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The New Journey, Reflection Part 1

I was going through my Facebook memories last week and found a post from 12 years ago. It said "Can't seem to ever finish writing something on the guitar". Looking back, I find this post oddly appropriate and representative of my journey from beginner guitar player to where I am now. As of last week, I made the incredibly exciting and scary decision to leave my engineering career to pursue music full time. I can happily say that I am confident in my decision to do so, and I have come very far from where this all began.

I remember quite vividly how much I used to struggle to write any music or sing at all. I had a passion for music and a desire to share my perspective/emotions with others, but that only transferred to me playing acoustic guitar without vocals and writing short poems sometimes. I told my mom how it was a pipe-dream of mine to be a performing musician and make my own songs one day, and she told me that her grandpa was a performing singer-songwriter for many years. All I thought after learning that was that I did not have it in me to be like my great grandpa. Although I sang in a choir and in theater, I had no confidence in my singing ability. And although I could write poems and play guitar, I never seemed to be able to combine those two passions. And so being a singer-songwriter felt like an impossibility, and I gave up the idea before I had even tried.

In the Fall of 2010 I was a sophomore in college. I no longer sang in a choir, I wasn’t in theater anymore, and my guitar playing felt uninspired and unfulfilling. I accepted that I was going to get my engineering degree and that being a musician wasn’t in the cards. I felt trapped in life though. I was at a college I never planned to go to, pursuing a career I knew nothing about, and working full-time at a fast-food job to pay for everything. One day while lying around bemoaning how I felt, some musical magic happened. I was playing a chord progression on the guitar, but unlike other times where I’d grab paper and try to force a song out of me, I just sang exactly what I felt inside. I ad-libbed lines and sung the same lines over and over until I came up with:

I compare to

A whisper of the wind, I don’t care too

Much about nothing these days

And I try to

Cope with my pain while I lie through my teeth and say

‘I’m fine how about you’

I can’t explain what it means

If it means anything at all

I just know one thing

I’ve got to get away Whisper of The Wind (2010)

The next day I finished writing the first draft of “Whisper of The Wind” and it perfectly captured how I was feeling in life. More importantly, it felt like a weight had been lifted from my chest, like I had released all the unpleasant and hard to explain emotions I was holding onto. And as much as I wish I had discovered my “technique” for writing, I was completely oblivious as to how I managed to finally write a complete song. I tried again for weeks to recapture that “magic”, but nothing ever came of it so I put songwriting on the back burner once again.

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