March has been the month of the flu for me. I usually have a very active mind. Manic, sometimes. And it’s a challenge for me to calm myself enough to be present for everyday activities and routines. I am usually multi-tasking. I have a hard time staying still unless I’m doing something with my mind or my hands. But this month I’ve been sick so much (still a little sick even now) that I’ve been forced to slow down. And it’s actually been kind of nice.
This month of stepping back from anything stressful or remotely active has really been a good break and I feel like it’s ‘reset’ things a bit for me in a good way.
Most of all, I feel reminded that the making of music is truly the most important aspect of being a musician. Not competing with other people and not constantly updating Instagram. I am reminded that the making of the music is the only part of the process that I really have any control over. I can’t control how it will be received. I have faith that as long as I make something that is genuine, sincere, and true that it will resonate with other people. Because I believe that, fundamentally, we are all connected and we all share a common human experience.
Here’s what being a successful artist looks like to me: knowing that other people are connecting to what I have made. That’s it. That is my definition of success.
What it all really comes down to is wanting to connect. Wanting to bridge the gap between me and the people around me. Wanting to be vulnerable. Wanting to be seen. Wanting to shoot an arrow into the void and know that it hit something. That I am not alone. That there are other people who go through life feeling the same way that I do. Who feel the same joy, hope, sadness, fear, despair, ecstasy. We all feel these things. I know it. And it’s electrifying to make those connections and to be reminded that I am not alone. That I am surrounded by people just like me.
But sometimes I struggle to really connect to my surroundings in the moment. I get distracted a lot. By one thing, in particular mostly…
I am kind of addicted to my phone. I’m not proud of it. I had a flip-phone until a year ago. I held out for so long because I knew that as soon as I got a real phone, I would be so gone. And I was right. I try to limit myself but I just have that kind of personality, I guess. It’s a constant struggle to find ‘balance’ (whatever that is).
But, alas, sickness weakened my phone addiction. Sickness made me only want to watch ‘The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann’ and do nothing else. I have become disenchanted with my phone. It cannot show me what it’s like to be a private investigator. It cannot pull me through emotional twists and turns, episode by episode, until I am convinced my real calling is to be a detective. It cannot bring me to the brink of hope and then hopelessness. No. It cannot do that. It is limited.
And so I’ve found some balance in this roundabout way. And I’m thankful for that.
Maybe the only way to create space in one addiction is to facilitate another. I don’t know. I am but a mortal. I am not infallible. And, anyway, I’m still a little feverish.