I think this past year has been the biggest of my life.
It was a year of creating, producing, traveling, performing, making new friends, learning, meeting challenges and growing.
It was a year of “firsts” — my first album in seven years, first time doing my own photography and design for an album, first time playing for a convention of billionaires, first time running a crowd-funding campaign, first time visiting South Africa and China, first time launching a photography website, first time playing at a Jimi Hendrix festival, first time collaborating with classical musicians on my music, first time receiving a lifetime achievement award from an international guitar festival, first time participating in a global festival of ideas in Mexico, first time recording an online instructional video series.
It was also a year of sadness — both parents died — my mother in July, my father in December. Although I was prepared for their deaths (they were both in their nineties and went peacefully), nothing could mitigate the power of the grief that accompanied their moving on.
What is the greatest thing I gained from this year?
I think it was confidence — in my ability to adapt to new situations, collaborate successfully with other musicians, persevere with difficult tasks and projects…and triumph over stress, fear, fatigue and my own inner inertia (yes, I battle with it often).
Although none of these types of challenges were new, there were many more occasions for them this year than ever before.
The music career I chose has always been full of priceless rewards and extreme challenges, for which I have always felt both lucky and grateful.
Adjusting to losing family members is its own kind of challenge.
It is not every year that I look back at the end and go…wow. I did that.
2013 was that kind of year.
So…how was your year?