The year did not start well- I’m not overly well (still battling proper flu having got over manflu just in time to enjoy it properly!), but I set my alarm to wake up for midnight. As I texted to my friend Emma earlier that evening “I haven’t missed a New Year’s Eve for 23 years, I’m not starting now”.

But also, I’m feeling rubbish. I won’t bore you too much with how or why I think, or what I should do about it but clearly won’t as I’m a wus…

I’m wondering, as I’ve only picked up my guitar a handful of times this year. Does any playing I do come from a level of self-confidence or the other way round? It seems that the less I gig, the less able I am to stand up and gig.

Case in point- I met a new friend this year. So we’ve swapped stories, hung out, all the normal stuff you do whilst getting to know someone. She’s never seen me gig, never mind just been around the me that is playing ‘tomorrow’. I don’t know how (or indeed if!) she can believe the stories I tell of what StoneChase get up to or playing in front of 3,500 people at a mini-festival when the only John she’s known is barely capable of dealing with social interaction more complicated than “medium cappuchino, vanilla shot please” without flashcards.

So gigging may turn it around. On the other hand, I would find it very hard to stand up and play in front of people. Unless I was allowed to play in a different room. In a different pub. In a different town.

People who know me are astounded at the confidence level I consistently fail to have. “But you look so…” Is usually how that conversation finishes. And putting my guitar on makes me look like I could take on (and sleep with) the world. But this isn’t a performance based anxiety, it’s The Other Guy who has the problem: the guy who would love to smile and say hello, the guy who you probably don’t notice, the guy who holds your door open, and the guy who just about manages to make it through each day.

So from The Feeling: “I’m spinning in circles I can’t stop, I thought it was over but it’s not”

Stay safe this year people- the world appears to be getting fuller of crazies (I’m aware of the irony of my typing that!) that even my dear home gem-of-God’s-Earth Island appears to be called home by some of them. Just be careful out there.

Barljo

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