Doin’ Somethin’ New

A song about career change.

Here’s a song I wrote and performed over the weekend for Escape The City’s Career Change program, about the troubles of wanting to change your career but not knowing where or how to start.

Typically I only play guitar in the comfort of my own room, so this was a comfort challenge for me. But I wanted to role model acting with discomfort to the brave group of people in the room embarking on a career change.

Here’s the song — sung to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around”. Enjoy!

Lyrics:

There’s a problem plaguin’ us these days.
When we want to change, but get stuck in our ways.
We seem to think it’s gonna be easy, a piece of cake
But forgotten is a fact we once knew
Feels shit doin’ something new.

The hairs on your arm will stand up.
Inside your throat grows a great lump.
Mean voices in your head yellin’ stop.
You remember what it’s like not having a clue.
Feels shit doin’ something new.

[CHORUS]
So do it once — Get past the fear of doin’ it. [1]
Do it twice to learn how to do it.
A third time to figure out if you even like it at all.
Voices callin’, tears you’re cryin’.
Something’s born, your ego’s dyin’.
Sucking is the first step to being kinda good. [2]
And the magic is when you try shit.
But what if it doesn’t even work out?
And the magic is when you try shit.
It’s hard I know to suffocate the doubt.

I once learned a secret I’d like to share.
Back at IBM, wanted to leave, but didn’t know to where.
A buncha’ ideas started coming up for air.
But when my feet hit the street and I started to do.
Realized — feels shit doing something new.
So treated each idea like a mini experiment.
Goal was to try and learn how to do it.
A project to put new skills in my toolkit.
No matter if it succeed or fell through,
But still feels shit doing something new.

[CHORUS]
So do it once — Get past the fear of doin’ it.
Do it twice to learn how to do it.
A third time to figure out if you even like it at all.
Voices callin’, tears you’re cryin’.
Something’s born, your ego’s dyin’.
Sucking is the first step to being kinda good.
And the magic is when you try shit.
But what if it doesn’t even work out?
And the magic is when you try shit.
It’s hard I know to suffocate the doubt.
Start before you’re ready, no matter what you do.
Always feels shit doing something new.

[1] Inspired from a quote by Virgil Thomson: “Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

[2] Inspired by a quote from Alexis Ohanian which I’ve written about before: “Sucking is the first step to being sorta good at something.”