I had an odd little exchange here in the office this morning, and it’s got my wheels turning.
Of course it does. And I’m probably over-thinking things, but…well…that’s kind of what I do best. Over-think things.
Anyways. I was barely in the door this morning until my co-worker, friend, and just all-round great guy, Rolly, walked in the office. He was doing his usual Tazmanian-Devil-spin around the office, when he suddenly ground to a halt at my desk and said, “Jilly, you know what? This morning, I woke up to my alarm clock just blaring this great song, and I coulda swore it was you singing.”
See, Rolly is this amazing musician. Like, uh.may.zing. A pure and beautiful talent that I feel so fortunate and blessed to know. While I share his absolute love for all different kinds of music, I could never in a million years hope to be as awesome as he is.
Despite this, Rolly has always nurtured my interest in playing guitar, recommended songs for me to listen to, and offered to help me out with learning more and how to improve my playing.
The fact of the matter is, I lack the raw talent. I love to play, I love to sing, but I happen to know I sound like a howling cat. Or nails on a chalkboard. Whatever. No matter how much wisdom Rolly imparts on me, I’ll never be that good. He knows this. I know this. And yet, Rolly has always – always - encouraged me.
So when he told me I sounded like someone on the radio, all I could do was laugh, roll my eyes, and say, “Thanks, Roll – you were half asleep, but I’ll take that as a compliment!”
“No!” he said, “It really did sound like you! Beautiful voice!”
So again, I give my awkward uncomfortable I-know-I-suck-but-thanks-anyways chuckle, and in an effort to change the subject, I say, “You know, I don’t remember the last time I picked up my guitar…”
Which is a lie. I know exactly the last time I picked up my guitar. It was about a month ago. I played two songs, and my fingers felt like they were being stabbed with knives. Because prior to that, I hadn’t picked it up since Christmas Eve. My fingertips have gone soft, no longer calloused; so out of practice that they almost don’t even know what to do anymore…
Rolly offered me a smile, and said, “Well you should. Pick it back up again. It’ll make you feel better.”
And then he was gone.
I sat down, and let the words run through my mind again.
It’ll make me feel better? What’s that supposed to mean? Have I been giving people the impression that I’m *not* feeling well or something?
And then I gave my head a shake. Truth be told? I know exactly what he means.
I’ve been doing some soul-searching lately. Trying to get back to doing the things that make me happy; that make me me. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Rolly has noticed I’ve been off my game for a while now.
I know that I’ve kind of been unwell. I try not to dwell on it. I try to ignore it at all costs, in fact. Sure, it’s been a rough year, but everybody goes through rough times and they survive. You keep trudging on, you keep smiling, and you’ll be OK. Eventually.
But I seem to have let go of a few of the things that have always nourished my soul. I don’t write anymore, save for these blog posts. And I don’t play guitar anymore. At all.
How did I let this stuff go? Why? When did I become so wrapped up in my own self that I forgot about all of the things that once made me who I am? The things that I looked forward to? The things that help me unwind?
Who cares if I sound like nails on a chalkboard? I sounded like that before and it never stopped me. Nobody ever came up to me and said, “Just stop. Now. You’re horrible.”
But now, I just keep thinking, “I’m no good, why bother?”
Why bother? Because it makes me happy.
The soul-searching has definitely turned up that realization. And Rolly’s comment – the “pick it back up, it’ll make you feel better” – has really hit home this morning.
I’ve been unwell. It’s time to start feeling better again.
It’s time to get back to being me.
I think I’ll start with that ol’ guitbox.