As most of you know, this tour is a massive, gargantuan, colossal, imposing, and much needed learning curve for me. I oscillate between feeling intrepid and downright intimidated by it all. There are moments when I feel like a complete fake, and fortunately more often, times when I know there is no other place I'd rather be. I have many moments of doubt, and counter them with the mantra "fake it until you make it". A concept not new to me, but my view of it changed after hearing a particular Ted talk about it. There is much to be said about the psychological and physical changes that occur within you if you continually banish any thought that challenges the goal. I'm certainly no expert, but it gets easier and easier with every attempt to throw those thoughts away when the little devil on my shoulder tries to tell me I can't do it. I am determined to live a life without regret, so that means I will have to take some risks. Try things that scare me, and laugh when things don't work. Where there is a will there is a way, that much I believe. I have a will so strong, that even if there is no present way, like water driving a path through solid stone, I will keep trickling forwards. And I will laugh long and loud all the way!
I know that my Mother will be mildly concerned with this outpouring of emotion. She commented to me not so long ago that she considered this blog to be an open diary, with an expression on her face that was more than worried. I didn't know if I should hug her and tell her everything will be ok, or dismiss her fear with laughter, so instead, I did neither, and stood gormlessly in front of her trying to quickly analyse the pros and cons of having a blog. Then recognising too much time has passed between the comment and the reaction, and now it's just awkward. Realistically though, I was trying to decide my true motivations behind it. In fairness, I guess it is an open diary. But, then the question becomes, do I want to be open?
My sister asked me once, why was I pursuing a public career when I don't like being photographed or videoed. A valid and true question to which I had no good answer. I am a very private person, and I still don't like posing for photographs or videos. But I think the difference is in the posing. I have a good sprinkling of vanity like every person, and dislike bad photos of myself, but I have regular discussions with my ego about that, and it usually concedes. I don't mind being photographed candidly, and having a video trained on me when I am performing doesn't make me overly uncomfortable. I think, what it comes down to, is I can't act. I feel very awkward when asked to pose for a photo, or asked to behave in a certain way. And what makes me most uncomfortable is being asked to do that on demand and repeatedly, when the first result was not good enough, as they never are with me; I am the definition of not photogenic. What you see is what you get with me. I am spontaneous, whimsical and I can't recreate that strange facial expression at will! I don't know what contortions my face is pulling! Being on stage in front of a welcoming, interactive crowd, is not acting. It's me. And it makes me feel more at ease than anything else I have ever done. Sharing my music with people who want to hear it fulfils me in a way that I can't describe. Don't get me wrong, I get nervous before every gig, and it's bloody hard work sometimes keeping your energy high if the people around you give nothing back. But the good gigs, when you get more back than you give, make it all worthwhile.
I guess, this is the public way in which I get to say thank you to the people who have helped. Thank you to the muses who have given inspiration. Make educated guesses and assertions about life which may be presumptuous, but I like the thought that I can share that with any person who cares to want to know. This is the ramblings of someone who tries to always be honest, and sometimes understanding my true motivations requires expressing them, and receiving feedback. It's a conversation with myself that I would gladly and gratefully (and often do) have with friend, foe or stranger.
I worried that admitting my fears and failings made me less of a professional. But then I remembered, that we are all flawed. For me, being able to laugh about the mistakes and share them with people who care doesn't take away my strength, it gives me clarity, compassion and a better understanding of not only who I am, but a better understanding of people. And I like people!
Oh, and Mum, I think I want to move to Ireland.