I have been forced to pause and it’s driving me crazy. I was ready with a plan and a lot of hard work put in and now I have to helplessly sit around waiting because of sickness. If my voice doesn’t get better before Sunday all the hard work I put in might go to waste. I mean in the long term, the practice would have helped. But I was really aiming to sing well this Sunday. I had spent hours practising for this Sunday’s performance and in the last week I have not been able to spend even half an hour on it. Singing is like the fuel inside me that keeps me wanting to go on living. And now I feel aimless. Like some big part of me is missing.
What should I do? Should I just let go? And do what?
What if instead of fixating on what I cannot do, I try to figure out what I can do. Like take up a course that makes me better at sound editing or movie making or some other skill. Or practice piano better. But I am fixating and obsessing. It’s my childhood all over again. Instead of focusing on the present and making the best of the things I was getting then, I kept fixating on how I didn’t get to learn and practice music. I still got to read and write. I could have been a great student of engineering or computer programming. That skill could have helped me become a freelancer now.
So much can be extracted from life if we knew how to stay calm and think long term.
I see myself as someone who can produce written content very easily. And with that end in mind, I am planning to have more extempore writing in my life. I see many hurdles here in making this a reality. Unpredictable and busy schedules, volatile moods, etc etc. But I think this needs to be a part of my identity. What I do every day. Write on a topic. Any topic. I can expand this later to include a poem or news comment or something like that. Just to extract more benefit out of the routine. But for now it is a preparation-less writing. To keep that outlet of expression open and active. I don’t want to discover later that lack of use has made it impossible to get anything useful out of my writing without getting a tonne of junk along with it.
I bought one more book on my flight back from Chandigarh. For the thousandth time, I bought a book that I would never read again later. Can you blame me. The book called “Reflections” is a compilation of Swami Vivekananda’s speeches, both speeches by him or about him. But I didn’t finish the book, so don’t take my word for it. It’s a difficult read.
Reading is a bed time activity for me. Yet somehow I fall asleep more with my phone than with my book. That needs to change.
So yes this writing exercise, is around the idea that I attract more situations in my life that revolve around how I see myself. Do I see myself as someone who can write easily. Then I will be presented with more opportunity for writing. Same with singing. When someone asks me to sing a song I feel unprepared and unpractised. Also right now I have very less singing videos online. (You can check it here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGZlBikGn-b1oh1Q6oMFD0A?view_as=subscriber).
But the reason for this is, I feel I have to prepare a lot before posting each video. I want to be someone who can sing off some song every day on demand. So I plan to make videos every day where I sing a song that comes easily to me. That way I’ll slowly have an identity of someone who can sing a song easily.
Of course this means that the quality of my content may seem to suffer in the beginning. But I think it’ll catch up in time. Also I can always keep deleting content.
Hurt hurt hurt hurt
so many times
It doesn’t hurt anymore
I am cold as stone
In or out
NO half ass human shit for me
The beauty of sitting alone with my music
I won’t share it with anyone
I have conversed with myself all these years
Been there when no one else was there
Craved for love and loved myself
Why should I let anyone in now
This is perfect
Me me myself and music
I don’t need anyone human
When I have all of this
It’s too late now,
Don’t even try
I won’t let anyone touch this
I am happy now
And this is my heaven.
What makes me unique? Despite everything? I don’t give up and I have love in my heart for music. And I am living in misery, some of which I created myself. Yet everyday I drag myself. And if I ever have a family, and if I ever make it to the top, I’ll have the strength. May be. Or may be I need some friends. May be friends are important. They are the anchor that keeps you from drowning. Family is important. When you have an unsupportive family, you will definitely be weak.
So no. I am not strong. Determined yes. But I WILL break down easily. Struggle has not made me stronger. But perhaps it has made me wiser. And I could write a story. May be it has made me kinder. When i do have friends and family, may be I will value them.
May be this is necessary for art. To have a life that’s different. To feel pain and be able to write and sing about it. But I have lost the ability to empathise. I am so lost in my own pain. May be combine my pain with empathy and may be I can write stories. May be if I could view my own life as a story. And be a viewer. May be then I would be able to see. May be then I can step into shoes. Become a completely different person. May be then I would jump quickly from one experience to another, instead of being stuck on one for days even after it’s over.
May be that’s what is missing. Perspective. The ability to view my life as a story.
I didn’t know this growing up. But I was always in a state of longing for something. Something that would come and change everything. Make my life good. And I could breathe a sigh of relief. Then I figured I need to leave my home, because that was after all the source of all negativity. But no, you cannot detach yourself that easily. Your family has control over your head even from miles away.
Any way…no one knows my struggle. And today I meet people who judge me for my decisions and for how far behind I am. What do they know.
The fight all my life was
For getting into the game
But now that I am here
I am far behind
The last person running
New players have entered
And they mock me
Because they are already running faster
I have after all grown old
And I have baggage to carry
So I am running , dragging
But I am slow
And I take too many breaks
It’s not good , because
no one here is going to listen to my reasons
I am all alone again
I am on the path of my dreams
But I have no friends
Okay so I am writing this post in the capacity of a singer. But I think it applies to any one doing anything creative.
Honestly I couldn’t understand the importance of deep focus. I used to do all my vocal practices, scales, breathing exercises but with a lot of distractions. Would take breaks every five minutes to check my phone or watch some TV show. And I had convinced myself that as long as I am doing the required practices, it didn’t matter what I did in between to keep myself going.
But my attempt today to shut off all distractions and only focus on my vocal practices made me realise how important it is for the creative process. Not to mention, the time I save and the number of things I could do today despite the brief period of depression in which I kind of lost control and switched on my phone. I think being forced to confront your feelings of boredom or fear or past issues can have that effect. But it also made me come out of my default automated settings.
I started thinking about what I was singing and what practice I was doing. I thought about how I could do these things in a better way. I spent time listening to music and observing how each emotion is represented in the language of music by different artists. My mind had the space to think about all these things instead of being focused on mindless entertainment fed from TV shows or mobile applications.
And getting the space to ponder over things and being able to confront emotions and channel them into creation is so important for the creative process.
Look at my blog too. I wrote three posts in one day. Because I have been thinking about things, I have been struggling with emotions and I have been thinking of solutions at the back of my mind. And some of it found it’s way into my writing.
Basically deep focus gives space for us to be human. The difference between human beings and any other animal is the thought and effort human beings put into everything they do. That is what I was able to do with my music, thanks to the space I gave my brain for thinking without distractions.
I think I have made my point now. Hope it helps some people. Have a good day 🙂
I have been fascinated for a while with the concept of deep focus. Giving your 100% to a work, without distractions. Completely isolating yourself. And then I met a guy who does exactly this. That was enough motivation for me to finally try it.
I lasted half a day. Then suddenly I crashed. Pinged all my friends, watched three episodes of a movie series, ordered junk food. Then started going back into depression. It was good till I crashed. I was working on things with focus. But towards the end I started questioning my work, why was i working hard? For what?
I know why I am working hard. For success. To become really good at what I do. But still there is some factor missing in the motivation.
I always knew the risk
I knew it was not easy
But I also knew the risk
Of not trying ever,
The risk of losing
That ray of hope
It was not worth it
Just to stay safe
It didn’t make any sense
I had to jump
Even if it meant
I had nothing to start with
Nothing but hope
And a message from someone
That nothing mattered
Living without ever giving up
Living in the best way possible
With whatever we have.
We have to say no. Have to say no several times. To parties, to people that only waste your time, to “opportunities” that’ll only keep you stuck doing things you don’t enjoy. And it seems as if you are missing out on something great because who would possibly say no right? But it’s almost as if the universe tempts you to fail. The moment you get resolved to do something it’ll present you with temptations. But if your resolve is strong you will say no. Otherwise you are fickle. And the fickle minded keep bouncing around reacting to people around them and blaming circumstances.