I wanted to reflect on some of my struggles with enjoying what I do, and I'm curious if anyone's had the same experiences as me.
After spending so many years studying and making classical music, I found myself a bit jaded about the art form I started off so passionate about. First, this took the form of viewing music too seriously - a bad tone day was a bad day, and coming in wrong during a rehearsal could ruin my whole week. I also felt obligated to attend concerts and masterclasses, as if I was a bad person if I wasn't in the mood to go, or prioritized something else.
Then, I came to the conclusion that things didn't need to be so serious. That I could have fun performing regardless of little mistakes, and that I only needed to attend events that I had a genuine desire to go to. I was less shakeable, but that came at a cost of my sense of purpose and motivation. If it's not that deep, what exactly had I been working so forcefully towards all those years?
Looking back on these two versions of myself, I see that putting my self worth into music damaged my relationship with it, and that stepping back was an attempt to protect and heal. But there were truths within both perspectives - music is meaningful and powerful, but it also isn't life or death.
Recently, I've been focusing on the experience, enjoyment, and exploration of music. I discovered, as a lifelong listener of only classical and indie/folk music, that I really like listening and dancing to techno. And that my years of training on the flute can be useful for jamming out with the local jaw harp enthusiast. It's just the beginning, but I'm starting to see sides of music and music-making I'd never considered before.
As creators, it's easy to get stuck in the desire to be "good at creating" like I had for so many years. I think striving to master a craft is part of what makes creative endeavors fulfilling. But if it's been a long time since you've let go and truly enjoyed your art form, I urge you to shake things up and try looking at it all from a different perspective.
If you read this whole thing, thank you. And if it resonated with you, I welcome you to leave a comment with your thoughts.
With Love as Always,
Serena - Co-Founder of Creative Baggage