Often when I am feeling a bit off, I tend to think along certain lines. the what if creeps in, the whole thing about if I had turned left instead of right, taken this job or that, not got fired and so forth.
Often I think that with the knowledge I had at the time of those events, if I could go back in time and plot a different course, I would in all probability make the same choices again as it was circumstance that forced those choices on me rather than my wishes at the time.Has being TG made much difference to my life? Actually not much really, it hasn’t stopped me doing stuff or caused me to be disadvantaged and the present situation I am in would be broadly similar in many ways I think.
I have had certain disadvantages which I share with many of people of my particular vintage. In particular being dyslexic at a time when it was not recognized as a specific problem, though I go over it fairly well and now it really only manifests in a minor way. If I do have to write down anything on paper its a nightmare though covered with crossing out.
Whilst growing up I had various behavioural difficulty’s which caused me to experience quite a bit of bullying and its only now that I can see how that all started. One particular teacher at my comprehensive school described me as a “Catalyst for trouble” as stuff just seemed to kick of around me. By the time I was in my 20’s I had very distorted thinking and I am not sure that I have ever quite managed to escape that. I had behavioral problems that meant I was under psych care from about the age of 8, this left me with a possibly undeserved opinion at the time that all mental health professionals should be sectioned or at the very least anyone seriously thinking of such a career should have counseling first to make sue they were making the right decision.
So here I am at 56 somewhat drifting in the doldrums, and not seeing any clear way forward.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner:
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
‘Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, no breath no motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
I spend days when I am not gigging practicing and learning new stuff (mostly studying jazz now) and also recording demo’s. Most of my solo stuff go’s on the web as that’s about the only real outlet for it.
If your playing Keys, guitar, violin and possibly doing vocals as well its not the sort of stuff that you can do at an open mike night to let off steam. Its also about a million miles from the tunes I do as one half of the Delta Ladies live. I have always been interested in a lot of different stuff musically and perhaps I would have fared better if my tastes had not been quite so varied?
I did hope when I left the day job I would be able to get the odd spot of IT related work, but its not happened, though I do the odd spot of programming to keep my mind active, but I never was a real geek or proper nerd, it was always a means to an end. I didn’t really become part of that culture. Once you understand how stuff works in code its not really any different to plumbing or putting up a set of shelves. You can teach yourself to write code from a book, which is how I got into to it by chance at the age of 40 and I can’t complain as it gave me for a 13 year period with much higher earnings than I had ever had before or am ever going to have again. Previously to that I had never had a desk job or worked in an office so it was a bit of a culture shock, and for the first 6 months I was somewhat afflicted with cabin fever. Unfortunately my brain was having none of it and after a couple of barely managed periods of depression, and loads of SSRI’s I lost the plot again, resigned from my job and ended up with my primary occupation being music, and 5 years later that’s where I am now.
I don’t deal with stress to well at all and I don’t like interruptions, so I am a natural curmudgeon!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DyskolosÂ But I have sort of learned to go out in the sun and sing and dance
Playing music live over the last 8 years pretty consistently (about 125 gigs a year on average, primarily boozers, but with a few notably exceptions) has made me far less introvert. The idea of singing on stage was a nightmare to me, but is now a regular part of my life, though I still see my self as an introvert primarily. I do enjoy company now but I did shun it in the past so I am somewhat changed. I enjoy the entertainment aspect of making music and on a good night its magic.
I have also met quite a lot of interesting people and played with one or two that I never thought I would get to meet via this route some of whom were quite well regarded at the time I was first getting really interested in music.
Mostly now I try and deal with life on a day to day basis as I do still have very bad days when mentally I am all over the place, but I can usually still play in that condition, perhaps because it uses a different part of the brain. I am frequently very pessimistic and have to avoid seeing roadblocks where there are none.
There are one or two new things that I am looking forward to in the pipeline, another trip to France to do 4 gigs in September and also a couple of outings playing a bit of jazz. I have done a little of that before but it will be interesting and a challenge.
Day to day life is a little difficult from time to time and there are no luxury’s to be had. On the other hand the most valuable commodity really is time. Roughly speaking every decade of my life has been very different, to such an extent that I find it difficult to relate to the me from 20 years ago and I don’t think we would have to much common ground now.
The plan is to move out of London in about two years time all being well. I don’t have any particular connections to the area that I live in, I was just lucky to have made the right choice to move here when it was starting to be re-developed, which gives me some choices as to where I might go. It was also well placed for work, as I have never had the bother of a really long commute. I cycled to work for a few years too which is also a very stress free way to of doing things if its not too far away. I got used to cycling when it was cold and when it was raining, no big hills though and only 3 miles each way.
Anyway the past is a foreign country and the futures uncertain as ever.