I’ve had quite a week! Two nights ago I did perhaps the best show of my life so far, performing my first piano-vocal duo-show together with my keyboard player Alan Markley. Also, a week ago I gave a successful lecture, my first ever, where I debuted two new songs accompanying myself on guitar in front of an audience for the first time.

I’ve really been pushing through fears and insecurities and expanding my life in these past few weeks… I’ve been using a machete to hack at all the negative voices in my head that keep telling me that I’ll never be able to succeed, that I’ll never be able to do the things that I want to do, that I’ll never be able to fulfill my dreams, that I will never be able to become who I want to be. I’ve drowned out so many of these voices already, and yet there is still much more to do. Perhaps it doesn’t matter as much anymore where these voices came from–what matters is that they have to go. They’re not factual, they’re not real, and what’s more important: they’re not me. What I want to learn now is to make victory laps, to really celebrate my accomplishments instead of feeling guilty about them.

The Finnish culture taught me this:
“Oma kehu haisee.” Loosely translated: “Complimenting yourself stinks.”
“Vaatimattomuus kaunistaa.” Loosely translated: “Modesty makes you prettier.”(What??)
“Kell’onni on, se onnen kätkeköön.” Loosely translated: “Whoever has happiness, they should hide it.”
Having learned to think for myself in recent years, I think all those sayings suck ass. I think complimenting yourself is healthy, confidence makes you prettier, and happiness should be shared.

So, today I choose to concentrate on the progress that I’m making and the victories won through my hard work. It is an old mechanism in me that makes me apologetic after accomplishing great things in my life. I’d much rather keep making myself stronger and stronger through any successes I may have, than grovel out of guilt and a feeling of undeservedness. I do deserve success and happiness! We all do. Our successes are not anyone else’s losses, they are simply our frickin’ triumphs and a reason for us to be proud and happy for ourselves. Fuck anyone who can’t share in our joy or tries to tell us any different.