Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Friend In Time of Need

Some time ago I decided to throw my hand in the volunteer ring. Make my contribution to this world I live in. But what to do?

I found my answer in my first love. Music. No, I've never been a musician. Can't sing. Can't play a note. My only stab at the music business was filling notebooks full of lyrics. Whimsical, morose, teen angst, sometimes whiny prose. It was quite a release for my tortured teen soul. But as I matured, started a family and moved on in my life, I let go of my hold on the notebooks. To be honest, part of that was the angry realization that my dream of becoming the next Carole King would never happen. I even ceremoniously set fire to a few of the notebooks, watching the black acrid smoke lift to the sky. My dreams literally going up in smoke and falling back to the earth in ugly black ashes.

No matter how hard I tried to stay away, music continued to have a pull on me. It soothed me when I was sad, elevated my mood when I was blue. There seemed to always be a song on my playlist that would match whatever situation I found myself in. It was always an important and integral part of me.

Because of that, I wanted to give back to it as much as it had given to me.

I found a local grassroots organization that was working to preserve the music of local musicians. To honor and recognize those in our community who had contributed so much to America's music landscape. Aha!! This is it, I thought. This could be where I belong. Where I could give back. Where I could do the most good.

I spent a year helping with various projects and pitching in wherever I was needed. It also gave me a good chance to get to know the members of the board who had founded the organization. Most of them are musicians so I felt a bit out of my league. Not in their clique. But they accepted me and seemed pleased to know that I was there to help and support their mission.

Before I knew it, I was asked to be a member of the board! Quite an honor. And seal of approval. I may not be a musician, but I believe in what they're trying to do and they believed in me, too.

A few months in, and I'm having my doubts. It may take some time for them to see me as an equal on the board and not a glorified volunteer. There've been some little instances here and there which make me feel this way. I'm trying not to be paranoid.

Oh well. I'm willing to wait this out. Give it some time to see how it all plays out. I'd really like to stay on board (no pun intended), help to build the organization into a very worthy and valuable resource for my tiny state. But if my participation isn't viewed by the others as essential for its success, then I'll step down and away. What they're doing is so important, and much bigger than my ego, that I can't be selfish and be upset that I'm not wanted.

But no matter what happens, it won't change how I feel about music. It has been there for me thru thick and thin, the good and bad times, the ups and downs. My friend in time of need.

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