“I forgive my 22-year-old self.”
I was thinking this to myself in the bathroom mirror this morning analyzing my reflection, tweezing my eyebrows (which are long overdue to get waxed) and putting on moisturizer, combing my freshly blow-dried hair.
Last night my mom and I found ourselves going through some of my old songs, my old bedroom recordings. And I started reminiscing and reading the lyrics of my 24/7 project, et al. (Remember that?) And I was in awe of how long ago that seemed. Also in awe of how much detail I recalled about every single one of those songs. I knew where I was when I wrote them, why I did, what certain lines meant, etc. And I mean, I planned it that way. Each song was supposed to be a snapshot in time. That was a crucial aspect of the project. But the experience of actually remembering it was slightly profound to me.
And this morning, I was just thinking about the insane expectations I had placed on myself when I had graduated college (part 1) in 2013. Or maybe not that I placed them on myself, but they were things I thought society had expected me to fulfill by that age. The expectations I had believed were to be gainfully employed, financially independent, and married or in a committed relationship – all after college. And sure, there are some folks who have ticked one, two, or all the things on the list – and good for them – but I was not one of them. When I finally graduated I was tired, I was depressed, I was floundering; Unsure of everything, disconnected, disenfranchised, unsure of my place in the world and how to live in it. I was miserable.
And listening to these songs, reflecting on how much has changed in a mere 5-6 years since i wrote them, I couldn’t help but think of that 22-year-old girl finding solace in Oasis, Star Trek, and little else. And I forgive her because those expectations are absurd to fulfill in general, nevermind right away. I recognize I am still a work in progress, but it felt good to turn back for a moment, acknowledge the struggles and anxieties of my younger self, offer her forgiveness and tell her it’s okay.
I also think that I’ve been giving my “music career”, or perhaps my “musician / songwriter persona” a lot of thought lately. My EP songs are basically mixed, mastering is happening soon. And I wonder if the music I have painstakingly dedicated so much time and money to will eventually connect with others. That’s my primary goal. It means so much to me. And in addition to this, I also bear in mind my current work self. Because I like my job, like what it pays, like where I am. But have come to acknowledge that songwriting is my absolute most favorite thing in the world. It is undeniable, indisputable personal fact. I’m not naive enough to go chasing rootless pipe dreams. I recognize this. But I also recognize what I love. When I think long and hard about it, I don’t fancy myself a touring musician but I do love to write songs more than anything else I’ve ever done in my life.
And with that said, I know I’ve been terrible at making time to write and practice and know I need to start making time again, and maybe writing this will make me more accountable. More on that another day.