. We all have our own paths. Perhaps some of you are musicians, painters, writers. Perhaps some of you are bankers, bus boys, strippers. Whatever you are, your purpose will never only be in “doing.” The most honest essence of you will come around when simply “being.” I relish in this lesson, because without it I’m just a headless chicken. With it, I’m the wind.
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