I’ve always prided myself on my work ethic. I LOVE to work long and hard. There’s something wonderfully fulfilling in the sweat and stench that comes from a hard day’s work. I had no idea how much so until i laced up my Glazier boots for the last time on Thursday August 30, 2018. I decided to leave the steady, hard-working, good-paying job and follow a dream that’s been gnawing at me ever since i signed up for the 2nd Grade talent show to sing Patrick Swayze’s “She’s Like The Wind” (i chickened out at every role-call); I’m going to sing my songs to any audience that will have me.
So yeah, I’m 34, worked most of my life (outside of high school) in construction-esque trades, following a dream i’ve seen painted in different hues all of my life. Met some AMAZING people with skill-sets unimaginable, learned a lot, got tough, laughed, sweated, & froze. Yet I couldn’t help but feel this wasn’t MY dream, it was simply the only one i’d known, and i knew deep down that the day was coming when that “gnawing” feeling would die. I had started playing music at a local resteraunt on some weekends, hoping that would satiate the thing inside my head. Inadvertently; it just cracked open the door to a world i KNEW i wanted to be a part of.
I remember listening to a Joe Rogan podcast a couple of months back with Sturgill Simpson & having my attention wrenched towards my iPad when Sturgill said (something to the effect of) “no one should write an album/get into music until their in their mid 30’s”. I’m TOTALLY paraphrasing, but I took it to heart. In a sense, it’s not that you haven’t truly lived until you’ve reached your mid 30’s (obviously, because just LOOK/LISTEN to the EPIC artist that are barely in their 20’s), it’s almost as if SO much goes on between the teens-to-30’s that…i don’t know…it’s like that life experience is necessary for some folks…a part of the songwriter’s journey…the back-log of stories behind the forthcoming music. Or, like me, you’re goddamn hard-headed:)
Long story short, I jumped…and here’s some things i’m learning:
-Sticky notes with “To Do” lists (whether it’s daily or weekly “To Do’s”) are SUPER important. That way I can physically SEE progress, and learn how much i can ACTUALLY accomplish in a given day.
-Anxiety WILL come. It’s a must. Finding ways to handle it, look beyond it, or breathe through it are SUPER important as well. I’m not a pro at picking the healthiest ways all the time, but the healthier the better.
-Physical movement is SO important! I thought money was going to be the monster anxiety kicker-upper. What I realized, after a week of writing new music, practicing, & emailing every possible venue i could think of, was how much the feeling of physical accomplishment, at the end of a hard days’ work, did for me mentally. It’s been a part of my daily existence for so long that i equated that with my sense of manhood and being. It is a necessary part of my nature (i like to MOVE! I like to get shit done! AND sweat!!), but i’m learning how let go (slowly) of the notion that physical exhaustion = being a MAN. So yeah, exercise is the shit!!
-Practice has taken on a whole new importance. I’m finally starting to understand that the repetition of anything your focussed on becoming better at, is SUPER healthy! It’s as if you’re preparing your body and mind to feel free to LET GO, and let the Muse take hold. You’re honoring your craft! I’ve had that “flow-state” happen many times, but just recently realized how vital it is to get your mind and body ready for those moments.
The heart that beats inside each and every person’s chest is overflowing with truth and wisdom…Learn to listen to it. It has it’s own way of talking. Once you’ve heard it, you never forget it, but your ears do get clogged