Though music has the unique power to draw unnamed emotions out of me, my own music is trapped in the recesses of my soul. My ears are sharp -- they memorize the tunes, pitches, and words of songs. My ears drink in beauty. But each time it's my turn to perform -- to hammer out a few notes on the piano, pluck out chords on a stringed instrument, to whisper into a flute, bang on some drums, or - God forbid - sing -- I choke. It doesn't matter if I have an audience of one, of many, or of none. The music I hear in my head stays there and can't seem to find their way out of my fingers or my voice.
I relate my inability to produce what I consume in music to when I visit countries where I am not fluent in the local language. "This food tastes amazing and unique--like nothing I've had before" becomes "Nice. This. Thank you. Like."
I don't want to get better at music for the glory or recognition. I just want another outlet to express myself. I want a new way to respond to inspiration. In writing, new emotions, nuanced ways of feeling and knowing, are able to be expressed as a writer gets better and better. A writer's capacity to reach their audience reaches new limits as they improve their craft. Most importantly, a writer lets out what is inside of them -- their heart, their head, their soul, their pen -- and achieves a spiritual sense of release with each piece let out and into the wild.
I want that with music. I don't have it... yet. The old me would get frustrated at my inability and give up; the old me would write off music performance as something that's "just not for me", as though talent is born rather than developed. The new me believes that fruition come with hard work, dedication, and passion. One does not progress if one gives into notions of destiny or fate. I'm not locked into one way of being--I'm capable of taking small, measured steps toward an ultimate goal--in this case, musical performance.