Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lost Your Passion?

It's very possible to lose your passion, find other passions, and maybe return to your original passion later. I think I knew all along that music has always been a passion for me. I just lost it for a bit. I wasn't quite sure if music was what fulfilled me anymore. I was very confused. So I stopped playing for awhile to dabble in other hobbies and activities.

I know what you're thinking. How can you be confused? You've been playing music for a decade, you must have known you loved it. But that's just it. After you've done something for a decade, all that time gone by makes you wonder, is this what I want to be doing for the next decade?

This is a quote from Kaki King (my girl crush/guitar idol!):

"A lot of life happened between this record and the last one. There was a lot of serious doubt, a lot of fear, wondering if I wanted to do this anymore. I didn't know if being a musician was how it was going to be for me. I've been playing guitar since I was 4 years old, I've known no other life, so the question became is this really what I'm going to spend the rest of my life doing?"

This really hit home with me. It made me feel much better to know that someone like her was feeling the same things.

Recently, I decided to start taking guitar lessons again. To say that my teacher is a Jimi Hendrix fan is an understatement. We can't get through a lesson without learning a Hendrix riff. During today's lesson, as I watched him slowly play through each lick in "Wind Cries Mary", I noticed a tiny tug on my heart. It was as though someone misted me with a spray bottle of joy.

 It was a clue! 

I blurted out dreamily, "That's just beautiful." My teacher seemed a bit confused, since I don't usually say much when he's vamping out on Hendrix. Then he seemed ecstatic that he'd finally convinced me of the godliness that is Hendrix.

Sometimes a single guitar lick or an arpeggio reminds me of a memory. As I continued to watch my teacher's fingers dance over the neck of the guitar, I visualized a seedy bar Meg and Dia played at in Seattle several years ago. I remember I wasn't yet old enough to drink, but the bartender there let me sit up on the counter and order a meal. I remember feeling grown up, eating my cob salad and sipping on a Sprite next to old these men with their white whiskers and glasses of whiskey.

The stage was a short staircase down to the right of the dark bar. It had those tacky, red-velvet curtains. There weren't a whole lot of people at that show. Honestly, I don't remember much about the performance, if we played well or not, what songs we played. I just remember how it felt like home. That grimy, dirty place felt like home. Now that I think back, I think the reason it felt like home is because I was on an adventure. I was somewhere new, playing music for strangers. The excitement of the unknown is what feels normal to me.

I settled back into that memory during my guitar lesson, connecting the music my teacher played with memories from my past. The music felt SO right in my whole body, leading me to the memory that felt right, helping me to understand what emotions and feelings feel right. Now I can continue my search to find them again.  Ding! Ding! Another clue.

The other day I had a friend come over who I've been writing songs with lately. It's been awhile since I've tried to write, so I start off each session a little unsure. I write a small melody and line here and there before he comes over, not daring to show him once he arrives. After I dig up the courage to show him, my idea ends up turning into a song. We always say after we finish, "I think we've got a song!" The cool part though is the process. Feeling that sense of, "hey, we made something here, and it sounds great!" It feels good. There's not many other times that I feel like that.

Another clue to my passion!

You've got to keep your eyes and your ears open to realize when your passion pulls you toward it. Sometimes you may lose your way, but it will find you again. Don't worry. I think it's important to constantly check in with yourself and ask, "Am I still on the right path? How does my heart feel when I choose to go in this direction?"

Have you ever experienced a return to your lost passion through clues?



  1. Glad to hear you're going to be making more music! Got hooked on Meg & Dia and The Khaki Scouts. I even bought the American Spirit EP (which I absolutely love BTW) because you and Nick are on it. ;-)

  2. Does this mean we might get a new Khaki Scouts album sometime in the not too distant future?

  3. Tech_geek_RE Ah, I miss the American Spirit! They are such a good band.
    TheRogueHorseman, I'm not sure if my new music is going to be released by The Khaki Scouts, but I'll definitely be releasing new music soon under some name. (I think there will be lots of collaborative projects) Of course, I'll keep everyone updated on the blog:)

  4. Hi Meg. Nice and interesting blog post! I think our passions/dreams can change with the wind. Some peoples do not and I envy those peeps cuz I feel they "master" truly master something. Like a Michelin Star chef or something. I have found I do things in 10 year increments, haha. Reflecting back... I have been many things and reinvented myself many a time. Like you, I was also a musician for the better part of 10 years. I felt like the luckiest dude in the world... never once analyzing or second guessing my career/passion. The, one well-remembered day it died. I never looked back, never a remorse. Flash forward many moons... suddenly... I have a revival in my once long ago passion. It has be reignited by talented people I know all over the world, especially in the Singapore music scene. Its familiar and it has breathed new life into an old passion. Problem is... I have changed so much and am so comfortable in my "grown up" life. It really doesn't matter though. It gives me great pleasure and makes me feel like that unstoppable young musician again. Thats worth a lot in my book. I guess the takeaway for me is we all can be like water or a floating cloud. Adapting and changing all the time. We just need to be self aware and always strive to be our happiest selves.

  5. Hi Meg! It has been ages since I read your blog. I hope things are well with you. I miss taking pictures for you and your sister LOL!

    Anyhow, I have gone through the lose of passion before. This is related to my consulting full time job where at times when I just didn't have the passion, energy or drive to come into work.

    This happened twice. First time was when my grandfather passed away. It was the first time someone close to me has passed away and I never knew how short life is and how I took life for granted. I just lost my drive to do anything but was just drowning in my own pain, lose, and sorrow for a while. This just took a period of time for me to grieve, but it eventually passed. I'm not sure how.

    The 2nd time was the hardest where I was so conflicted with my responsibilities at work. I'm the time that is the perfectionist and I always try to strive to be the best and be perfect at it. Which I feel I did until at the point when I was getting pushed to go from senior consultant to director level. It was the toughest two years of my life. I was so good with what I did I would never question myself, but at this time I did because I had two bosses and I kept getting conflicting feedback. When I do one thing, it was good for one person but not right for another and vice versa. This happened for a few years and I was so sad, confused and depressed. I didn't want to come to work because I didn't know what to do. Was I going to get yelled at? Was I going to be told I shouldn't it things a certain why when I've been doing it for years? It was okay then, now it's not okay? It was during this period of time when I feel like I lost a bit of my fun self too. My bosses would say I need to be more mature at work and not be too happy. I never really understood that. This depression at work lasted for a long while, but I finally got over this by a big change in my professional life. I was given an opportunity to work in the London office for SIX MONTHS. It was an absolute delight and change because it was a good way to start fresh and show new people I work with how valuable I am and how helpful I can be. This gave me a new sense of pride, enjoyment, energy and thrive to go to work again. I'm so thankful for that 6 months I spent in London and treasure all the moments I had during work and outside of work. It was such a once in a lifetime experience. I then came back and people understood my new drive and gave me the opportunity to continue to do with I enjoy so they gave me a new title as the Director of Global Management. Basically, I am now in charge of ensuring all offices from outside the United States are running with the same workflows, application versions, questions are answered, and ensuring if they need additional hardware and human resources. :)

  6. I've experienced something similar when I go long periods without writing; sometimes you don't even realize what's missing until you do it again and you're so much lighter. I'm definitely glad to hear you've made your way back to one of your passions and are working on music again. :)

  7. Spider, I agree with you. My sister, Dia, is an example of someone whose passion has never changed. Wish I could be more consistent. Ha! I totally understand the "10 year" increment thing. Except, for me, I think the pattern is every 7 years, my life does a major overhaul. I think it's wonderful that you let your passion go without remorse. I tend to hold onto things and always wonder about how else my life could have gone.

    Ah, being comfortable is always an interesting topic. I think I've written about there. It's so easy to get into a routine and never step outside of it, especially once you are a "grown up". I'm really happy that you found another true passion (or returned to it) in the Singapore music scene. That's awesome! Had the opportunity to go over there recently with Dia, and the scene over there is insane!

    Liem, well, I haven't been writing much lately… I took some time off to do some "soul searching", and surprise, I'm back! Ha. Never gonna forget you being a ninja on that stage with your camera. I get that passion dies when major life events happen. I actually had a doozie occur a few years, which is partly responsible for my confusion when it comes to my passion (not going to talk about it on my blog, but I understand what you went through.) Sounds like your second situation was really tough. Sometimes a change of scenery is so good for the heart, and sounds like it was just what you need. I'm happy you've found yourself in a much better place through all of that. I'm sure you learned a lot through those difficult experiences.

    1. hahaha!!! i'm still amazed myself how i was able to ninja around the stage myself :). it was a big stage for one little me! it was such a fun night and such a memorable night. I'm glad you're back and can't wait to see what you have in store! just remember you got a friend in Northern VA, so holler when you're in town :). just wish we had more time to prep and i could have done some video for you guys too.

  8. hi meg cute blog: ') again you have inspired me to take my guitar and learn to play it I had lost the passion to play my guitar because every time he grabbed my guitar did not sound good: c I had always loved music and Nose his music came to me and that inspired me to play guitar lol brought back memories when I bought a gibson les paul through internet and never get scammed guitar was bone Xd ok thanks for your time and your cute blog that inspired me again learning to play guitar and thanks for good music that is an inspiration for me to get to finish my studies and also to form a band :) thanks