Mike Davies

Reinventing yourself over and over again

I find that I quite frequently fall into ruts, metaphorically speaking.

Maybe because I’m more of a “meh…could be worse,” kind of person rather than a constantly looking around myself and thinking, “how can I make this better?” kind of person, I get comfortable with the way things are a bit too easily.

And then I get the urge to drastically change.

Like a few years ago, when everything was fine. Everything was perfectly satisfactory.

But that was suddenly a problem for some reason. Everything was a bit too…adequate, I guess?

So I took up painting.

I’d been what some would call “an artisy-type” earlier in life back in my teenage years and I suddenly realized that I missed having that creative outlet, so I jumped back into art head first. I turned the downstairs office/library room of my house into a painting studio, made a dozen or so three-foot-by-four-foot panels out of wood, went to the art supply store and just dug in.

I was energized in a way I hadn’t felt in quite some time. It felt like I was becoming someone else in an extremely positive way.

Then that, too, started to get a bit too comfortable.

So I got back into music.

I’ve dabbled in guitar ever since my “artsy-type” teenage years, and I had a couple of friends who were of similar mind, so we cleared some room in one of their garages, loaded a bunch of our gear in there and started to have weekly jam sessions on Thursday nights.

We gelled quite quickly and even started writing some of our own songs which were bias noted actually pretty good.

Now, when I say “I get into” these things, I don’t mean, “they are a thing I do sometimes.”

When I was getting into making paintings, my spare time was filled with either making things to paint on, painting on those things, looking at paintings others have made, watching YouTube videos of people demonstrating painting techniques and then falling asleep with visions of colours swirling around on white backgrounds as I ponder my next trip into the studio.

When we were starting Thursday jam sessions, all the music I heard on the radio suddenly became, “this would be a cool one to try,” spending all my spare time looking up song lyrics and chords for songs I wanted to bring to the following week’s jam session to try out, or writing poetry to try to turn into songs.

I guess what I’m trying to work out, as I type this, is whether this is the right way to make changes in life. I mean, there’s nothing more re-energizing to me than making a drastic, “all-in” kind of change in focus. But would it be better to just constantly be on the lookout for smaller changes I can make in more subtle ways so I feel less like I need to make a sudden sharp turn?

Would making more frequent, smaller changes, give me the same kind of energy, just in a more constant and sustainable way?

I’ll think on that for a while. Any feedback is certainly welcome.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to searching Craigslist and various Facebook groups for people giving away wood or things that are made out of wood so I can get back to building stuff (I’m not sure what yet) in my garage.

Side note: I’m pretty stoked about my new band saw.