According to the last person who unsubscribed from my mailing list, I have a problem: I’m too negative.
I don’t normally follow up with those who unsubscribe, but this was an exception. This particular person is someone I met during my Koffin Kats days, a wonderful human being who is kind, generous, and supportive of my endeavors. They joined my mailing list just before my days with KK were over, and interacted with me regularly.
And then, just after I sent my last blog, they unsubscribed. So I had to reach out and ask why.
They informed me that “it all started back when you made a few comments on FB about your time/feelings towards/experiences with the Koffin Kats. I was really disappointed to read some of the disparaging things you wrote. I unfollowed you on FB at that time because I felt like it there was a lot of needless negativity there and I just didn’t want to see any more of it. You are totally entitled to your feelings, they are yours and therefore they ARE valid. I would never say otherwise. It just wasn’t something I was interested in seeing.
“More recently, your email/blog post about Nelson Ellis’s passing felt like a platform that you used to complain about sensing your own mortality. There was so much negativity in it. As well as the previous email regarding the band mates who abruptly severed ties with you.
“Please understand John, I’m not here to say that any of this was wrong on your part. You have an incredible way of expressing yourself, and you are entitled to your feelings and opinions. It’s not my place to say that any of it is ‘wrong’ or ‘not valid’ because they are your thoughts and opinions. You own that shit and no one can take your freedom of expression away. There’s just a LOT of negativity saturating these emails and I have a really hard time digesting it.
“I desperately need to be surrounded by uplifting things. Music, listening to my kid laughing at the crab in Moana for the THOUSANDTH time, stupid memes.. anything!!! And lately (because their frequency has picked up) your emails are more of a source of frustration. I know I could just NOT read them.. but I like knowing what’s been new with you and what you’ve been doing. I truly hope things are better with you than how they are often sounding.
“I sincerely hope you understand that I mean no ill towards you whatsoever. I’m just doing everything I can to keep my eyes fixed on the lighter side of life… cuz there’s a huge scary dark side to it all, and it’s suffocating…”
This hit me like a ton of bricks.
I thought that showing my warts and being honest about the hurdles on my path was the way to truly connect with others, but it seems to be driving people away.
The fact is…my life is great. Yes, I experience setbacks from time to time, but for the most part, everything is fine.
But in a strange way, I’ve always felt that I should play down how good things are, because they can end at any moment, be ruined by some unforeseen event or situation.
I haven’t written anything since receiving that email because I knew that the next thing I wrote would absolutely have to be about that email, and I’ve been scared to let it out.
Well, here it is. I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that when I mention something good that’s happening, it will end or be ruined somehow.
I’m afraid that if I communicate my vision for the next ten years, it won’t come to fruition.
I’m afraid to introduce the people on my team, lest they end up leaving.
I’m afraid to say how happy I am, because the pattern of my life is such that when I talk about something good, it ends.
I don’t want what’s happening in my life right now to end.
And I feel that if I speak publicly about the good things, then the evil part of the universe — It, if you will, dear friends and neighbors — will conspire to eradicate them all.
But I must, because my “negativity” is driving people away.
I have a great house in a wonderful neighborhood, with a backyard I can mow.
I have a beautiful woman in my life, and we have designs on getting a dog soon.
I have a growing family, and have begun to reconnect with family members I haven’t seen in years.
I have been training in Wing Chun Do for just over a year, and am a few months away from being an “advanced” student.
I’ve got two new songs in production, and one being mastered right now for public release.
I’ve got a great group of people learning, practicing, and rehearsing my music in order to perform and tour.
I have amazing fans all over the United States from Portland, Maine, to Los Angeles, California, who love my music and can’t wait for me to come to town and play for them.
I have a clear vision of where I want to be in ten years, and I am making the necessary sacrifices and taking the calculated risks to get there.
Guys and gals, I want you to know that if you’re still reading this, or any of my musings, I appreciate you. I get dozens of emails after sending these out, and though I don’t respond to all of them, I read every one. I love hearing from all of you, and staying up to date on your happenings.
Whatever your opinion of my music, writing, podcast, etc., I want to hear it — I’m not just creating for the sake of creation, I’m creating to make an impact on others, to improve people’s lives.
So if you feel my content is focused too much on the negative, say so. I’ll listen.
But I promise, from here on out, I will endeavor to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative,” as my mother always says.
Is that cool with YOU?
P.S. Downplaying my strengths has been a pattern of mine for as long as I can recall, and I had an epiphany regarding this subject in my latest podcast with Cody Hawken.
P.P.S. If you met me during my Koffin Kats days and want to know the REAL story of why I’m no longer in the group, message me privately.
P.P.P.S. Everything’s fine.
Visit the archive: https://therealjohnkay.wordpress.com
Let he who would move the world first move himself. — Socrates
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