A month ago I posted here that I made it to the short list of the 2014 Elements National Singing-Songwriting Camp. Those who made it to the short list had to undergo a live audition. Out of the live auditions, 60 singer-songwriters would be chosen as the campers. Because I am based in Davao City (one of the three cities where the live auditions were held), I was originally supposed to audition here. However, circumstances were such that I couldn’t make that date. Fortunately Connie, the (I don’t know what’s her official job: manager? Organizer?) one in charge of calling the shortlisted applicants, was very helpful and she offered to give me a slot in Makati. So on the 29th of September I flew out to Makati, checked into my hotel, then proceeded to the Radio Republic studio for my audition.
In the end, I did not make it to the final 60. I gotta admit – that kinda stung. A bit disappointing, especially after all that excitement. At the same time, I felt relieved. At least I don’t have to go about my days worrying about whether or not I made it. I already had the answer: I didn’t.
And at the same time, I felt something else: Confidence. Real, gut-level, solid-as-rock confidence in myself.
I wasn’t turned down because I was no good – I wouldn’t have made it to the short list if that were the case. No, I was turned down because there were 60 other people who were better. And I felt strong and confident because I failed by doing something, and I know all too well the feeling of the opposite kind of failure: to fail by not even trying.
I know what it’s like to fail by not even trying. To fail at your dream because you were too scared to really give it a shot, and instead you settled for less and tried to rationalize that you were being practical and sensible. I know how that kind of failure feels like. It hurts more. And it weakens you, draining you of your confidence as you cast around for all the excuses you can think of instead of focusing all your creativity on doing what you truly want to be doing. I passed up so many opportunities in the past because I was afraid to fail.
And now I simply am not.