Confessions of a GigAholic- Growing Up Internationally
“GROWING UP” INTERNATIONALLY
It was a gift and a curse.
At 23, I boarded a plane for the first time in my life and set my sights on conquering the world of cover bands. I had the energy, the tenacity and most of all, the confidence to give it everything I had.
With all that I had, I didn’t have something that could give me the stability and reputation I needed to attain my objectives.
I was an immature young adult who wasn’t nearly put in her place enough to know her place.
I grew up in Group homes and never really had stable parenting. This manifested in me losing myself in music and fantasies. Because I didn’t have a stable childhood, I never really trusted people.
From teachers, to counselors and even church-folks that I was encouraged to confide in, I never really felt connected deeply enough to really heed their advice.
They all told me I was talented and destined for great things, but I already knew that.
By the time my opportunity came, I took it and ran with it without even asking for guidance or preparing a stable support system for myself so I didn’t have to do it all alone.
I fell head first in love.
I spent every dime I made as soon as it hit my hand.
I didn’t educate myself in the business of international employment and I didn’t maintain the right relationships with the right people. My school of hard knocks was working with other musicians.
Going through break-ups abroad and having no one to really cry to was completely heart wrenching.
Losing loved ones and not being able to fly home and console my family because I spent all my money on clothing and sh*t that has absolutely no relevance today.
Compromising my self worth and value for the happiness of others who didn’t care about what I needed.
I started to subconsciously view my band mates as my own family and I couldn’t separate my emotions from my professional relationships.
Everything I was denied as I child, I guess I was making up for it and projecting on to my band family.
I didn’t understand what was happening until it was told to me by someone I allowed in to my heart.
It’s hard to hear the truth sometimes, but I knew there was something wrong and my friends observation was more than plausible.
We need people. No matter how alone you like to be, you need people.
I didn’t have parents in my life but I made the customers my friends and the band my family.
It worked for years, until the rose colored glasses of self denial were forcibly removed from me by pain and depression.
As long as I had my music I was ok.
I joke sometimes to people and say that if alcohol tasted like candy I am 100% sure I would have a serious problem! I have a sweet tooth as obtrusive and demanding of attention as Donald Trumps hair.
Even though sugary sweets are addictive and dangerous to over-indulge in, at least the general consensus is that you don’t need to be put on a watch list for being high on crispy crème donuts: not yet anyway.
The things one usually learns from mom and dad, I didn’t get a chance to.
The worse part was that I had people in my life that I could’ve learned from but because of my trust issues I didn’t let their words become my wisdom.
The lessons were real and sometimes too much for this creatively expressive young woman to deal with alone.
Sometimes I just didn’t.
I would have bouts of crying spells, complain to whatever band member I was closest to at the moment and then carry on as if nothing happened. No real deep diving or internal healing at all. Ever.
People usually think they are more mature than they actually are and not the other way around.
For some reason, I was one of those people.
I was applauded for staying away from drugs and not getting knocked up at a young age.
I was pitied for losing my mom to breast cancer and not losing my faith in the pursuit of a better reality.
I was commended for looking at the bright side of life and not acting like a victim of circumstance.
While all of these accolades were much appreciated and made me feel valued, the truth is that I never really looked life in the face as an adult until my late 20’s.
I had been dreaming, and writing and creating and living in another world that was free of emotional ties that are too fragile to endure the pressures of human nature. I was too busy living to focus on the inevitability of death. I never really got over it because I never really dealt with it.
I was a fraud.
I took credit for getting over things I just swept under the rug because they didn’t taste sweet enough.
The world I created was a world that most children live in.
The world that believes in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. That’s what I wanted; so that’s all I saw and if you didn’t fit into it, you didn’t exist anymore. Period.
I brought this fantasy world into all of my relationships and I got a rude awakening when my reality was challenged by the characters I allowed access to it. In my world I was perfect and everyone else had to be agreeable to me. I guess you can see why after while, those glasses had to come off.
That’s just not life.
It doesn’t work that way no matter how much you want it to.
In my 30’s I get to look back at the world I used to live in with kind empathy. I had to find a way to survive and I did the best I knew. I didn’t realize at the time what I was subconsciously doing to myself and other people. This new perspective is what led to my transformation into adulthood.
Maturity is tough but necessary to be apart of society as an adult.
The only way to grow up is to give up the habits that keep us safe from seeing life in its myriad facets.