Hello, and welcome to Anticipating Nowhere #18: The One That Nearly Broke Me.
This show has been my biggest test of all those I have done do date. It has been the one through which I have needed to deal with certain aspects of myself once more. It has made me face my regular, sadly familiar, yet never welcome demons. This one show has been more than just about music and this blog will reflect that.
Those specific demons:
My need for everything to be perfect; my fear of putting myself above the parapet, where creations, in any form, are open to be critiqued; my struggle with the constant feeling of needing to do what I think others want without taking time to find out if they even want it or to consider the impact on my wellbeing.
To feel like I must always be giving something.
Simply put, rather than just those usual doubts and fears, this one show stopped being fun and I wondered if I should even carry on. I felt like an imposter in the world of these far-more knowledgeable and experienced people in the whole experimental/No-Audience Underground realm.
Here I am, not even a year on from diving headlong into this long-established group of friends/artists, impulsively putting a show together then throwing it out there. There are many other similar, yet incredibly excellent, shows already in existence that I was not aware of before I started because I did just that, dived in. I got myself in a rut thinking about it.
Did anyone even need my show? No.
Did it matter whether they did or not? No.
Was I having fun and not causing harm or distress? Actually, yes.
Still, I felt rubbish.
On diving in (this relates to ‘what happened next’).
A personality profile we each did at work had, at the very top of mine, ‘accident-prone risk-taker’. That pretty much covers it; I love the rush of something new but always fail to assess the full situation. As I realise what I have done (a blog? a podcast? for anyone to listen to/read? you what?) I can knock myself sideways. I’ll jump out as quickly as I jumped in.
What did happen next? I had a little meltdown about the whole thing where it seems I ended up, looking back to that night, having a word with myself on Twitter! Personal therapy for everyone to see. Nice touch.
That said, the aforementioned group of long-standing friends/artists into which I waded earlier this year were, as they always have been, thoroughly supportive. They are a wonderfully welcoming, ecouraging, engaging, intelligent and funny worldwide group who helped me put things into perspective. I don’t want to pick out individuals through fear of neglecting to mention anyone but, should any of you happen to be reading this, you know who you are. Thank you.
In this mini exchange something did click though, especially when I was typing one particular reply – I called these shows my mixtapes.
Mixtapes. Yes, that’s what these are to me and that’s what I had forgotten; the ‘why’ I started doing this. Replicating all those hours of mixtape-making after college and long into the night; copying tape-to tape, vinyl-to-tape and sometimes straight from the radio. When I made those tapes, whilst they were always a gift for someone else, they were always for me too. The same goes for Anticipating Nowhere. Whilst the tools are different the sentiment is not.
I loved making those tapes which were often heard by no more than 2 people (thanks are given specifically here to @KieranMahon1 for that reminder which helped put the final piece into place) but the thrill of making them was why I loved to do it. Remembering this I felt that old excitement rise-up again.
I made those tapes, as I do these shows, because I love doing them and if others enjoy them too I’ve exceeded what I set out to do.
I get to spend hours immersed in all the music I love and to support those artists and labels in my own small way.
I have a fortnightly schedule because I need structure in my life, or I never stick to anything. I’d always find excuses to not do it and it would be something else to add to the list of ‘Things Simon started and Never Finished‘ (it’s a huge list) and I would dive headlong into the next thing. So this self-imposed schedule, whilst creating an element of anxiety, is actually ‘a good thing’.
So, I went and did it. Anticipating Nowhere #18. Here it is, the mixtape I wanted to make, not the one I thought I should be making. It’s not perfect, but I like it.
I enjoyed making it. If you enjoy listening too = great! If not, just be good.
Peace : Respect : Compassion