I am a prisoner of the person that I want to be. Prisoner of my own ways. Won’t you set me free. Prisoner of freedom, I stay here by choice. Prisoner of our own minds, all the girls and boys.
Is it possible to be simultaneously filled with motivation, excitement, and doubt? I didn’t think it was until I wrote this song. The three sensations don’t usually find their way inside you at the same time, but it is possible, and is quite overpowering when it does happen. When I write, sing, or play guitar, stress and anxiety disappear. I just settle into that right mindset and boom – I’m free. Free to fill my mind with creative musing and dreams of the impossible. How can it be that at the same time, even while feeling this liberation, I’m left with a lingering sense of doubt? A soft voice in my mind that questions. Holds back and cautions. That voice, that inner state, is what I call being a prisoner of freedom.
I start the first verse out with this line; “I am a prisoner of the person that I want to be.” I always strive to be the best songwriter, human, and version of myself that I can be – I’ve always been this way, and likely always will be. The problem is, however, one should not always have this mindset. I’ve found that when I’m always looking for more, reaching for that growth, something is lost. I end up stressed down and tied out – or wait. Is it the other way… nevermind. You get the picture.
When I take a slight step back and follow the words of Mr. J. Winston Lennon (yes, Winston, who knew!?)..when I just ‘Let it be,’ I actually do become that best version of myself. In this more relaxed I’m not less productive or sluggish – in fact, quite the opposite. I perform to my optimal level and I’m happy. Happiness. Isn’t that the end goal of this whole thing anyways?
I found that if I strive to be the best, I stress myself out, but when I take a step back and become the most relaxed version of myself, I perform the best, and am much happier. During the times I was aiming to be the best, I was a prisoner of my own ways by going through the process of writing a song and also by doubting my creativeness at the same time. A truly double edged sword.
If you ask around, folks will say I am known for seeing the good in almost everything, but what a lot of people don’t know is that I also see a lot of the bad. I know you’re thinking “Mr. Positivity sometimes gets down?!” The answer is yes, yes I do 🙂 However, it is my goal in life to always let the good win no matter how dark it may get. If the dark does win, I have learned that I just need to close my eyes, take a nap, and recharge. It’s amazing what a ten minute de-stress nap can do for the mind. Even if I do not sleep, the process of focusing on a recharge really helps me. After the recharge, I always find a way to see it through, which is why I say I’ll stay here by choice. I choose to keep on pushing because I am not a fan of this doubtful unsure version of myself. I understand those emotions are important and allow me to grow, but they do not define who I am. The lessons I learn from doubtful moments are what I am most thankful for. That, and of course, chicken and waffles. I mean c’mon! Who doesn’t like chicken and waffles!?
In this day and age everyone is filled with confidence. It is a great thing. The unfortunate thing is that those same people are also filled with doubt and a bit of self-sabotage. I blame all the positivity that is promoted on social media. Am I saying positivity is wrong? No I am not, I am saying that too much of a good thing can be bad. Too much chicken and waffles is not good for the heart mama always said. When someone mindlessly scrolls their facebook or twitter feed and only sees messages saying they should be happy with pretty sunshines and smiling babies etc, it makes them feel like sadness or dark times are not ok. We have created this online precedent that you must be happy, and it’s not a healthy thing. Sadness is good, and is necessary in my opinion. With all that said, I will admit that sometimes those happy inspirational memes do pick me up and I push on. We’re living in one weird ass world my friends. It’s only going to get weirder.
We are in an age where you can promote anything and everything to the masses. It is truly insane. I find it overwhelming and tough to keep up with. Everything seems like a competition. I cope with it by slowing down, realizing that I am not alone, and just being grateful that I am alive. Some days are brighter than others. The days I write are good days 🙂 So yes, today was a good day. If you’re having a dark day, and can’t find your way out, don’t worry, you will eventually. Don’t force a smile. You don’t force farts, so therefore you should not force smiles. If there is one thing you take away from this blog post, take that 🙂
The last lines of verse one are “Prisoner of our own mind, all the girls and boys.” We are all human beings and it is our job to keep each other’s lights on. No, I don’t mean to burn through your neighbors electricity. I am referring to helping each other through the darkest of our days. If someone is having a bad day; comfort them, be the shoulder they need to keep going. A simple “hey, how ya doing buddy” goes a long way. We are all prisoners of our own freedoms. Who will you help set free?