I couldn’t quite figure out why I was feeling so uneasy about heading east this time. I’ve gone to Tennessee and Indiana before, why was this time to different? And then it hit me: I have never done this before.
Every other time I have gone east to play shows I have either driven there and so been able to bring everything I needed with me or been able to rely on other people to set things up for me. Or both. This time I’m on my own. And I feel partially excited about it and partially nervous.
It’s funny because I don’t get nervous before a show these days. But I think that’s because most of the shows I do I have tried before, on some level. I do get nervous when I step into the unknown like this. What if they take my guitar away from me on the plane and it comes back in a million pieces? (Stranger things have happened, believe me). What if I run out of batteries and ...did I bring replacements? Will the PA I am borrowing have everything I need? Did I allow for enough time between time-zones? All those things go through my head and small panicky moments happen when I think I forgot something but then remember that I did remember it. This whole process is so incredibly uncomfortable. So why do it?
As a species, we like to take steps into the unknown because we love to grow. We are drawn toward expansion as we are to love and to joy. As with everything, the first time we do something we feel anywhere from uncomfortable to downright nauseous. (If we are THAT uncomfortable, it might have been better to start a little smaller, although I fully realize that sometimes there is no in-between, you just have to take that big leap and see if the net appears). We choose to be willing to power through being uncomfortable so we can learn and expand and grow.
Some people would look at my particular situation and say “sounds easy enough, what is she fussing about?” while others would faint at the prospect of even getting on that plane. Our “leaps” are individual. To me, this is big. And I am admitting out loud that this is hard. And that I many times have thought about cancelling and staying home and watching Game Of Thrones. Again. But I do it because of what I will gain in the other end. I will be able to say “yeah, I did that, and now I know how to do that” and then next time it won’t be so scary. I do it, because I really do want to be the kind of person who can fly in for a show any given weekend. I do it, because I know it will take me one step closer to where I want to go, to who I want to be.
So when you step out there, on shaky ground and take that (to you) big step, think of me. Think, if she can, so can I.