The other day, I found myself in the back seat of a vehicle full of people, all quietly and intently listening to one of my songs off my upcoming Live E.P. that one of them decided to play for everyone. I wasn’t expecting to have everyone listen to it. I was fine with it, of course. I even wanted them to hear it. But what I didn’t expect was the rush of panic that I felt when I heard it playing over the speakers. I realized in that moment that I respected the opinions of everyone in the car so much that I was actually terrified to know what they thought of it! I felt my muscles clenching tighter and tighter, teeth grinding, palms sweating, all over a song.
Its amazing what vulnerability does to us isn’t it? Its almost as if we naturally run from any sense of vulnerability in our lives, and yet we long for the freedom of being vulnerable with someone. Vulnerability has the ability to humble us, and reveal things about ourselves we never would have known otherwise. We need moments of vulnerability in our lives. It reminds us that there are parts of us that are still genuine and real.
I imagine that most musicians would be thrilled to have anyone and everyone hear their music, but for me it’s a terrifying experience. I often write from very real experiences in my life. I’ve written about my insecurities, my hopes, my dreams. How often do you go around telling a whole room of strangers about your hopes and dreams, or your insecurities? Sometimes I wish I could just make stuff up in songs. It would be so much easier. But at the same time, I long to feel that anxiety right before I play a certain song to a room of people I don’t know. That energy that comes over me right before I do something absolutely terrifying. When people tell me they actually like a song, Its almost like I don’t even know what to say. I’m just thankful they are willing to listen! I love stories. My songs are brief glimpses into my story, and the listener is taking part in that story. They aren’t just songs to me, you see. My songs are my life put to music. My soundtrack, if you will.
As I sat in the backseat of the SUV as everyone listened to my song, I was overly aware of the unexpected anxiety that I was feeling, and I realized that I cared way more about what these people thought than most people in my life. I was overcome with the awareness that I respected these guys a great deal, and I cared about them. I may have not realized this in such a uniquely intense way If it wasn’t for the unexpected vulnerability I felt in that moment that brought me to such a humble state. It was then that I was thankful for such great people in my life who care enough about me to support me in my endeavors, and encourage me on the journey. In that moment I was reminded that vulnerability is the heart of genuine relationship.