This is something I’ve learned in the last few months: everyone has a safe place and in fact we all need safe places. Our safe places differ from person to person but they do have one unifying factor: it’s a place where you feel most at peace and at rest. Whether this place be real or imagined is inconsequential; what matters is the fact that it makes YOU feel safe. I’ve learned more about this idea and now I”m having to live it out in a way that is unexpected.
Well, this England trip has been one giant comfort zone obliterator. That whole concept is fairly foreign to me at this moment which is both exhilarating but also daunting and frightening. So instead of turning to a comfort zone, I’ve instead had to find a safe place. Well, my safe place is kinda hard to find at the moment.
Because it’s at a piano. I don’t care where it is or how it looks or whatever it may be, as long as its got 88 keys and is in decent tuning I’m okay.
Or so I thought.
See, there’s a piano in the station closest to me and yet I never play it. You’d think that with all of this change that I would be quick to run over there and be in that safe place but I didn’t. Simply because it was in the middle of the public and I was scared of how people would perceive my playing.
I mean how stupid of an excuse is that? (I just really wanted an excuse to use this gif, if I’m honest.)
Most of the people in the station aren’t even paying attention to little ole’ me, yet I had it in my head that everyone was and they were judging me. It was that fear (which was all in my head) that was keeping me from entering into that safe space that was essentially right there. I couldn’t tell you why I had this fear. Maybe it stems back to my own issues with judgement in the name of critique. Perhaps it connects back to my own perceptions of how I see my own playing/songwriting/musical abilities and it’s not necessarily a reflection on how other people see me but instead how I see myself. Regardless, I was choosing to ignore the safe space and instead was option to continue to live in a headspace where I was feeling disoriented and confused.
However, today, I chose to make a change. I chose to put aside my fears, insecurities and concerns in order to enter into the safe space that was essentially provided for me from the beginning. I plopped myself on the bench, played a couple of notes. Within seconds, this sudden relief hit me like a breath of fresh air. I kept playing and kept feeling more and more at peace. I hadn’t realized just how much stress and negative energy I had stored up in me until I played those keys. I almost chastised myself for not doing this sooner but instead of focusing on the past, I chose to focus on the good. I was only able to play for a few minutes before I had to board my train but it was the most joyous 10 minutes I’ve had in a very long time.
Admittedly, I can’t say that this will be a regular thing. I still have all that “people are judging me” stuff to get over. But it’s a start.
And in the words of my dad: That sounds like a song.
Peace & Harmonies