A Song for My Winged Friends

So, I think I may be starting a band? Or… maybe I already have?

I’ve started recording music and songs I write and calling myself A Serious Artist, to poke fun at the idea…

However, I’m really liking the idea!!

Last night a song came to me and I recorded it. It’s possibly still in the demo phase, but I was itching to share it and hear feedback, so I uploaded it and am sharing it now!!


Lyrics (work in progress):

dragonfly, where ya goin’
is it some place far away?

i can see you are sad
by the light of the day

don’t be sad just spread your wings and fly
isn’t that what wings are for?

dragonfly don’t be scared there is nothing to fear
i believe in your capabilities, is that all you need to hear?

look up high and rise past those fears
you won’t die, you will overcome

take a breath prepare for lift off
the wind is there to help you overcome
just trust in yourself and you will be rewarded
and soon one day you will reach your home
butterfly you are so pretty but what’s going on inside?
I can tell you’re unsure and you feel like ya gotta hide

But you can’t cuz your always on view
that’s ok, cuz there’s something great, that’s in store for you

Let them laugh, they don’t know you, they’re just a waste of your time
Let them point, they just judge you cuz they know you’re one of a kind

it’s got nothin’ to do with you
fly above and carryyyyyyy on throughhhhhhhh

take a breath prepare for lift off
the wind is there to help you overcome
just trust in yourself and you will be rewarded
and soon one day you will reach your home
buzzin’ bee what’s the rush? where do you have to be? (hah, get it?)
i just heard that you’re the one to beat, and it’s pretty clear to see

don’t you wish you could let go of the anxiety
you don’t have to constantly move around

do you fear the calm and what your mind may think and say to you
are you afraid you’ll fall behind and that there’s someone better than you?

slow it down, smell the roses and have some fun
if you don’t you may miss a ton

It’s Always About the Process

Ya know, I record music in my spare time. I like to write my own songs, and make new arrangements of old favorites. This one here? That I’m sharing? One of the first ukulele songs I learned and still a favorite of mine. I tend to nerd it up, play ridiculously for my own entertainment, and this is me exposing that.

I know I had mentioned in a previous post (this one) that I grew up surrounded by music and musicians. Everyone in my fam-damly played at least 3+ instruments and sang. Boom. We’re magical like that. I tended toward voice, because my arms often feel like noodly-bits and my fingers spastic. But hey! Learning Ukulele on my own has been very rewarding. Am I mad-awesome? Not really, but I enjoy it, and as you can see in the video it brings me great joy and makes me feel like a kid again. So, I share this to let you guys see it’s OK to not be the best, and OK to be OK not being the best.

Who’s imperfect? WE ARE!

When I posted my first uber-self-conscious-ukulele video (note: here), I was hella’ nervous. Comparing this new video to that, I see the growth I’ve gone through- both in my ukulele playing ability and my confidence level. It’s cool to be able to look back on who you were and how far you’ve come.

Share Your Spark

My newest Ukelele addition

My newest Ukelele addition

Honestly, I love making music. I found it has become my greatest, most therapeutic outlet. I taught myself to pick up Luis, the newest addition to my Strings family (Fender, Eugene, and Luis) whenever I’m feeling the desire. The key was teaching myself to pick up the strings whenever I’m stressed out or bummed. Whenever I feel lost, alone, or overwhelmed, I’ve ingrained it within me to pick up the strings, give it a strum of the chord and see where it leads. Often, it helps me refocus my attention away from whatever was bogging down my mind onto calming, freeing chords.

I’ve been approached a few times to play the ukulele in front of others but I am highly self-conscious and scared. I play for my own benefit, for my own wellbeing, safely away in my own apartment. I’m not nearly good enough to share with others! I’ll be judged! I’ll be criticized! There are others who are so much more advanced.

Every morning, I sit by my computer and work on a drawing. I usually have random TED Talks playing on YouTube, talking in my ear as I work. Recently, the video “The First 20 hours, how to learn Anything” by Josh Kaufman popped up automatically. Josh Kaufman’s voice educated and entertained me, but it wasn’t until he said “And so, I decided to pick up the Ukelele” that my head turned toward the screen.

And no, he was not a professional. And no! He wasn’t super-skilled or super-confident about his skills. But what I marveled most about him was his ability to share where he was, in the learning process, at that moment. He didn’t apologize for not being the best. He encouraged it. If we see steps, if we see the progress or hear of the progress someone went through when developing a new skill, it can inspire us in our own lives to go out and get’ er’ done!

Carla Fleming is a woman I am helping to organize her business and home (I’ve mentioned her before). She is a Certified High Performance Coach and music teacher. We got to talking recently and she learned that I play the ukelele. She asked if I’d like to play in front of others for an upcoming event. (Cue this internal reaction) Shy and nervous at the prospect, I declined, knowing– no assuming– I’m not good enough to be seen yet. But ya know what? I won’t be comfortable in my skills until I take that step. Playing by myself is wonderful, but sharing something that makes me incredibly happy regardless of how “good” I am at it would help everybody around. I’m doing something I love that helps me feel connected to myself and to the ground. If others can see that connection, perhaps I can inspire them to do the same. I am my worst critic, and it prevents me from even taking that step. Seriously. It’s just a step.

Earlier today, an old friend of mine from High School posted a video of herself singing to the camera. She put herself out there because she was doing something she loved and wanted to share. I see a lot of my friends from high school, doing the same thing. All of us were in choir and in theatre together (Yes, I’m a huge Theatre Nerd!) It’s all for fun. I’m sure they worry about how people will view their videos, or judge their voice, but they’re doing it! They’re pushing past those insecurities and building that confidence. Exposure therapy.

Take their advice, Susie.

So Here I am.

I decided to leave this video unedited. It shows me, nervously approaching that intimidating stool! Second-guessing myself, thinking about how my long necklaces are hitting into the ukulele while I play, wondering how I look, overthinking whether or not I should be looking directly into the camera or off into the distance. But damn it, Here I Am.

I manage to find my groove, punctuated by wrong notes and a phlemy throat. But Damn it, Here I Am! I survived, I shared.

And I feel relieved.

Because I’ve accepted it’s not perfect, and I’ve decided it feels better to laugh about it and continue to grow, than to smack myself in the head and ignore the progress I have made.

*Phew! It’s not so bad, right?

So what do you love? What would you LOVE to share with others? What are you excited to talk about and connect with people about? I bet you someone out there wants to know.

I mean, I’m here, and I want to know!

So go on, tell me a story!