I had the rare opportunity to fully realize one of my dreams. And you know what happened? It didn’t feel like I thought it would.
I wrote a song called “What Doesn’t Heal You.” I loved this song. I thought it was really strong and would be amazing if I could get it produced properly.
Most of my songs are just demos, piano and voice hastily thrown together. Most people, though, can only hear a good song when it’s fully realized in production. So it was important for me to get this one across the goal line.
Luckily I had allies. One of my good friends who believed in the song offered to help me. And help me he did.
He contributed recording space, mixing insights and even went so far as to find me the best backup singers I have ever heard to be on it. Then we took it to a master engineer and he put the puppy together. When it was done, it sounded really, really good.
But it didn’t make me feel the way I thought it would. Even though the reaction has been great, somehow the experience isn’t what I imagined it would be. Dreaming about the moment was better than the moment.
I guess I thought when I finished that I’d hear evidence in it that I’m more than the human being I have to be every day. I thought somehow the work would help me transcend that barrier. Even if only for 3 minutes.
Instead, once the work was done, it just sounded like a really good recording of me. And what seemed like an unattainable dream had suddenly changed into something that was quite attainable, and had been attained. Wanting to do it was more exciting than having done it.
Now I wonder about my other fantasies. Winning awards, getting recognition, being interviewed on Fresh Air. Maybe those experiences (should I achieve them) won’t be what I thought either.
Maybe I’m wasting my energy chasing those dreams, and missing out on the best things in my life which are right in front of me. That leads to the obvious question. Should I chase my dreams?
I say yes.
Because the experience of chasing them is a joyful one, even if I now know that the final result is just more life. And the final result showcases much more than just me…it’s a beautiful win for all the people that contributed. The fault isn’t that the dream was wrong, just that it can’t stay a dream once it’s done.
So I suppose I should keep dreaming. Life is about the anticipation of Halloween and the trick or treating you get to do, not all about the candy that ends up in your bag. If it was, you’d just go to the store and buy the candy, right?
News From a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books
I've been featured in an article by Fupping on "Why Music Should Be Incorporated in Your Working Day."
Adam Cole is a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books. Author, educator and performer, Adam chats weekly on the subject of listening, creativity and living your best life. To take a quiz on what kind of music warrior you are, please visit www.mymusicfriend.net