30 Days… Give or Take

An addict or an alcoholic would be feeling pretty proud having achieved 30 days sobriety, and I must admit that I’m proud to have achieved 30 days as well. To commemorate the occasion, I’m giving myself the UkeMarket 30-day chip.

Totally earned it!

You may recognize the chip as a felt bolopick, a ukulele accessory that I’ve been acquainting myself with as of late. I will pass judgement on this fuzzy plectrum in a future post, but at the moment we’re still in that awkward early stage where we’re just getting to know each other. I’m still kinda feeling it up at this point, playing around with it a little bit, seeing how it feels in my hands. Neither one of us is completely comfortable with taking that next step. But we will… soon.

When I started this site, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with it. Originally my intention was simply to start a website, not necessarily a ukulele site, not necessarily a blog, but any site I could use to get my feet wet with this whole world-wide-web thing. However, in my search for domain names (a ritual consisting of brainstorming hundreds of seemingly clever words and typing them into a search site like this), I typed “ukemarket”. To my surprise, it was available and I snatched it up. Seemed like a pretty valuable domain that I needed to get my grubby little hands on. After all, if I somehow got into the business of selling ukuleles, it would be perfect. Unfortunately, I don’t sell ukuleles here on UkeMarket, it’s just a blog that nobody reads (note to self: get a new domain name). That all started in March, 2014. So, I basically did nothing for twenty-one months (double check the math), until one day I just decided to do something… anything. I’d been neglecting these zeroes and ones for far too long. It was time to digitize the electro-chemical reactions in my brain and share with the world (or, more accurately… nobody) my ukulele experiences, thoughts, and wisdom. And that’s how blogs are born.

That “something… anything” turned out to be four posts (1, 2, 3, and… 4). And if I’m being completely honest here (and I am) it was a lot of fun, even though I know my readership is close to nil (“close to” might actually be giving myself too much credit). In blogging, there lies a creative outlet similar to music. In both blogging and music, you expose pieces of yourself, your soul, to strangers, and in so doing, share a common connection. Authenticity requires vulnerability. The audience can tell when your heart’s not in it, so you have to bare it for all to see. It’s a lot like a first date.

There’s an odd thing about dating that correlates risk to reward. The more exciting/risky the first date, the stronger the bond between the individuals. On the night of my first blog posts, I was introduced to a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. The coincidental timing of the event, coupled with the inaugural posts of UkeMarket, forced me to contemplate whether the occurrence was, in fact, merely a coincidence. Could it be that the very forces of nature that shape the face of our planet were aligning in some cryptic fashion in the hopes that I would recognize the divine providence and thus commit myself to UkeMarket? Were there supernatural forces at work here beyond my comprehension, puppet-masters of the universe pulling my strings in ways I’ll only understand in hindsight? My answer to that is, unequivocally, no. But, it was a pretty crazy coincidence and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life (pending dementia).

Are we guaranteed to live happily ever after just because we went skydiving on our first date? Will the angry adolescent children of divorcees be less damaged knowing that their parents fell in “love” at the rock gym? Of course, we know these do not guarantee success in a relationship, just like an earthquake on the night of one’s first blog posting is not a sign from God that you’re fulfilling your destiny. The key to success, or at least improvement, will be borne from dedication.

I’ve compared music to a relationship before, and it’s worth reiterating that success, in either love or music, requires commitment. One does not simply become a great partner, ukulele player or blogger with minimal effort. And even though I’m proud of my 30 days, I know (and hope) it’s only the tip of the iceberg. UkeMarket, just like my musicianship (and yours), requires dedication. Here’s to the next milestone.