This blog has been released to the hounds for the last two months while I attempt to simplify my life and move forward into adulthood after nearly 15 years of living like a viking. Ever since I finished playing my last show in December, I’ve felt that it’s time to take a step back and re-examine what it is I’m actually doing so that I don’t look back 10 years later and wonder, ”What the hell happened?”.
It’s not necessary to go into all of the details of the process. Let’s just say it involves a lot of time fixing up my room, watching HBO OnDemand, and recording. For the first time in several years I’ve gone an entire month without playing a single show or making a public appearance at someone else’s gig. No more smoking cigarettes and drinking regularly, and as a result I feel more centered and stable. Without all these sinful delights to waste money on, I find myself able to pay off nearly all of a 10-year debt, which is a nice thing to be able to do in this economy.
When asking myself why this is all happening, I discover it’s because I’m tired of partying and running around living a child-like dream that obviously isn’t coming true. I love performing and hanging out with friends, but no longer acquire pleasure from getting wasted and playing seedy joints without appreciation (or pay). Maybe I’m growing up, or maybe I’m just becoming a big pussy, but either way I am naturally tending towards moving on to something different. I think it’s called being realistic.
In the last year I’ve had to be honest with myself and admit that a music career isn’t necessarily going to provide me with everything I need in life - forget about the things I want! At 31 I still don’t have health insurance, haven’t seen a dentist in 7 years, and possess no savings or investments. I work part-time because it allows the freedom to tour and work on music, but it’s simply a holding pattern and I’m always a step behind financially. I’m not saying I don’t want to play music any more or quit my job, I just need to focus my energy and achieve higher goals than I have in the past.
I’ve had some amazing adventures and done things that most would never dream of trying, so I don’t feel unfilfilled in the slightest. I’m still inspired by music every day and am more prolific than ever, but the desire to be a rock star is completely gone. It’s no longer fulfilling to play every night unless the music, audience and venue is respectable. No more playing covers in a bar band, now it is about creating art for its own sake.
I never thought I would say this, but eventually I want to have a wife and children, and I want to support them doing what I love. A greater purpose calls me and even if I’m never successful as a musician, I’ll always be able to record and perform music in some capacity. I can die happy knowing this. It’s been my dream for the past 10 years to be successful, and at this point it is my best interest to seriously evaluate exactly what that means. A very exciting new phase in my life is just beginning, and as hard as it is to admit, I’m finally growing up. I know it’s the right time because growing up no longer means sacrificing what I love. Now it’s about continuing to create music with class and integrity, doing away with the excesses, and focusing all of my energy on being a good person. Not because there are material or financial rewards involved, but because it makes the world a better place to live in when you treat others with kindness and respect.