We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s the journey, not the destination that counts.” At the same time we live in a society that worships glorified destinations. Hollywood and the world of sports, epitomize the golden crown so many wish to achieve. For those without artistic or athletic dreams, the values instilled by media affect how we view ourselves, our bodies and deeply affect how we choose to spend hard-earned resources. For those with acting, music or sports on their hearts, the final destination can become a prison rather than a playing field, especially when success, as defined by society at large, can often be elusive.
For the past few years of my life, I have wrestled with the desire to create music. This has at times been inspirational and hopeful, leading me to meet incredibly talented and passionate people whom I would never have met had I not embarked on this journey. Other times, it can seem like a black hole that sucks up all my time, resources, and energy. During the harder moments, I often try to remind myself – it’s about the journey. However, sometimes these reminders ring hollow as I look to find a result or a breakthrough.
Lately, I experienced a supernatural shift in my perspective, for which I am deeply grateful. This shift has brought a new hope, and a new peace to how I approach what I am doing. The shift comes from the knowledge that each of us is gifted in a unique way that is meant to be a contribution to this world. Paul Williams, President of ASCAP proclaimed at the 2011 “I Create Music” Expo, “The world deserves to hear your song!” While I’m not sure the entire world needs to hear my songs, I’m certain there are people out there who will find encouragement and resonance with what I represent.
For many songwriters, life is about the pursuit of writing a “hit.” If you measure yourself against this goal, anything short of a “hit” could be deemed a failure. I think this is a cruel form of self-punishment. Rather, I choose henceforth, to open my hands with gratitude for the songs that I’ve been given and choose to honour these gifts by continually finding creative ways to share my unique perspective on life. Having hosted open mics for a few years now, including the Songwriters Association of Canada‘s Toronto Regional Writers Group, it always strikes me how each songwriter has a personal style that is like a fingerprint, completely one-of-a-kind. I too have my fingerprint that cannot be replicated in this world.
In my mind, I see a picture of myself opening the window and setting a cage of doves free to take flight. I can’t wait to see my songs fly…