Excited to suck... againSolace in the self-conscious newbie
Yup… I’m gonna practice sucking at something I like
Now, this is a disappointing truth to admit and something I came to terms with recently in 2017 on why I hate DJing and how it reeeeeally takes time for me to sit with my turntables and do a mix. Simple. I suck. Not to get this idea twisted, I love my MP3 Mixes and how powerful and applicable they are for so many people, but it is something that I have not practiced enough to feel comfortable and awesome with, thus… I always hesitate to produce knowing a or mix or a set is going public. The artist dilemma. I am my biggest critic, and I bet your are too.
This may feel like a battle of going against seeking “perfection”, and there’s truth there. I reflect on my 10 years of competitive running. I still remember my first 400m race in Davis, CA stepping on the track completely clueless on how to race with this (made up) pressure and what to do if I get tiered. To let my Nor-Calian out, I was hella scared… but the good kind. The adrenaline excitement kind. Nonetheless, I had my lane and knew the gun was gonna go off. And it did… And I ran… I ran my ass off not looking around at any of the competitors (something every coach who understands running mechanics should advise). I crossed the finish line knowing I was in first, but not by how much. Second place was about 6 seconds behind (that’s a lot for 400m). In the following years I improved and became more competitive at time went on, but that excitement fear never went away.
What allowed me to stay competitive and continue to grow was the hours and hours I put in at practice. Runs and weight-room stuff I did on my own. Late nights, earlier morning, after practice, summer, spring break, on vacation. I was all in… and it felt really lonely at times. I wanna say that again. It felt really lonely… often weird to be the only person training during spring break and making up my own double days during summer. Ultimately though, it was the work I did on my own that made the difference because it was what I wanted and needed to do if I were to stay on path of trying to get the next level. Yes, trying to get there knowing the next level wasn’t guaranteed.
What does that mean with my MP3 mixes and you? Well, in a nutshell, I recognize I’m not where I want my skills to be and am accepting the newbie status and all the learnings (aka mistakes and sucking) that come along with it. Humble, I know.
I write this seeing how it’s 2017, and I hear soooooo many talks about New Years Resolutions and how big changes are due. Reality is an estimated 8% of people stick to their goal. Meaning, people decide they want something, have all the power to make it happen, and less than 1 out of 10 people keep it. I’m sure there’s tons of reasons why failure occurs in this respect. I recognize how entering the unknown and exploring the space of uncertainty can be scary, and it’s supposed to be! That’s where the new growth and strength come from. In that space, you can’t let it paralyze the forward movement you decided you wanted for yourself. Don’t fail yourself because you suck at trying something new.
Being in a space of failing and being a failure are two completely different worlds and conclusions. Knowing the difference on where you are with the two and what the next move is, that’s the first step of something bigger.
My 3 things
- Mixing music obsessively until I hear it while sleeping
- Remove “perfect”: find “good enough”, ship it out, and move on to the next
- Practice/perform with a crowd (whoop! this one felt shaky just typing it)
2013 in Guerilla Union Studio for 3 days. Slept on the floor and didn’t leave until all mixes for 8 week challenge were complete.