So maybe I over-exaggerated.
It’s been a whole *wow* two months since, in my self-loathing I wrote that ‘I’ll never be a real Wah Wah’ article.
I’ll be real with you, loyal reader. I’ve been totally inactive as far as blogging goes. (Apologies, sweet reader. My sweet, single reader.) It’s even been a struggle to find motivation to paint, or drum. A crisis put everything on hold for me in March, but I’m ready to carry on where I left off. For you, devoted reader.
This last month has been a challenge. Whilst I cannot reveal what happened (I need to keep some mystery in my rock-and-roll life), I will say that it was Ahmed, followed by Alan, and then Jiggy and Sam that I went to for support first. Even before my own mother. During the series of fortunate and not so fortunate events, I must have registered that we share more similarities than differences – primarily, and I’m squirming as I write this – our empathy for others. Even Sam.
I’m not writing this as a sympathy or attention grabber in any way shape or form. I’m simply telling it like it is, in order for me to show just how far my thoughts towards the band, art and most importantly, myself, have changed in the last year.
I seemed to have lost a lot of faith in myself this semester, as a painter and as a musician. During every meeting with my tutor, it was clear that my confidence was shrinking to the point where my tutor pointed out that if I had no belief in my work, how would anyone else be able to believe in me. I’m unsure if there was a significant moment where I began to regain my confidence again, or if it was a gradual build up over time. There are only a few instances I can think of which made a significant change to my mindset. Perhaps it was when I laid out all my work from this semester, as suggested by the tutor, and a few girls commented on how many paintings I have actually piled up, confirming my tutors words. When a stranger compliments you, it feels as great as when a hundred friends compliments you.
I know in the past I’ve felt like the Wah Wah’s have overestimated me a lot. I’ve barely been able to improve in the last year due to a lack of means to practice on. It’s unbelievably frustrating when I can see my friends constantly dabbling on a guitar and producing more and more increasingly catchy tunes. With recent developments in the band – and I apologise for being ambiguous once again – I expressed my self doubt to the other Wahs, and their genuine responses really made me feel like a vital part of the group.
I watched Whiplash with Alan last week: a movie telling the tale of a young jazz drumming prodigy whom is tortured relentlessly by his sadistic teacher; the extreme mental and physical pain turning him a star drummer. Whilst seemingly not a particularly inspiring story for a drummer of a similar age and style, I was simply drum-struck (HAHAHAHAHA) by the lengths the boy goes to in order to improve technically on the drums. His persevering will-stop-at-nothing attitude made my efforts seem trivial. I knew I had to step up my game, so I booked a two hour session at a drum kit and played until my blisters had blisters… and then I purchased a drum pad so I would never have a reason not to drum. Another reason I was totally captured by Whiplash was the message I felt like it was trying to convey. Through watching the relentless emotional torture, I became convinced that the best path to success is not pain, it’s happiness; enjoying what do you will not only make you more likely to reach your goals, it will also vastly increase your chances of being happy once you do get there. Whilst it’s not always about comfort and choosing the easy path – it is about making sure that you enjoy the process most of the time.