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StoryTime: First Time Busking

First Time Busking

I’m 18 years old. I’m just about to clock in to my minimum wage (“minimum wage” is an overstatement) job. I was debating whether I was earning less than $8 dollars an hour for my hard work or just selling my life for cheap. Life was feeling a bit monotonous. The night before I watched the movie “ONCE” for maybe the 6th time and again wished I could be an Irish busker, screaming my songs with as much passion as possible to the people passing by. But I didn’t have that kind of confidence. Also, I was tired from work and school. Also, what if people didn’t like it? Also, what if the police come and tell me to leave? Also, a million more reasons to rationalize why today was not the day to sing at random people passing by. But then, all of the sudden, I had a different kind of thought. I said to myself “Okay. Today can be just like yesterday and the day before. Today I could be the guy who doesn’t go busking. Nothing will change and maybe another year would go by of wishing I could be who I want to be. Or I could just go today and see what happens.” So as soon as I clocked out I drove home, grabbed my guitar, and got on the next BART train. I frantically wrote down all of the lyrics of all of the songs I had written up until that point in my life. Then I hopped off at the Downtown Berkeley Station. I sat down and leaned up against the wall next to escalators. I opened up my guitar case and for two hours I sang every song I knew on repeat as random people walked by. The entire time staring directly at the ground trying to hide the serious lack of confidence in what I was

doing. After two hours I decided I really was tired and got up to catch the next train home. I looked in my case to find $100. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder. A young man who told me he had been watching me said “I don’t have an money but here’s this.” (it was a note) then he walked away. I looked down at the note and it said “Thank you for being you”. I went home so excited. Maybe I can quit my job, maybe I CAN be a musician, maybe I just need to be focusing on being myself and everything else I need will follow. I learned an important lesson that day: “just go and see what happens”. That was my first experience as a busker. That was my first experience as myself.

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