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Self-acceptance and a green T-Shirt

After breakfast, my parents and I ended up talking about how to accept what is. How to accept the place in us, from which every concept about ourselves and the world arises. How to cope with the friction created by the disparity between the world as it is and the world created by our ego. All of it pointing to this one question. What comes first? What is earlier than that which is perceivable? Who are we?

In 1994 I started my studies at the music academy in Trondheim. Early autumn I was out shopping for some new clothes. In particular I was looking for T-shirts with a print that had something to do with music. I was about to take on my new role as a musician, and I needed something that would support my new identity. At JC I found what I was looking for. There was a pile of T-shirts on a table, and in the midst of it I spotted a green T-shirt. On the left side of the shirt, if the light was correct, I was able to spell the word “musician”. Just what I wanted. I bought it and walked back home.

Back in my room, I emptied my shopping bag on the bed. Looking at the T-shirt, I realized there was more written than just the word musician. In the light shining through my window, I could now see the rest of the print, which had not been visible back in the shop. There was an image of a disc jockey spinning records, and underneath it said: For a while I was a musician, and I played music every day. Immediately I felt uneasy. I had been looking for something to verify my new identity. This, however opened up for a series of interpretations, and was in no way the verification I needed. My gut feeling was indisputable. I put the shirt back in my closet and forgot all about it.

Throughout the years I have suppressed much of myself in order to become the one I wanted to be, convinced that my musical talent was the most important part of myself. If I opened up space for other aspects of myself, there was a chance I might lose the music, which meant losing myself. Better then stick to my definition of myself, to my role, to the known, to that which I was seemingly able to hold on to…

And now I am here. Tomorrow I am heading out on what appears to be my last tour as a musician in who knows how long? When done, I will see what happens. All I want now is to become who I am. I want to experience my being as directly as possible, letting go of every concept, glossy image, role and definition. I no longer want to be this or that. I just want to be exactly as I am, before any thoughts and ideas about myself arises. The outcome will be whatever it will be, though I hope for something more genuine and less stressful.

And who knows? Perhaps one day I will find my way back to music. Or perhaps something completely different. Whatever the outcome might be – after 20 years I am finally able to accept that which was written on the T-shirt. As a matter of fact, I couldn´t have put it better myself.

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