I saw myself on that train with my guitar, my ever-present tea thermos, and a bag of CDs to sell. David had walked me through the intricacies of Penn Station, even telling me that I would want to hail a cab from 7th Street, because it was facing the right direction to carry me to Ludlow.
My friend Emily had needed to cancel her gig at The Living Room due to an injury, and she had kindly recommended me to fill her spot. I was going to have to go alone. I was willing, but shaking in my Toms.
My first visit to New York as a teen had set the stage for fears that have lingered. As an adult, I have had fun there, but that was always when I was with someone who knew the city well. Gratefully, I could not ruminate on my fears full-time, because if The Living Room booked me, I would need to show them that I can bring people out, and I only had three days to mobilize the troops.
In the end, I didn’t get the gig, and I didn’t get on that train, but it was interesting to observe in myself the willingness to face one of my oldest fears in order to realize one of my musical ambitions. I have decided that I am going to get to know New York better. Who knows, maybe we can let go of our past and become friends.
I learned through this experience that there are people in New York who would show up for me. It is likely better that it didn’t work out this time, because with advance planning, I will be able to fill more seats. I want to show that big city that I can bring it!
If you live in or around New York, and would come to a show of mine in the city, please let me know, so that I can put you on my list of folks to contact when the right opportunity shows up. It feels like an important step in this musical journey of mine.
What fear stands between you and your ambition?