Updated: May 2, 2020
I’ve spent much of my time being frustrated recently.
Frustrated I’m “just” a singer.
Frustrated my fingers aren’t calloused from the guitar yet.
Frustrated every lyric I write feels cheesy or fabricated.
Frustrated every melody feels like I took it from a song I heard the day before.
Frustrated my desire is great but my ability feels feeble.
Frustrated I live in a town which lends itself towards entertainment instead of artistry.
But I think it’s a holy frustration- a motivating frustration- a get off your ass and do something about it frustration.
Recently, a mentor asked me “Laura, why do you downplay literally everything you do?” As I sat with the question for a few days, I came up with the answer “because if I set the expectation low, if I sell myself short, I won’t ever be disappointing others or myself.” aka if I play it up like I suck, it won’t hurt as much if others think I do too. CLASSIC.
But once again, that’s not the way to live life, people! (She says mainly to herself)
Although I felt like crying angry tears over my guitar skills tonight, this season of life has been my most frustrating yet my most inspired. Also, it’s been terrifying because I suffer from the chronic condition of “caring too much what people think”. I’ve had to start telling myself “Laura, if you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else will.” BUT IT’S HARD TO SUBJECT MYSELF TO CRITICISM, OKAY?!
I could live my whole life and never understand why people’s opinions are paralyzing to me.
All caps pouting aside, it’s a holy frustration I don’t want to lose because it’s making me better. I call it holy because I don’t think something always has to be “religious” to be sacred. You can disagree.
I believe each person in this whole wide world 1) was created 2) made to create. It’s just a matter of choice right? I actively choose, through decisions big and small, the life I create for myself. Regardless of artistic talent or ability, my existence makes me a creator. So are you, ya feel me?
Prayer and my relationship with God are a part of the creative process for me, which I’m still figuring out what “the creative process” even means for me. But I was praying and seeking a few months ago “what does it mean for me to be a creator?”
I came away with this:
God 1) meets me in creation (uh, hello I live in Colorado where even the sidewalk is stunning)
2) dares me to join in creating; to create beauty, to create kindness, to create peace.
Regardless of where any talent or ability ever takes me, I’m a creator and I am 100% down to create beauty, kindness, and peace any day.
All that rambling aside, if you find yourself, like me, engaged in a holy frustration, if you’re struggling with a desire to grow, I hope you lean into it. I’m beyond thankful for the loyal friendships who have encouraged me to lean into mine.
I’ve consequentially been listening to a LOT of music recently. If you’re looking to refresh your playlist, here are some artists new and “old” which have been inspiring me: Ingrid Michaelson (specifically her older album BE OK), Leon Bridges (Coming Home), Marian Hill, Lawrence (Breakfast album, check out the song Come on, Brother), Sylvan Esso, and PJ Morton. I also recently listened to a podcast featuring Robert Glasper called Side Effects of being an Innovator. Happy Listening