Do you know how some girls dream of becoming a real-life princess or a singer or a teacher when they were younger? I was not one of them. Ever since I was eight years old, I already knew that I wanted to become a lead electric guitarist in the band.
How Did I Think Of Such A Specific Dream?
It all started with my big brother, who was a teenager at the time. Our parents would always be banging James’ door because of the loud music that came out of his room almost 24/7. James called it art, while mom and dad thought it was nothing but noise, so they constantly clashed.
In my opinion, I honestly could not care much about whatever that was. It also bothered me sometimes, especially when James’ rock songs were blasting in the middle of the night. However, there were many times when I would hear this frantic melody that was utterly astounding.
When I asked James about it, he said that it was a guitar. An electric guitar, to be specific. I had never seen one at such a young age, so I pulled mom to a music store when we were in town one day and asked the salesman if he could show me one.
Looking at the instrument turn to me, begging my mother to buy an electric guitar for me. Of course, she refused to do it. “You did not even want to learn how to play the piano, and learning this one is much more complicated than that.”
I knew my mother made sense, but I also knew that I liked an electric guitar better than a piano. I had to beg my parents to get one for me for months, and they only agreed to do it when they saw me watching online guitar tutorials and trying to play an imaginary guitar.
Living The Dream
While most aspiring rockers I came across started by forming a band in high school, I aimed higher than that. As soon as I turned 16 years old, I got a fake ID to go to bars and see if anyone would allow me to play my instrument there. I had no thoughts of doing underage drinking; all I wanted to do was to get started on fulfilling my dream.
My routine had been the same for two years since then. After school, I would train for two or three hours on weekdays. On weekends, my ever-supportive brother would drive me to different bars and clubs so that we could see if they could give me a shot. Unfortunately, I did not have much luck in those two years.
Sometime after my 18th birthday, though, my brother and I went to a bar where an up-and-coming band was supposed to provide entertainment. I was not trying to get a job there at the time, but I overheard the band members arguing with each other because their guitarist was nowhere in sight. One of them even said, “How can that guy bail on us now when there are music producers in the audience?”
That one question made me perk up. I took a deep breath, walked up to the band, and practically told them that I had been playing the electric guitar for years and trying to get my foot in the industry. If they were up to it, I could learn their list in the 30 minutes and stand in for their guitarist so that they would not look like fools in front of the producers.
My substitution eventually turned into a permanent position in the band. The proudest moment in my life was when we signed an official contract with a music label that would produce our songs and ensure that we could go on tours around the country.
But Tragedy Came
Everyone I knew was pretty ecstatic about my achievement. “A young rocker gal” was what family and friends called me, and I soaked in all their praises. At the same time, I worked hard to prove to my new band that they were correct to invest in me.
The thing was, I was driving home from the studio one night when I dozed off on the wheel and crashed against a highway barrier. I was too disoriented to realize that the side of my head slammed hard against the window, damaging my eardrum. The next day, I only learned about it when I felt the bandages, and the doctor explained that I lost my sense of hearing temporarily.
I returned to work in less than two weeks, hoping that my one good ear was enough, but it was not. I struggled every day to keep up with the band and always felt terrible whenever I messed up. On one of the most demanding practices, my band member gave me a self-counseling book.
I would never have picked up a self-counseling book before, but I was helpless. I read that journaling about my feelings daily worked, so I tried that. I also thought of positive affirmations I could tell myself every morning and went hiking to clear my head. Everything seemed to work for me, and little did I know, my sense of hearing returned slowly but surely.…