Performing and alive.

“I cannot wait to wake up each morning”

I started my writing journey as a way to release my feelings that were closed up for thirty years. However, I’ve felt like I’ve needed to figure out where my writing is going.

Actually, the feeling is not about “going anywhere” with my writing, as much as the fact that my writing is somehow taking me on a journey! I am following, not leading! I have placed no structure as to what I’ll write about, or even how I will write. My newfound, creative passion has allowed me to sing until midnight last night, and then wake up to write at 4:30 a.m.

And I’m not tired at all!

I used to feel exhausted, and expected that I needed a certain amount of hours of sleep every night. I do still take short naps every day.

I feel so much freedom! I can play tennis or I can practice my guitar. I can write or I can scan photos and/or my paintings.

In between, I’ve gone shopping, ran around with my kids, fixed meals for my husband and I’ve basically been an ordinary middle-aged woman.

But this is not an ordinary time for me. Because I’m enjoying what I’ve been doing, so much weight has been lifted off of me. For the last thirty years I’ve been taking care of so many people.

I do need to find some balance, because my family, parents, and husband still need me. This “change in me” has certainly affected those close to me.

I have concerns that this creative time is finite. I am certain that I’ll need to be a caregiver again for my parents. The awareness of that possibility makes this time even more precious for me!

Our financial situation is about as dire as it as ever been. But I have such confidence in succeeding, that I am not worrying about it anymore.

I am truly living now, and every day I look forward to waking up in the morning (or even the middle of the night), because I have so much creative energy!

Playing outdoors.

“Being a writer”

My carefree life ended in 1981. After I graduated college and was married, I became very depressed while I was working on my art career. Being an artist was very demanding as I was constantly required to perform at the “top of my game.”

After my wedding, I disappeared into isolation. Many of my friends traveled to Europe and Israel after college. My own two brothers went to Israel after college. My parents didn’t feel it was “safe” for me to go. I was always a “good girl,” and accepted whatever my parents told me. I wrote about my feelings on the following post: #7 NO INKLING OF A DISINGENUOUS TONE regarding a recent opportunity to go.

In that post I shared that although I would love the experience, I cannot go without Michael. He has been waiting for us to travel together for a long time. Yesterday, he told me that he fully expects I’ll be typing on a laptop when we do travel. His excitement was visible when he told me that it would be fun for me to write about real travels!

I never could explain exactly why my intense love for music suddenly ended at the age of 21. I couldn’t use children as an excuse, because I waited seven years before having Jason. I’ve often explained that by letting go of music, I was able to direct all my “creative energy” toward being an artist. However, being an artist was not therapy for me.

I plan to write a ton of material soon about what has been involved in my becoming an illustrator. I have notes that include explaining how to paint a water droplet or how to create an orange peel texture. But being an illustrator was about utilizing all of my creative abilities to solve a “puzzle.” It was always a performance, fraught with anxiety. I always felt intense relief after completing any job I’d ever done. That has continued to the present day. I get tremendous satisfaction seeing my work printed, although the printed result is often disappointing.

Due to issues with my eyesight, as well as an admission about the level of stress, I am not sad about leaving my art career behind. I was sad when I was looking for a secretarial job to bring in some income!

Being a writer has been the greatest excitement in my life that I’ve had in a very long time.

Writing is fulfilling in a different way. The process is definitely therapy, but unlike a painting – seeing what is printed on a page overwhelms me. It looks like far too much for anyone to read. I have little desire to go back and work on it. I may never put my own book together!

For some reason, I have so much confidence in the unique, blog forum, that I’m hoping that will serve my writing well.

I am not focused on success right now. But I am hoping it will find me!

I’ve created a formula for creating “orange peel texture.”

“Opening Up”

I have started to write about my close friendship with Cheryl.

There are many lessons and insights for me about my friendship with her. As I sat down this morning to write my feelings, I wasn’t sure which part to begin with. The ending is sad, for sure. Cheryl died of breast cancer died two years ago.

Somehow, I cannot begin the story without a framework for my insight. What’s so beautiful about a blog is that I can add so much to the framework through the use of audio and images. I have a lot of “attachments” that I will share. The framework will help to put everything in context.

However, since I’m entering the period of my friendship with her – the best way to remember her is to share my music. That must be why I am feeling so much urgency to play my songs again.

What I have discovered is that my journey is definitely about insight. Writing allows for this. Speaking does too, and I’m ready for that if and when the time comes.

Singing and songwriting allows for me to express my passion as nothing else can!

I can access my “pipeline to my heart” because the music and the lyrics were composed by me! I may not be a professional singer, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone hearing me sing who has read my writing, could understand what I am feeling when I am singing.

Singing is totally “in the moment!”

I have written lyrics and composed over thirty songs, but I only remember twenty of them. I wrote three, classical pieces that I no longer remember how to play. I used to have a repertoire of thirty classical pieces, and now I have only two or three.

I wrote five different songs when I was close to my friend, Cheryl.

I wrote one song using lyrics from a poem she wrote for me.

When I was in high school and then in college, I used to sit in the sun and play my guitar. My favorite place to play guitar was at the beach.

Sometimes, people would gather to listen. It was far easier to play classical songs and not pour out my voice to strangers.

With my friends, it was different. There was so much passion and sharing. Sometimes, I would play a new song for a friend in my car. I couldn’t wait to share my excitement about it!

A few of my songs were written because I wanted to write a love song – even though I wasn’t in love at the time. However, most of my songs involved stories with the long ago friends I was close to.

My writing journey is carrying me toward the passionate period of my life that involved my songwriting. I have mentioned many times that there have been interesting coincidences in my life.

Why did my writing journey begin with songwriting? While emailing my friends for support during my mother’s illness, I somehow shared some words about my love for songwriting. Out of the blue my childhood friend, Joni had a connection and offered to put me in touch with a producer that she knew.

My very first post was writing about my excitement to meet with this composer and producer.

Before that appointment, I had only begun practicing my guitar for two weeks, after not having played it for thirty years! I did play “Puff the Magic Dragon” a lot for my children, but I didn’t count that.

Up until recently, I have not had the confidence to share my 50-year-old voice.

I’ve shared some old recordings, but soon there will be new ones!

The next coincidence was the fact that my youngest son encouraged me to take vocal coaching with his teacher at a public park.

I thought there was no way a fifty-year-old could sing again.

My teacher, Peaches, is amazing. Even though I took voice lessons many years ago, I never was able to “open up my voice.” In only a few weeks, those lessons with her have helped me tremendously. I have even decided to increase my lessons from half an hour to one hour starting next week.

When I first picked up my guitar after thirty years, I felt melancholy about the fact that I had forgotten so much. My music and songs were going to leave this world with me, especially as the years have gone by – so much was lost. No one would ever hear them, not even my children. (As a side note, they’re still not interested!)

But last night, I began to play with newfound joy due to my voice opening up again. I can see myself in the mirror of my large bathroom where I’ve been playing. I can be wearing a robe and glasses, and I definitely look like I’m fifty. However, Joni Mitchell comes to mind as I express myself in my own unique way!

I don’t care what I look like, or what anyone thinks about my music. I’ve decided to pursue sharing it in a bold way. I’m very excited about this.

As I was singing last night, the joy of accessing my “heart’s pipeline” was sensational.

Writing therapy is “typing at a snail’s pace,” whereas with singing, my lyrics soar while my heart explodes!

Guitar outdoors

© Judy Unger and 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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