My name is Sykamore. And I am a player of music, a writer of songs and probably most importantly, a lover of tzatziki sauce and adventures. This year I’ve been selected as one of 12 finalists to participate in a country artist development program called Project Wild, formerly known as the Peak Performance Project.
This particular adventure started on Thursday Aug 25th when I had to drive from Kelowna to Princeton, BC – which really shouldn’t have been memorable at all, with the exception of the breathtaking scenery and copious wildlife everywhere [Canada, amiright]. EXCEPT I am, at best, a partial adult. Which is the reason why when I saw a sign leaving Kelowna that said CHECK FUEL, NEXT SERVICE 105 KM – I looked at my own gas gauge, that said 113 KM, and thought, yep we’re doing this.
So I proceeded to scramble through the mountains on approximately a quarter tank of gas. The range of emotions was, to say the least, entertaining [in hindsight]. I started out fearless and free, thinking I was such a daredevil and a risk taker and the perfect testament to my profession as a rebellious musician. After some time though, that fearlessness got shaded in by doubt, and I went from Evel Knievel to… his somewhat less courageous cousin, we’ll call him Larry Knievel. It was a lot less empowerment and a lot more “Sure, I’m fine. I’m fine. This is fine. We’re all fine.” You know how it is, when you repeat a sentence enough times hoping you’ll eventually believe it? Yeah. That.
The spiral continued downward, and it really did nothing for morale when my gas gauge bottomed out and completely stopped telling me how many kilometres were in the tank at all. Let me tell you something, the wilderness is a lot more breathtaking when you have the sweet guarantee that you won’t die somewhere in it. Without it, you’re just another potential lunchable for the Grizzlies.
Anyways, fast forward through a lot of downhill coasting and wondering if my knuckles would ever return to their natural pigment, and you’ll find out that I survived.
The next day I rolled into Rockridge Canyon and started my week of intense music training, education and general rambunctiousness with my colleagues.
Something I can already say I love about this experience is just spending time with a crowd of musical individuals. I can literally walk to any picnic table or join in on any conversation and feel like I belong, and that I have something to contribute. You’ll never feel more validated than when you’re in this type of program. Growing up I spent a lot of time thinking I was never going to find people like me, who cared about art in the same way, and to be honest there were times when I just thought it would be easier to conform and find another dream, just for the sake of fitting in. I’m really glad I didn’t, because now I can say I feel fulfilled not only by pursuing my dream, but by the people I am surrounded by. There’s really nothing better than that.
I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has to offer. At first I was just happy to make it in one piece, but now can say I’m grateful for the chance to get here at all, on a quarter tank or not.
See ya tomorrow! PEACE