Well, ever since last week, Iíve been feeling slightly better every day. Iím beginning to think last week was mostly hormonal. Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time drawing. Monday, I restrung the guitar and have been playing a little bit.

When I was a kid, I seemed to be able to figure out how to play instruments. I was able to play a few songs without instruction. Normal parents would have been happy and proud and would have gotten me music lessons immediately, but seeing as I had crazy parents, that didnít happen.

Growing up, I believed I was a bad musician. I was so terrified of negative judgment, I stayed away from it, but itís something that Iíve always loved.

I think most of it was lack of encouragement and a not-so-pretty singing voice. I can stay on key, but Iím not one of those people that when she opens her mouth and people fall to their knees and look for the angels. Of course, back then, I didnít realize that technology would make it so no one has to sound pretty anymore.

My ex-husband is a guitar player. One day, I picked up his guitar (at first upside-down), he laughed and showed me how to hold it right-side-up, within two days, I taught myself as many songs. They were Wish You Were Here and a Toad the Wet Sprocket song (it only had three chords).

Of course, since my mean, soul-squashing parents taught me that this is correct behavior, I was compelled to marry a mean soul-squasher, who, rather than being encouraging, became filled with petty jealousy. But, it was the look of complete and total disbelief on his face the first time he heard me playing that showed me that I wasnít as bad at music as I thought I was.

The only thing thatís really sad about this is that I may have someday produced something that would have been of real use or inspiration to others. Then again, we arenít really lacking good musicians these days. Itís the music industry thatís failing us, and Iím sure Iíd have been able to do just as much about it as the current musicians can.

Itís weird, but we donít encourage each other nearly as much as we ought to. I guess itís an evolutionary advantage, but humans are too competitive to make this place a happy place to live for all people.

The reason I notice so much is because I have very little natural competitiveness. The idea of a pecking order seems out-dated and barbaric to me, yet, itís something that so many people cling to. Itís found in both sexes, too.

Itís all related to ego, and a large ego is something deeply embedded in American culture. As for me, my lack of desire to put other people in their place (presumably below me) might be a disadvantage as time goes on.

I donít know how or why I came to be different or if Iím really different at all. I suppose we all feel different in some way.

I think it bothers me that because Iím not competitive, the implication is that I lack ambition, energy or inspiration. I have plenty of those things. The only thing I lack is the desire to be more than others. This causes me to lack focus. I have no specific goals. I just want to live and be happy and make this world a better place (and thatís pretty vague, if you ask me). When most people have goals like, ďI want to make a lot of money so I can go back and spit in so-and-soís eyeĒ or something like that (which is very specific).

I really think that getting too wrapped up in ones own ego is a disaster waiting to happen, anyway. Our egos are all destined to have high-points and low-points, and getting too caught up in a high-point, means we might be a little too attached to it when it hits a low-point weíll go down with it.

I suppose thereís nothing wrong with that, but for me, that kind of crash can throw me too far off track, and Iíll lose productivity.

Dear God, I donít know what will happen if Iím unproductive, but Iíll fear it, anyway!

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Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007 at 12:33 PM