Be Positive, Grab the Freddo![The Wasted Time Project]
The Wasted Time Project: POST 2
As a musician, I think we pretty much train ourselves to think critically about everything we do, at least I certainly did anyway. That performance wasn’t good enough. I split that note at the end of that recording. I can’t believe I dropped my mute in the middle of that quiet passage. This mentality isn’t specific to musicians either. Sometimes life is going so fast you don’t feel like you have time to sit down, let alone reflect and appreciate the good that’s happened in a day. It can be a bit scary how this mentality can soon become the norm. Before long the world can seem like a very scary, isolating place and life is kind of plodding along with no real purpose other than trying to get through the day.
I’ve spent YEARS with this stupid way of looking at everything. I thought thinking positively was a bit daft to be honest and being realistic (read that as negative) about the world and life was a far better way, as you would avoid disappointment. Truth is, you can’t avoid disappointment, even if you have the most pessimistic outlook on everything. Disappointment happens as often as rain falls in Britain. Bad performances happen. You write or create things that don’t turn out as well as you planned. You try things that don’t end up working for you. Do you know what? That’s good. It’s really good. Why? Because you tried. If it didn’t work, it didn’t work but you took something away from it, whether that be something you learned about yourself, meeting new people, or just experiencing something new and unfamilar. Surely it was better to try and it not work out than to not try and never know?
Oh how daft I was.
After dropping out of uni, I felt like my entire world had collapsed (I’m getting to the positive bit in a second, honest!). The excitement, confidence and happiness I brought in September had been completely washed away by December and was replaced by confusion and negativity. For the first time I actually thought I’d failed, really failed. Everybody else coped. Everybody else was doing great. Why the hell was I so pants? What was I going to do now. I tried to put things in place for me to do whilst I looked for a job. I planned practise sessions that never happened. I started blog posts that I didn’t have the patience to finish. But I remembered what the counsellor had said and thinking that things couldn’t get any worse, I had a go at keeping a diary.
Not a flowery, fairy, ‘dear diary today [insert crush’s name here] looked at me in maths’ kind of diary. Just a simple account of everything positive that happened in my day.
I got up and had a shower before 12pm.
There was an Attenborough Documentary (I love Attenborough) on the telly and it was about penguins!
I searched for jobs and found a couple I was interested in.
I played a piece at band that was great.
We didn’t come last in a band contest.
I walked the dog.
I went out to see my friends.
This daft ‘waste of time’ became a habit and I started to see that the world wasn’t as crap as I thought it was and more importantly I wasn’t as crap as I thought I was. This habit grew into writing in depth about my feelings (something that probably would have made me physically sick before now) and I began to understand my own mental health which helped me to make changes and ultimately fuelled the progression that has turned me into the person I am now. I actually like this person.
I’m not going to waste anymore time dwelling on the crap, it’s happened before, it’ll happen again, life goes on. This lifelong pessimist is now an optimistic convert and a firm believer in ‘not everyday is good, but there is something good in everyday’.
Be you. Be Positive. Grab the Freddo!
Read Post One from The Wasted Time Project: click here
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