Pushing boundaries

This week I had a new boundary pushed in my life.

This week is Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Ullr is the Nordic snow god, and there is a celebration every January to celebrate.

On Wednesday, it all kicked out with a talent show.

After much deliberation back and forth, I decided to enter, because why not?

The anxiety was all too real. I was to go up on stage in front of 200+ people, and play bass, all by myself. No drums, no guitars, no backing tracks, just me, and my bass.

I was scheduled for 9th in the show, out of about 17. Smack dab in the middle.

In fact, there was an intermission, and I was the first act following it!

No pressure! HA!

Let me tell you, the field was STACKED.

The amount of talent in that building was unreal. Everyone was phenomenal.

There were trapeze acts, Shakespeare, Guitars, duos, Looping, a full band, and then me, just a bass by himself.

My nerves were riding high, as I was set to perform a very challenging piece. It was a song entitled “Currency” by Evan Brewer.

This was a piece that required 4 minutes of two-handed tapping. In essence, my left hand is playing the lower bass line, while my right hand plays the melody above it, simultaneously. This would be the first time I have ever played it in front of more than 1 or 2 of my closest friends. This would also be only the 3 time that I performed a “bass solo” in my life.

What a feeling.

Standing backstage waiting to go out.

Everybody is taking their seats, the lights are going down.

The MC begins.

I am introduced on stage, and we have some chatter back and forth, there was a lot of Jersey love in the building.

Silence.

And I begin.

Fast, exactly how I told myself NOT to start.

Keep going.

Oh, missed that note.

Sloppy transition.

Keep going.

Keep going.

Ohh, that is starting groove, uh. Bass face.

Now, go to the bass line! The cheers, the whistles.

PURE EXHILARATION.

Honestly, I cannot even explain.

The judges has very kind things to say about me.

I was told that what I was doing was “Mindblowing”. Wow. Pulling on my heart strings.

I messed up plenty of times, and for about an hour or so, I was distant and being hard on myself.

Then I received a phone call. One of the best phone calls of my life.

Support, pure support, from a friend. He told me how much pride he had for me to be express myself out there. He told me that I am not allowed to feel down, or anything about my performance. I did something pretty awesome, it was an experience. It was something that took endless amounts of courage to do. He told me the genuine soul he recognizes in me. It was so pure. It was reassurance, and love from one human being to another.

I am usually the one that walks around doling love and support to others, and I sometimes have trouble finding it coming back to me. I fall apart, I get drained, I isolate. I have been so independently driven my whole life. I have always been my own judge and jury. I am very tough on myself. I want to be the best. To be receiving this made me feel so good, it helped me release my anxiety, and doubt, and fear.

Vulnerable. I was so vulnerable out there. I just threw myself upon the audience. Share this moment with me, I motioned. And they did.

There are so many things I took away from this night. So many lessons, new friends, and hopefully, a new mindset.

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