For most of my life, I have been a please-er. I was the kid that would burst in to tears if you so much as said NO to me. The daughter of two ministers, I knew from a young age that I was to be a good example, so I tried to be the best example. I became addicted to positive attention and did everything I could to be as perfect as a little kid can be or a pre-teen, or even in to my teen years. However, we all learn eventually that the road to perfection only leads to madness.
Still, even now, when I've publicly let go of the alleged road to happiness and taken my own route; criticism gets under my skin. Despite my best attempts to make everyone happy, I've apparently picked up the title of "difficult". I'm too opinionated, too outspoken, too challenging. I have venues that say I'm too mellow, that I play too many of the same songs each week (I have 3 hour sets for goodness sakes. Just playing for that long is hard, playing 3 hours of different music every week? Ain't happening!) I'm too bossy. I'm too blah blah blah. And hearing it got to me. I burst in to tears, even. But then I got over it, and realized that in trying to , please people, I was letting go of my authentic self even in the midst of trying to find her.
I think if you are ever going to live out your bliss, you are going to have to put making your self happy first, and some people will find that offensive. I get told to tone down my confidence all the time, to be more modest. My bio says that I am an acoustic rock goddess, and I've been encouraged to remove it because it seems like too egotistical of a thing to state about myself , but it suites my style. It fits who I'm trying to be. And my friends who enjoy my music LOVE that title. That is who I am more then just a singer songwriter, a performer, or a starving artist. It acknowledges that my music comes from my soul, is tied in to my spirit, is a gift that I've been given by the divine.
Yes, it's going to turn some people off, but no matter what I do, some people aren't going to like it.
I'm not going to be perfect, I'm not going to make everyone happy, and I'm not going to be the best fit for every venue. I'll get negative reviews, probably get insulted on youtube, bashed, ridiculed, and told what I need to do...but this journey isn't about all of THEM, it's about me.
Besides, for every one of them there are five more of YOU. Someone who loves what I'm doing, who is touched by it, who believes in ME, who was drawn to my music BECAUSE of it's authenticity.
So I'll make a promise to you now. I will keep writing the music you love, I will keep being true to this muse, I will commit myself to writing for all of the yous out there . But I need something from you in return, I need you to be louder then the critics. I need you to help me prove them wrong.
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By Georgia Reed