A Stone In My Guitar Case

On Friday night someone dropped a stone in my guitar case.

I heard the unfamiliar thump and spotted it amongst the coins. I stared at it for a few seconds in confused disappointment. Why did someone put that there? Did they want to signify their distaste for my music? Did they throw it at me from a distance? What if it had hit me?

I looked up, hoping to identify the thrower. All I saw were smiling faces. Eagerly awaiting my next song. I looked down at the stone again, deflated by it’s unwanted presence in my guitar case. I started singing again but I kept looking around suspiciously for the culprit.

After a few more songs I realised this stone was weighing me down. It was making me doubt if I was good enough; if someone wanted to throw things at me or donate me pieces of coal like Santa, then why am I even doing this?

I decided to end my set, my mind was too clouded by the mean old stone. The crowd rushed forward to thank me with donations and smiles and words of encouragement. As one girl approached I saw her foot brush a stone on the ground, it flicked upwards and flew towards me. I watched it as it landed at my feet. I glanced down again at my stone and I laughed.

I laughed because, for all the energy I had wasted on this stone, I had just learnt something pretty important.

That one little negative stone had caused me to miss out on so many positive exchanges that came my way. It had probably landed in my case by total accident and yet, I’d spent nearly an hour thinking about it and all its malicious symbolism.

The pile of coins I had amassed from my set had been dropped in there out of kindness and gratitude and positivity. Every donation was someone wishing me well. Every coin was a smile. And I’d let each of them fall without a second thought. So distracted was I by the stone that, as it turns out, carried no meaning at all.

Next time you find a stone in your guitar case. Even if someone put it there on purpose. Don’t think about it. Just throw it away. Make room for the coins. And the smiles that come with them.

The End.

Authenticity

Recently that word keeps cropping up in my life; authentic. 

Someone told me this week that what I do is authentic. What does that mean? Honest? Heartfelt? Or even just simply not auto-tuned? I thought about it a lot because I wondered what made other music “not authentic.”

I’ve spent a lot of time comparing myself to others, especially recently. It’s a bad habit. “Her voice is better than mine, his songs are better than mine, her luck is better than mine…” etc. I get so caught up in the things I’m not; I get completely overwhelmed by my own insignificance and flaws and I can barely remember what I am.

But this word, authentic, it made me snap out of it. I’ve got what I’ve got and if I had anything else I’d be somebody else.

My love for what I do is genuine, my passion for spreading joy is strong, my lyrics are personal and therefore truthful and my voice isn’t perfect, not professionally trained or outstanding, but it’s mine. 

In a world of smoke and mirrors and instagram filters, I think authentic is probably the biggest compliment anyone could ever give me. And its such a beautiful and rare trait to see in other people. It’s such a relief to realise that just being is enough. That’s all I need to do. Just be. And then I get lovely words like authentic thrown at me. 

Authentic. Yeah. I’ll take it.