Last night I had the opportunity to fulfill a dream: I played in a video game cover band, playing some of my favorite tracks. People recorded us with their phones, and many thanked me at the end of the performance. It was clear that there was adequate success.
But something about the whole thing felt off, and I think I’ve finally put my finger on it.
It still feels like I am perpetuating some elusive childhood dream that my heart really isn’t interested in anymore. What is this elusive dream that I chased all of my teen years and young adult life? Mother fvcking validation. Looking to outside approval for the “ok”ness to be myself and enjoy expressing myself as whomever i want.
Over my many years of playing in bands – and also desperately clinging to projects with which I felt out of alignment – I realize that I may have put myself onstage to create a covert contract with people in the audience to fill that hole of lack of validation in me. I would stay in projects that I didn’t really enjoy because I was addicted to the applause and the resulting feeling of validation. As I’ve been recovering from this paradigm, which seems to have – as ineffective paradigms do when met with awareness, patience, and a willingness to work at it – dissolved from the inside out, I question my commitment to the video game music project.
Am I following my heart here? I manifested this video game music cover band pretty quickly, over the past 3 weeks or so. It was a goal of mine with the TIMO project I released in August to create a live band, and I did it!
However, I encountered a couple factors that bothered me last night.
Firstly, we were told to be there for a 6:30 soundcheck. We didn’t soundcheck until 8. While this might seem inconsequential to someone who truly loves performing, It pissed me off. Do I really love it enough to put up with shifty times? Is there a way to operate in a touring band and have people respect your time? Surely there are many professional acts that have this aspect handled, such as those with touring managers and recording contracts. That is many musicians’ dreams. I know it will be easy to achieve, but I question whether or not it is my dream.
Reflecting on this point, perhaps if I choose to invest more time into this musical venture, I must accept the reality of the shiftyness of the music business. It’s hard to see it as a lucrative business venture…it is a creative venture. The ROI (return on investment) needs to be not only monetary but also emotional. I need to find out if it is going to be emotionally worth it for me.
Since I got the job at the juice bar, my spirit has lifted. I’ve had time to release my scarcity mindset and truly chill out for the first time in a few years. This means the opportunity to detach the money aspect from any musical ventures, and focus my creative pursuits on whatever I want. I want to invest my time into writing Igby (my fiction novel).
If I choose to perpetuate my videogame project, it is a large time commitment. It’s not a matter of showing up and playing. It also requires research into videogames, hours of additional listening, hours of practicing, monetary investments in patch-loading keyboards an equipment, hours taking care of the business and marketing side, and much more. I think it’s a great idea. I think someone that truly loves it should do it.
I like it. But I don’t love it. And because love is becoming a defining factor – a guiding light – in my life’s spiritual journey, I am thinking of letting it go.
I need to decide if I will be willing and able to take care of the project in the way that it needs.
Secondly, something about being on stage makes me nervous. It’s not the musical aspect though – I feel very confident about my musical aptitude.
It has to do with an old paradigm of reaching out to sexy people I want to talk to after the show. Part of the appeal of music to me as an adolescent and a young man was that being in a good band meant a steady flow of groupies. Now, as a self-realized man, I simply don’t feel attracted to party-animal groupies. And while I like partying every once in a while, I like doing so with people I already know and trust. If I were to connect with sexy people after the show, it would be probably be purely physical, but purely physical connections don’t interest me. I am attracted to minds, to souls, to spirits that dwell in beautiful bodies. I had my time sleeping with strangers in my young twenties (when I wasn’t incapacitated by sexual anorexia – which I’ve struggled with most of my adolescent and young adult life). I know that if I have sex with someone I will want to get to know them more. It creates an attachment in me that I must respect. I don’t think it’s a fault – it’s a predictable thing. I can’t just fvck and leave, even though in the past I tried to impose that reality on myself as a right of passage.
When I’m around adventurous, gregarious, party-animal vibe type people, it takes an inordinate amount of energy for me to meet them on their level. Life is short. I used to give a fvck, but now I don’t. I am, however, experiencing the result of choosing to live outside the party-animal paradigm which means my ways of meeting people must change.
I want to make a connection with a special person who likes to spend time with the introverted, spiritual, yogic, growth-oriented creative soul, and I want this person to be a sexual partner who not only jives with this vibe, but also has the time to spend with me. This person is financially stable, happy, sexually healthy, and matches my steady pacing in cultivating growing intimacy. I want someone that doesn’t need constant stimulation to be happy spending time with me, that can chill and be introverted, but still appreciate sizzling sexual attraction and intimacy.
Right now I need to be particular with those whose bodies I connect with physically.
Speaking of compatibility, I much prefer my work to be writing, composing, and working on focused and sustained activities; and my play to be one on on intimate conversations, movies, sex and cuddling, and growth-oriented personal development. Socialization is fine, like double dates or small gatherings, but I want to be very careful with which crowds I meld. Heavy drugs and alcohol use are red flags. Gossip and blaming are red flags. Unhealthy sexual guilt and shame are red flags.
Questioning the poly-dating model
Recently I’ve been questioning whether or not poly-dating is the right choice for me. Although I did like the initial freedom of it, and it’s requirement for total honesty and transparency, I seem to have fallen off the bandwagon. I still have many questions, and it’s been hard not to get down on myself for where I am emotionally with dating in general. It’s hard not to get down on myself for feeling stunted because I was never encouraged to date and try new things and be myself as an adolescent, and for being shamed almost irrevocably for being a sexual being in the first place. It’s hard to look past my rage at being emotionally neglected. I realize that these psychological complexes still occasionally pull at my consciousness.
If I am to continue my poly-dating, I want to surround myself with people who’ve made it work for them. These people must also be free of heavy drug and alcohol use, gossip and blaming, and unhealthy sexual guilt and shame. In other words, I want to find people that have made poly-dating work for them, and I must like them and want to model their behavior not just in their dating lives, but in most or all other aspects of their lives.
The poly-dating model must include total honesty and transparency. Total honesty and transparency with others, and also total honesty and transparency with myself, and coming to terms with the fact that the more my heart shines the more ineffective paradigms will dissolve. Any paradigm that can’t stand up to the shining light of my heart is no longer of interest to me.
Coming through: a balanced approach
The light of my heart is my guiding light, but I still make decisions based on several factors. Gnosis, knowledge that passes understanding, emotions, experience, advice. I choose to take all these factors into account when making decisions, and so to reject the poly-dating model now I think would be premature.
It is, however, time to iterate. What I like about it is the openness, the freedom, the transparency, the integrity required to do it the right way. What I don’t like that I’ve encountered has been a sort of cold-foot approach that I’ve found myself perpetuating. In other words, I’ve used the knowledge that I am dating multiple people as a defense mechanism for really connecting deeply with people. If you read my first post of the 21 day yoga challenge, you know that this was one of my initial fears. So apparently I’ve manifested that fear. It’s ok though, this happens a lot in human experience. What would the preferred alternative be? It would be connecting deeply with people. I actually have done this to a certain extent though, so it don’t want to fall into the trap of black and white thinking. there’s much grey area. It’s like I have a little fear about it and I also have actually had the opportunity to connect deeply with some people…
But what I think has been missing is consistency. I want a predictable, consistent relationship. Maybe this will look like a standing, weekly date. Maybe it will look like something else. What I can offer is consistency, companionship, mirroring, and love!
I didn’t mean for this blogpost to look like a personal ad, but I do believe that publicly asking for what you want is also the quickest way to get it.
So I will continue to be myself in whatever changes I go through, embracing my feeling of now growing introversion. I will write more, which somehow calms me and soothes my soul. Hopefully by sharing my story I am inspiring someone to heal, and to live the life of their dreams.
Query: who is it that is doing the dreaming?