Photo by Camilynne Photography
Last week, my friend Dan, who sits next to me in my Pro Tools class, pulled a CD out of his backpack. The CD, shiny and new, read It Starts With a Song.
"Hey, I think I'm on this CD," I said as he handed it over for me to review.
Sure enough, "You Don't Define Me" from my album Feather in the Wind was right there on the back cover. BYU decided to release a compilation CD of former students who have gone on to have "a career" in music. I left class that day somewhat amused as I asked myself, "What? What starts with a song? A seven year stint of local music that leads you right back to the classroom where you started? Ha."
As I stared into the bagel display case at the Twilight Zone on campus I pondered on my journey as a musician. Has it been worth it? Have I made much progress from where I first started? Just then, a familiar song came on over the loud speakers. It was "The Show" by one of my favorite artists, Lenka. In fact, I loved that song so much that several months earlier, I contacted the producer and asked him if he would work on my next album.
He said yes.
I took the synchronicity of hearing that song in that moment as a sign to rejoice in the fact that I have, in fact, made much progress since the first time I tried out for chamber choir in high school and did not make it. I didn't make the school musical either, nor Women's Chorus, nor Young Embassadors, nor the Music Dance Theater Program. Not even a fireside group called, "The Latter Day Sounds." (I am now somewhat relieved about that.) So I started to make my own music and write my own songs. Now I am on the cusp of working with several producers whom I really admire and no doubt this journey really did start with one little song.
Cool idea: This exercise comes from a book I love called, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. Think of five imaginary lives you would love to live and write them down. Choose a favorite and then start living it this week. What is one step you can take in that direction? It may be picking up your paintbrush, strumming your guitar, spending more meaningful time with your children, taking a dance class, or signing up with an intramural sports team. Don't wait to create a life you love living. Just that one step may lead to three or four more until you look back and realize a thousand steps later just how far you've come.