This was a weekend to remember.
Nothing extravagant took place….in fact, it was a very fun and calm weekend, between Valentine’s Day, playing gigs, spending a day at Avalon, and then spending the holiday in the La-Z-Boy. This weekend was about realization, and making peace with things about my life as I’ve gotten older.
I played a gig on Saturday with Ryan – during this very fun and jam-packed gig, I had a moment of clarity. My musical career has peaked. I know that I’ll never be the musician that my dad and my other music teachers from grade school all the way through college think I should be. I’ve spent 29 years since graduating Ithaca trying to prove my musical worthiness. If I had a dollar for every time I was told “but if you’d only realize your potential…” These are walls that I let control me. It’s why music was never fun. And the part that really fucking sucks is that I did what I wanted to do musically, but I didn’t enjoy it because it wasn’t what was expected of me. THESE WALLS NO LONGER MATTER. It’s also why I now prefer being introduced as “L Train” on gigs, because every time I’m introduced as “Lane Stowe,” I fucking cringe, because it reminds me of what I don’t want to be anymore when I’m playing and singing music. (Ryan and Erin – thank you for supporting me on this more than anyone else!)
I’m working from home today – I definitely feel more productive when I work independently, but at the same time, I didn’t feel like having another “glass ceiling” day, where colleagues from other departments look or speak to me like I’m below them, or because my focus on my team’s metrics and accountability may annoy them. I’ve worked in Customer Service, Client Services and Management for nearly 30 years. I’ve been surrounded by friends and acquaintances who have or have had careers that will far surpass mine, and I’ve worked with my share of assholes over the past 30 years as well. I know that I’ve gone as far as I can go in my line of work. Although retirement is not yet an option, and I will always try and give 110% in my job, I no longer care about busting through any glass ceilings. This is not about failure or giving up – its the acceptance that my job will never be my passion, and that I will no longer self-define myself or allow others to define me based on if I’m a Manager, Director, VP or janitor. THE GLASS CEILING DOES NOT MATTER.
These “walls and ceilings” have dictated my life….it’s why on Saturday I posted a gig picture of me and Ryan on LinkedIn….one of the messages was “Do what you love, and love what you do.” I’m 50 years old, and I’m still figuring that out…and that’s actually a good thing.
As bad as the damage was to the lodge at Avalon on New Years Eve, there was a lot of optimism and hope there on Sunday. They will rebuild, start anew and be better than ever because of the strong support and faith of the community.
Perhaps that’s a sign.