I realized it was time when I went to turn on the radio and immediately stopped tuning in. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I didn’t know why. For four years, music had been the only thing I spoke about–all day, every day. But now, I just couldn’t listen to it anymore. You’d think I was a musician myself the way this early depression had started settling into my skin.
Sure, there were a lot of other things going on my life that had started the ugly feelings. But it couldn’t merge into the music. It was my escape. Such a horrible habit I formed early on in life. If things you can’t control get bad, direct the positivity to one specific hobby. And each time the situation returns, you can count on that escape mechanism. The only problem is that it only works for so long. And then you find yourself running to another method of coping.
I don’t bring this up easily and yet I think it’s an important part of my story. Because for years I thought a career had to equate to a solitary passion. And for four years, that was music promotion to me. I was good at it–I heard that from different people in the industry alike. If they were happy with it and I could use it as an escape, then everyone was winning.
A few different situations made me decide to step away and take a hiatus (which I’m still on even a few years later). And somehow, once I admitted to myself that it was okay that my heart wasn’t in it anymore…it became easier. It still took me a few months before I could hear a song playing without feeling guilty. Before old resentments (both that I caused myself and others played a part in) stopped getting a reaction out of me. No matter how I felt certain things went down, I was still responsible for what would happen afterwards.
It was hard telling others involved and some made their feelings quite explicit. Others to this day I still can’t tell you how they feel. Which is okay. I can say that now. I ended up with great friendships, unexpected broken relationships and a healthier appreciation for the craft. Sometimes I’ll play the songs from that time of my life and smile at the memories.
Having a break from something you love can help you appreciate it even more. Knowing when to walk aware can be harder than just realizing the situation isn’t good for you anymore.
I will never regret a single experience I had in that period of my life. Good, bad or ugly–I’ve grown from it. I learned my limits, what my real passions were and had an entire crash course in an industry I never thought I’d bother growing involved in. Will I eventually try it again? Who knows. I won’t burn that bridge, but I’m excited about where I’ve shifted now.