Since July 30th I’ve been trying to put together another post to share. In August I came pretty close, but chickened out. I wonder if others feel this feel. It’s like simultaneously feeling strong and weak? Confident and terrified? Intelligent and ignorant? I’ve been told that I come across as very self-assured. It feels so very odd to me when people say that because I know that I am constantly questioning myself, always doubting whether to speak, to act, to write, to perform, to create…I’m so tired of being in this space. It’s exhausting.
To that end, I’m going to try and put some of it out there. I’m going to try and be brave.
I’ve been feeling some big feels lately…like I don’t know what’s next, which for me is terrifying. I’ve been questioning my career, wanting to be an “aritst” but feeling like I’m not good enough for the label. Ruminating on how there are so many injustices in our society, and feeling guilty I’m not fighting for them all, while at the same time coming up against some serious burnout in the field I’m currently in.
I sometimes day dream about running away from it all and opening a bakery. I can’t quite figure out what in my brain thinks being a small business owner would be more peaceful. Lol. (Side note: I do lean towards wanting to turn my hobby of baking into a side hustle. I’m waiting to see how that all plays out with a few projects in motion)
Anyways, I don’t want to burnout…but after over a decade of music school I find that I’m way better at emotionally beating up on myself than taking care of myself. How do people do that self-care thing I’ve heard so much about? What is a, how you say “break?” Seriously though, I take 15 minutes to watch a Sailor Moon episode and eat my lunch, and I’m over here calling myself lazy.
For the record, I’m working on this with professional help, but I haven’t been able to reach a place of peace yet. For years, I’ve believed that I’m not funny, definitely never considered myself attractive, and I’ve always felt like I’m not particularly talented/intelligent. In all of the ensembles and studios I’ve been in, I never was “the best” player. I was always amazed at the brilliance of those around me, my friends especially, and wondered why they let me tag along. As a result, I’ve told myself that my value as a person comes from being a “hard worker.” I had (have?) convinced myself that people only keep me around because I’m reliable, because I “have my shit together,” but not because they actually like, respect, or enjoy my presence. It’s ridiculous. I know. And I’m trying to undo that harmful self-talk, but it goes deep…and well…is a daily struggle.
(Even while typing this, my internal self-talk said “Is it ridiculous though?” Jesus, I’ve got work to do.)
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to perform for a small crowd here in Pontiac with Consuming Arts. We weren’t the main event, but I was stoked to be out there trying to do the thing. During our set, I shared a little more than I think I ever have publicly on the state I was in writing music a while back, and afterwards multiple people thanked me for being so open as they expressed feeling similarly. Fast forward to grabbing a bite to eat after the show. Somewhere between picking a place to sit, and the prime rib sandwich this thought pings in my mind “Why did you say all that stuff, Tia? You’re so stupid and whiny. No one actually cares about you, and now they just think you’re weak and crazy.” Do they? I have no idea? Do I think that about myself? Most definitely. Do I know I shouldn’t think that about myself, and can in fact point to an overwhelming amount of evidence disproving it, but I still feel in my heart of hearts that it is true? Also most definitely.
Maybe this is all over sharing. Then again, maybe it’s an attempt at being genuine in a world full of theatrics. I’m not sure where this is going, but I’m likely to get too scared to post again if I don’t wrap it up soon.
I’m not giving up. I’m not 100%, or really even 50% okay, but I intend to keep keepin’ on. I’m doing the work on myself. I’m exercising. I’m making attempts to be creative, develop relationships, and not think the worst of the world. I need help with that sometimes…seeing beauty around me, recognizing it within myself. But I’m trying.