Monday, January 31, 2011

The Fine Line Between Ego and Self-Worth.

I am a good actor. Maybe even a very good actor. I feel I have the skills and the emotional honesty to play any role you put in front of me. I have spent many years getting to that point, I have struggled to find my place in this business, and to find my own methods of reaching that truth. I feel that I have every right to claim that skill set, and be rightfully proud of it.

I am an OK guitar player, an OK songwriter. I am able to put together songs that can be fairly catchy and fun to listen to. I have a pretty good sense of rhythm and an ear for hooks. I enjoy the process of working on music, and creating something new. I like learning other songs, classic riffs and the like, to a point, but I really am not excited or interested in learning other people's songs.

I am a poor singer. I sing on the tracks I create because I literally feel I have no other option.

I am a good writer. I feel I have an excellent sense of story development, and an ear for dialogue. I need to work on this skill set in order to become better, but I have, I feel, a pretty excellent command of the tools I have in my pocket right now.

I spent a lot of years feeling like I wasn't any good at anything. Fighting the voice in my head that told me I was a fool, and a loser for believing that I could excel at any of this creative bullshit. It was a rough time, and marked some of the lowest personal moments of my life. I was not respected by the people around me, and I lost myself in believing them.

It is funny how, as you move through life, you leave those environments, and you think, "I'll never allow that to happen again." Then, next thing you now, it's several years later, and you're right back in the same shit. It's natural, I suppose, you look to the people, and situations, around you as a clue to how to consider yourself and your own work.

You commit yourself to endeavors, to goals and plans, and there's no way to judge your success in those arenas except by how your feel about yourself in doing so. You place yourself in a situation where you dedicate yourself to fully living up to what's expected, and more than that, trying to exceed those expectations. You want to be the go-to guy, the rock, the one who can be counted on.

Disaster. Always. Never fails.

Why? Because, frankly, you don't do these things for altruistic reasons. You want something, and what you want, in return for your stalwart trust and respect, is the same to be directed back at you. Even a little bit of it, just enough to know that you're not throwing energy into a void.

I do not, ever, expect to get my own way all the time. No one should. Yet, you will always come to a point, it seems, where you have to ask yourself why, exactly, you're committing time and energy to something that may not be giving you back anything that feels positive. If it makes you feel small and weak and less confident, what is the point? If it makes you feel like there's something wrong with your taste, or the way you do your job, or the things that feed your soul and make you excited, or the things that completely turn you off, it's not a positive impact. It's quite the opposite.

When you feel nothing coming back, it's only natural to fill that silence with the worst. It's only natural to feel alone and isolated, cut off from those around you. And who cares if you are cut off? Those people must not think much of you anyway. It may not even be true, but, when you are lonely, everyone's the enemy.

I've always been one to struggle, to hang on, to endure in the hope that the worm would eventually turn. That my perseverance, my stalwart efforts, would be recognized. That's well and good until the recognition is...nothing. It's an empty gesture, or worse, something that's downright odious to you. Then you're in another tailspin. Why would anyone think I would appreciate that? Don't these people know me at all? Even in the sense of being recognized, you still feel forgotten.

I've got thinking, and decisions to make.

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