A Dad Takes Note | He Learns How to Play Electric Guitar and Joins His Daughter on Her Musical Journey

How is it that a dad in his early fifties decides to learn how to play an electric guitar?

Is it the fulfillment of a childhood dream or perhaps a mid-life crisis? No. It’s neither. It simply has to do with love and respect for Kim as a singer and finding artists who are compatible with Kim who don’t have: ulterior motives, hidden criminal backgrounds and a myriad of other problems and ramifications that come with finding musicians for a band. That is what led this dad to pick up a guitar, learn Kim’s original music and cover songs, and join her on her musical journey.

What got us here today…

Ever since Kim was a little girl, she dreamed of becoming an established singer/songwriter, and she has worked diligently to fulfill her dream. Throughout her formative years, she wrote original music and performed at school functions and competed in local and national singing competitions. And by the time she was 19 years old, she had also performed with a few different bands. Around this time in her life, Bill advised her to form her own band, but she didn’t. It wasn’t until years later, when we moved to Tampa, Florida, that she finally decided to take Bill’s advice. However, she had nothing but problems. Listed below are a few:

  • Egos
  • Musicians that expected to be paid
  • Musicians that didn’t show up
  • Musicians that purported to be one thing but were not and certainly were not looking out for Kim’s best interests

I imagine that you might be thinking, based on the short list above, that these are typical problems that anyone might experience when trying to form a band. And I’m sure they are. However, for us, we got to a point when we realized that we had lost control for a brief moment. Bill, Kim and I had an awful, and sickening, “Oh my God!” moment when we it dawned on us, during a frightening experience, that we were working possibly with a wolf or two in sheep’s’ clothing, and that we were actually putting our family, and especially Kim, at great risk as we encouraged her to continue to work through the challenges of finding the right musicians.

We had gotten to the point where Kim was Inviting people into her life that she didn’t know…

all for the sake of starting a band from the ground up. Eventually, it got to a point where she had people come out of the woodwork that said that they wanted to help her, when in all reality they wanted to work with Kim because there was something it for themselves. At this point in the blog post, I am choosing not to highlight our OMG! moment because it doesn’t deserve the attention it would get. Instead, I want to highlight the good that has come out of a negative situation.

To help Kim form her band, Bill came up with an idea…

Last summer, during a conversation with Kim, he said, “What if I become your guitarist? Give me a month to see how far I can get learning guitar, and if it looks like something I can do, then we’ll make a decision to move forward.” After Bill’s startling announcement, we decided to have a family meeting during which we shared our thoughts and concerns about Bill becoming Kim’s guitarist. Naturally, the main concern was whether or not Bill could learn to play guitar at Kim’s level. We all agreed to give it a try. Since that day, our house has been filled with an energy that we’d been missing for awhile, an energy filled with renewed hope and optimism for a new beginning, the normal anxiety and concern that accompanies doing something new, high expectations for one another, the continued support for one another, and music.

About a month after Bill’s announcement, he hesitantly asked Kim, “Am I hired?”

She replied, “Yes Dad! You’re hired!” And so, Kim is at the helm of a unique and promising adventure with her dad. The rewards of our family decision have become endless, and of utmost importance, we can protect Kim as she furthers her music career. Despite the obstacles, Kim’s not giving up, and neither are we. And life comes full circle. 1 daughter, a grown woman by now, gets to teach, guide and support her dad as he learns how to play electric guitar and all that comes with being musicians. A band is forming and magic is starting to come out of this very unique situation…can you feel it? Next up, I’ll be talking about egos that just might be as big as the Sunshine State!

~ Stacy (1 Mom)

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Gulp: I Changed Career Hats

Stacy's Sun HatI’m ready to share some scary yet exciting news! As of Friday, October 23rd, 2015, I became a full time writer. No more part time blogging for me! I literally changed career hats.

Yes. You heard right. I’m blazing new trails as a full time writer. I resigned from my position in Student Services at a state college where notable alumni like Jim Morrison, lead singer from The Doors, graduated. Even something as cool as that couldn’t keep me from gracefully hanging up my Student Services career hat and placing upon my head the full time writer career hat.

Just the thought of resigning from my job was a scary proposition for me because I had the comforts of a 9-5 job. For example, each work day was filled with pre-planned responsibilities. Therefore, I knew what I had to accomplish each day. I also had job stability in that I knew I would receive a paycheck every two weeks. Now, I’m responsible for planning and organizing my work days, and I don’t know if I’m going to get paid. Now, getting paid depends on if my blog and eBooks are successful and if I can garner the attention and backing of a publishing house.

By now you might be asking, “Why did you quit your 9-5 job?” Well, as my coworkers said so eloquently via a PowerPoint presentation at a special goodbye party, “Do What You Love – Love What You Do.” And that’s as simple as it is.

In regard to the concept of doing what you love, no matter what, I can’t seem to shake my passion for writing. For example, I had the privilege, as a Student Services employee, of helping get the college campus blog running full speed ahead. During those moments, while writing the campus blog, I re-discovered that I really am passionate about writing. It didn’t matter what topic I was blogging about, I got swept up in the writing process.

Getting swept up into the writing process isn’t a new experience for me. I’ve been very aware for years that writing is something I enjoy. I’m in flow when I write. I’ve written using a variety of formats and genres. I’ve written and sent query letters and emails, and I’ve submitted manuscript after manuscript over the years to various publishing houses all in an attempt to get published. However, I didn’t pursue full time writing because I thought I needed to be a published author first. I think I had it all wrong. Instead of thinking of writing as a hobby and as something to do full time after publication, I need to “Just do it!” like Nike says.

What’s exciting is that through writing I can:

  • continue the important work of Stacy’s Flutterings blog, finally write those eBooks I’ve been wanting to write, continue to seek representation from a traditional publishing house for our memoir and start other new writing projects I’ve been planning, and the list goes on…
  • support my loved one and anyone else living with mental illness
  • advocate for those living with mental illness
  • work to prevent suicide
  • help eradicate stigma
  • provide helpful, credible resources pertaining to mental illness and wellness

As you probably can tell, I will be very busy with my new job just like I was in Student Services. So with my full time writing hat now on my head, I turn my head to the side while grasping the back of the hat brim with the fingers on my left hand and grasping the front of the hat brim with the fingers on my right hand, and I adjust my hat by quickly tilting my head forward and pulling down on the brim as if giving a quick nod of approval and to say, “See ya next time!”

Growing stronger…