Day 189: Grandiose Dreams and Earthly Realities

I have always had grandiose dreams and ambitions. As a young child, I was fairly certain I was on the path to becoming the next Superman or Luke Skywalker. By the time I was 9 years old, I was going to be a baseball player, the next Will Clark. A few years later, I was next in line to fill Stephen King’s shoes as grand story-teller. Moving into my teens, I aimed somewhere between Beethoven and Van Cliburn: consummate classical pianist and revolutionary composer. In my mid-twenties, I reversed course, and was headed for a career as the next Eminem (but on the piano!).

Somewhere amidst all that grandiosity, my adult life started to take form. Piano playing and piano teaching took off as viable and satisfying means of income. My “higher ambitions” hit various walls of (apparently) self-imposed resistance. For one thing, as much as my dreams seemed to be all about the lime-light, as it turned out I usually found it easier to keep a low-profile. I found it surprisingly difficult to navigate the world of people without getting overwhelmed, confused, or generally causing trouble for myself. My grandiose ideals had to be tempered by my highly sensitive nature. And it seemed that keeping things mellow tended to reduce the biggest source of upset: my own self-judgment.

What’s more, I found that a relatively quiet life of self-reflection, quality time with those I cared about, and positive interactions with people in my local community was quite fulfilling. The TV-inspired dreams of the “good life” just didn’t quite match up with who it turns out I really am. Even though I was gifted with the ability to create wonderful things as an artist–whether through composing, songwriting, or writing–I found the prospect of trying to put my art into the world overwhelming and discouraging.

In summary, despite my prodigious talents, creative abilities, and idealistic plans, I just did not find it easy to get out of my own way. The whole area of “worldly ambition” got very confusing. And so, I opted for the strategy I have done so many times in my life: I withdrew to think things over.

Enter this blog. It has helped give me a middle ground between having the space and time to myself to think things through, and the part of me that desires an audience for my expression. I don’t wish to live in a cave, hiding from the on the world. But on the other hand, it did not work to throw myself out there without first examining how to make it work for me.

Overall, when it comes sharing, this blog has worked better than perhaps any of my previous artistic endeavors. It has been the most pleasant and compatible with my nature. I think I thrive from the privacy of writing on my own, as well as the loose format of a personal blog, which has none of the pressures that I have put on myself with my “professional” websites. Yet it is also legitimately “public,” even on a small scale.

Hopefully, one day I will put all the pieces of the puzzle in place, and work at the top of my energies in a very public way, expressing myself and gaining the full satisfaction of “wordly” results of a fully expressed artist. In the meantime, I shall continue to grow in love and appreciation for my own uniqueness, and do things that feel good to me.

One step at a time!

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