I am an ambitious person.
write music, manage a start up company, help my sister with her wedding, save up money, possibly going back to school, trip to Germany, be kind and proactive with family, post music quips everyday, perform and practice as much as I can, while making new friends but keeping my long-term friends near and dear to me. To the average person, this is a lot of tasks. To me, I am selling it to myself that I can, because anything is possible when you decide not to be stuck anymore.
I made a big decision to stay in New York. My love for it faded, and this past summer, I was looking at schools overseas, jobs all over the country, whatever it took to take a break from my long-term relationship from Manhattan. I needed freedom, and freedom was what I was going to get.
I was not dating, and haven’t been, at the time, for six months so I could learn about myself, and it lead to Jay. One curious click onto Okcupid after a long break from the crazy world of online dating lead me to a profile of a man who was funny, charming, and really adorable. We met in person, and instantly became a friend and a big part in my life. To meet someone you instantly connect with, share common opinions, be silly with at inappropriate times together, while supporting and loving each other, is seriously a blessing. We know we have different goals in life, but preserve our relationship with communication, not going to bed angry, and assuring one another when times are tough, confusing, or amazing!
My relationship with Jay sparked inspiration. Music lived in him, and my muse re-ignited. I planned out projects, wrote for a short film (White Privilege Frankenstein-please come to our showcase at the Katra Film Series on February 6th!), and I left a pretty negatively-prone work environment to work with Sinem Saniyè on her record label. To work with someone driven, creative, yet strong in every sense of the word is a life-changing experience, and could not be happier!
I also decided to embark on a 365 day journey of posting music everyday on Social Media. Whether I perform on a trash can, practice my instruments, song in weird places, what-have-you, I will do it! A dear friend of mine completed this with such success with her dance move/day project, and watching her do this everyday no matter what was inspiring. I made my decision, and started to plan!
December hit me like a ton of bricks. Although I was moving up with music, relationships, my career, I could not escape from uncertainty. However, I made decisions, was implementing them, and therefore, it was time to fight uncertainty for good.
Then my grandfather got sick. This was a man who lived his life to be a Godly person, a father, a husband, a grandfather and great-grandfather, and made sure that each and every one of us knew how to sing an Irish tune, play card games, cheat in card games, and keep my dad and his 9 siblings together. We drove up right after Christmas to see him, holding our breath that we would be able to say goodbye. The man in his deathbed asked for wine and beer, joked with us when he decided to be awake for his birthday, and waited until all ten of his children and his elder grandchildren of 42 were present to guide him to the next journey. Writing this is difficult, but in me was song. My family was together grieving, but they were celebrating his life. The time we spent preparing for his funeral, consulting my grieving grandmother, and making sure everyone around was doing the best they could is something I will always hold on to. I have a big family, and can happily and soulfully say I am close to each and every one of them.
After his death I thought about my goals, my life in general, my existence, and dug deep into my being. The guilt I put myself though all these years for not being “perfect”; was that worth it? Is life about perfection? Or, is life about your passions and moving forward with them? Is it about love? Is it about fear? What kind of life am I living by questioning myself, when I saw in front of me a man I knew my whole life, live his life the way he needed to, with love and compassion, pass away with his entire family celebrating his life and peace?
Lesson learned: my fear for imperfection needed to end. Not tomorrow, not at the end of this year, after this year-long music project, now. My grandpa was not a perfect man, because a perfect man and/or woman does not exist. But I respected him for his passion. And love him always.
So I started my project “late”, one week after New Years, and still found myself judging my process. This wasn’t what this was to be about, so I kept forcing myself to break free from the uncertain Allison I was, and kept posting.
With the death of David Bowie, I was paralyzed with more grief. A man who I loved from out of the womb, whose music made me feel like I wasn’t an outcast, will never create again. Another lesson leaned: Live like Bowie. Did he care what others thought? Probably, but as an artist, he made sure that his music said otherwise. This is remarkable and inspiring! And if anything else, it wrapped up my long epiphany of how I need to live my life with this:
Don’t apologize for art, apologize for holding back.
As week’s went on, got a new project, building up with the record label, 6/8 Records with Sinem, sharing more with my love, playing more confidently with bassoon in an amazing community band, singing more, helping my family and friends while working on not overwhelming myself or others, and being present with my art.
I made it 21 days of posting music. Then I realized something: as much as this is doable, admirable, and creative, I’m not enjoying it. So, I’m allowing a break from this. I need to enjoy my music, because by not enjoying, I’m apologizing. And that is not excusable anymore.
Will I continue the project? Maybe in April! I want to make time to create on my own without a deadline, so that music becomes organic. Until then, I will live my life like Bowie, yet more importantly like my grandfather. Love and passion is what is key, and therefore, that is what I aim to do, believe in, and be.