Who would I have been if I became a musician in my 20’s and was without a husband or a kid? Crazy. Reckless and I would have been saddled with a different set of fears altogether. The exhuberance of youth and young adulthood is intoxicating. All of which I missed out on. And it changed me in ways I only understand and appreciate now. While I was raising my daughter I became a hermit who was scared of everything. I learnt not only how to be cautious but creative also.
Motherhood was also responsible for another bad habit I picked up – insomnia. I felt, back then, that I only became alive at night, after my daughter was asleep. So I could read, attend to tasks and well…write music or think about it. She grounded me. It’s odd how things change or how one evolves. I had to relearn so many things. Who am in without a husband? Later still, when my daughter lived in another city, who am I without her?
I enjoy speaking to people and discovering what makes them tick. By doing so I learn more about our capacity to endure, or how and why people change. The last thing I mention is being a musician. I do this for two reasons: I want to know their story and music is a distraction. I have a tendency to ask certain questions that take all of us down a rabbit hole. Once I asked someone to mention one incident when he lost faith. He shared how a friend commiting suicide affected him in university. He was in his 50’s when we spoke. But what struck me was his use of words, ‘He felt like a balloon drifting above our heads and we did our best to get hold of the string to bring him closer…’ In that second I could see it so clearly. And I got it. I know what being without faith and hope feels like….and the dark places it takes one to.
We simply must endure and fill this earth with more joy and beauty. I always ask myself – what am I doing with my pain and anger? And where did I place my hope, faith and trust? I learnt balance through music. Yet that wasn’t enough. For a while I wanted to be ballsy on stage and off. This is….harder than I imagined. First, I am way too diplomatic. My sister once said she would never call me if she was in a fight as I would negotiate peace when she wants blood! My sister is crazy and I love her. Unlike her, I wait, watch and then act. Or ask so many questions just to be certain.
Life requires so much boldness and my way is the quiet way. My daughter shocked me by saying, ‘Mother, I don’t want the advantages and disadvantages of making a certain choice. I want to know how you feel!’ I don’t do this often with people, not even with her. Do what works for you. First. Always. It is not my business to dictate terms and conditions.
Perhaps the real question isn’t who am I or even who am I evolving into. Instead it is this : what do I want to give the people in my life? The answer is simple. Safety. With and without the music