We all think about what we’re thankful for this time of year. For me, much of it is about family and friends–no different than most of y’all.
The other thing I’m thankful for is that fact that I’m doing what I was put here to do–teach and perform music. This is no small thing. Let me tell you a bit about my story.
I was in a corporate career that was going nowhere, and I was beyond burned out. I decided to go freelance with that job and spend time trying to find out what I was put here to do.
Luckily, I focused on the things I liked doing. Look back on that job, it was the teaching and mentoring that I liked the most. So, I looked at what I could teach, and drums was the thing I was most comfortable with.
So I dove into that, and over a period of time I figured out that I was put here to teach and perform music. Seems like a no-brainier in hindsight, but it was a tough decision–mostly because it’s so fun for me that it seemed irresponsible 😉
So you hear this all time–“without the support of family and friends I could not have done it.” Well, you’re going to hear it again from me. There is no possible way I could ever have done this without the support of my family and a few, critically important friends.
This path was/is tough for me for one reason primarily: the doubt that comes from the outside and, most importantly, from yourself. And that doubt is no small thing–it can be absolutely deafening.
Why? Because most folks don’t choose a path like this. I imagine there are people who don’t even know someone who is doing this. So they have no context for what it is you’re trying to do, and absent any context, they’re worried for you and oppose it.
I also ran into troubles at home, and I only learned why after the fact from Leo Baubata of Zen Habits (http://zenhabits.net). He talked about keeping your spouse and/or your closest friends appraised of your progress as you mentally work through the big change. And we all need time to work these things through for big changes like this.
My mistake was that I worked this out in my heads for days, weeks, months ahead of time…and then dropped it on my wife with no warning whatsoever. ka-BOOM! I dropped it on her after months of thinking about the change. And…keeping it all to myself. Is it any wonder that she was surprised, that she was taken aback? In fact, she was amazingly patient considering what I had dropped in her lap.
So, I’m thankful for the support of family and some very close friends. Their support helped me soldier on despite the difficulties–and despite the self-doubt. (The self-doubt is huge and worth it’s own post–more on that later.)
There is no possible way I could have done this without support from my immediate family and closest friends. None chance.
And yes it’s hard. It was hard then and it’s hard now. Anything worth doing is hard. But the support helps get you through the doubt–sometimes just barely squeaking through and singeing your eyebrows–but you do get past it.
And that’s one of the big things that I’m thankful for.