Understanding that one doesn’t have to follow the route travelled on by so many colleagues is a liberating feeling. For so many years, there was an obvious way of doing things that appeared to be the only way to be expressive with music. The promise of hitting the jackpot and being a cash cow for the business was a straitjacket that restricted creativity and “speaking one’s truth”.
Along the way, there were lots of fellow travellers who had a vague sense of where they were going, but no idea of what it would feel like to reach the coveted destination. These included folks from a wide variety of backgrounds, with values that were incompatible with those that mattered to this wayfarer.
Stepping off the conveyor belt felt like a risky thing to do, and also brought some uncomfortable feelings to the surface. What would it feel like, not being caught up in the rat race? How could one cope with getting back into the flow after taking time out?
Slowly but surely, it has become clear that the terms of reference have changed so much in the interim, so it doesn’t make sense to fall back into the old ways, in any case. Why does anyone choose to become an artist? Why not take the opportunity to really experience what it is like to make something out of nothing?
Arriving in a position where one cannot afford to take risks because of dependents is not necessarily the deal that many of us think we’re signing up for when we set out on our journeys. Travelling light can feel risky at times, but offers the advantage of creative freedom.