Posts tagged with "self-improvement"

Famous Blue Raincoat (ukulele cover)

Almost three months ago, I walked into a music store and bought a ukulele. I didn’t even know the frets on the ukulele (or guitar, for that matter) were raised; I thought they were just lines painted on the neck used as guidelines for finger positions. Ever since, it’s filled a void in me. A void I didn’t even know existed until I found myself feeling empty when I didn’t get a chance to play.

Famous Blue Raincoat is one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs. I wish I could write letters like this.

I haven’t quite figured out what kind of style or genre I want to apply to the ukulele, but I think my singing ability (or lack thereof) will limit me to the soft Sam Beam folk sound unless I started taking singing lessons. Borrowed in my interpretation is a variation of the picking pattern Cohen uses in a lot of his earlier songs, such as Hey That’s No Way To Say Goodbye, adapted for the soprano ukulele.

While my brain picks out the mistakes and details I need to work on when I see myself play, I try to keep in mind the words of my Tai Chi teacher, “We’re never as bad as we fear nor as good as we would like”. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with my musical ability unless I could commit a lot more time to it. Unfortunately, that would mean less time for another hobby, so I have to accept that this will probably be close to the limit of my ability. Hopefully, I’ll be able to clean things up in another few years. Patience will come from learning to be satisfied from the act of playing itself, and not the mastery of it. For now, this’ll serve as record of my progress.

Afraid and shy, I let my chance go by

While I’ve always been very appreciative of what we did have, sometimes I wonder about what we never had the chance to do.

Sure, I bared my soul. I surrendered. I gave her the songs I don’t share with just anyone. I told her how profoundly important, wonderful, and remarkable she was to me. I let her in like no one else before.

But there were parts of myself I never gave up.

It wasn’t because we hadn’t reached that level of trust. It was a way for me to protect myself. To feel as though she didn’t have all of me, so I wouldn’t be left as open and vulnerable when the end finally came.

I regret it now. Not because I think it would have changed anything1, but because I wonder what it would have been like for someone to know me completely. To feel vulnerable and safe, all at once. Even knowing I’d be heartbroken eventually, it would have been worth it to share what I’ve always saved.

I’ve been keeping all my girlfriends at arms length to protect myself. I can’t go through life holding things back anymore, constantly worried someone’s going to hurt me. That’s always a risk, no matter how stable a relationship is.

I have to put myself out there. I have to make the first step, even if it means feeling uncomfortable, because the more you share, the more comfortable you become, the more you share, and so on.

I can only go forward now, as a wiser person, a stronger soul, a better lover.

I suppose I’m feeling nostalgic, or missing her, as is my wont when the seasons change.

  1. Cause it wouldn’t have. []

My Therapist is a Rockstar

As I was writing notes for therapy tomorrow1, I was doing some research on lifetraps and came across a short paragraph that cleared up everything for me to the point where I didn’t feel like I needed to keep my appointment. It was the answer I didn’t even know I was looking for.

Now the feeling of emptiness that’s followed me for so long is gone, and everything makes sense. I feel stable again, though there’s still a hint of doubt because I’ve been here before but it’s never been anything permanent.

I’m still going tomorrow so I can solidify my new-found understanding. I don’t think it’s going to be a regular thing again, I just need the bit of guidance he gives me that lets me fix myself. I can’t explain how good it felt to make the appointment, knowing I had someone with a professional education and years of experience in this to give me an objective view. My friends are always there to support me, but they don’t make sense of the world for me the way my therapist does.

  1. This is the first time I’ll be bringing notes, only because I’m trying to cover such a complex topic that I want to be sure I’m not missing anything. []

Surrounding Myself With Great People

It’s hard for me to hang out with people with same bad habits as I have (or have had).

Habits like:

  • overreacting
  • worrying
  • analyzing or thinking too much
  • being judgmental
  • getting emotionally involved in arguments/discussions
  • putting value in material things
  • being impatient
  • getting too competitive

I always try to improve and refuse to accept these things in myself, so it’s hard for me to accept them in others. I’m also afraid that spending too much time with them would make me complacent, as I’d start to believe that these things are acceptable because other people are okay with it.

That’s why I surround myself with people who are better than me.