There have been a bunch of epiphanies floating through my mind as of late. For example, it’s a good thing sometimes when people could care less about your art or you are not successful by popular standards, because when you fail at something, or make a mistake, there’s nobody there to even notice, except you.
Blessings in disguise.
It’s also probably a good thing that most of us affect only a small number of people in this life. More would be so much responsibility.
I’ve always been a fan of the freaks and the creeps of this world. I got caught up in a few fantasies this year, though I didn’t let them keep me from being grounded.
I can tell you what I’ve learned, regardless.
I’ve learned to listen to myself. To give myself space and time. To be true to my own art and voice in spite of what other people say. To grow as a musician. I’ve learned a shit ton about gear. I’ve learned to let things go so that new things can come in.
I’ve learned that when you obsess about someone or something, often, it’s because you’re avoiding something else. The more you obsess, the more likely there is a fear underneath that the thing you’re obsessing on isn’t really important to begin with.
The lessons that changed me years and years ago have stuck with me today. I haven’t had to learn the same ones over again.
I’ve learned to believe in myself. That there is safety and joy in the present moment regardless of what’s happening. That there is no need to drive ourselves to the brink of distress or worry so much.
There’s actually no need to worry at all.
If we are open to the lessons of every day life, there is so much, even when it seems there is so little.
I like having a little life in a small scope of influence. I like living in an independent punk-minded DIY community of freaks and creeps and artists who march to the beat of their own drum.
I like my voice and all I have to offer those who care. Those who don’t care, I don’t focus on anymore. What’s the point? With millions of people in the world, why focus on the few who want to tear you down, or simply don’t care about you?
I continue to write these posts for myself and anyone who wanders by, even though they, like my art, are raw and vulnerable and naked and sometimes seemingly stupid. I don’t know why. I guess because I care about the people I’ve helped, including myself, and this form of expression is still working for me.
This year, so far, has been a success beyond any year previous. Because I learned to love myself, my ambitions, my projects and my life. And to appreciate how much I have, even though I am technically a DIY punk “nobody,” in the world’s eyes, just like all the DIY punk “nobodies” (I think we are somebodies) I call my allies and friends. We are real, and true to ourselves. Doesn’t matter if anyone else knows this or not.
Every time I start to get caught up in what could have happened or what other people think I remind myself that the universe was here all along, and loved me in spite of myself.
I can be completely honest when I say I’ve gained more this year than I ever lost. Other people got way more caught up in the things that were “supposed” to happen than I did. I think that one thing didn’t happen, in this case, so that something else could happen.
Something even more awesome will come along. It already has! I totally appreciate every little thing I have now. From my mattress on the floor to the lentils and rice I eat for dinner. My hikes in the hills. Band practices. My own songs. My poetry and writing. My endless need for authenticity and self-expression. My library job. All my gear. My band mates. The friends I’ve had all along.
The people I glamorized who were too cool for me, who didn’t let me into their lives, because I finally realized this was actually a good thing and didn’t take it personally. All the local projects I am engaged in or about to be engaged in that don’t bring me money or accolades but an intense amount of satisfaction. How I got a six-month free education from professional musicians who taught me so much I was able to bring back to my own projects, and lent my talents to two whole albums.
How I’m finally going to be able to write the songs now I’ve always wanted to write, and am finally able to believe in the value of my own projects. How many great opportunities are ahead of me.
That I finally learned to stay in the moment and be real and present with everyone I came across. That when the wordly success I was promised fell through, I didn’t have to fall down to earth because I’d been here all along, living my life, not caught up in a fantasy of what was in store for me.
I learned to sit with my motherfucking self.
All we have is now. Which is why I am so vocal and insanely direct and expressive. I could die tomorrow. Truly. None of us are guaranteed anything at all. This is it, suckers. So I can rest easy knowing I finally learned to stop waiting for my life to happen and took it into my own hands to live it, slowly weeding out all that I had let oppress me due to my own faulty belief system based on past experiences. I finally started believing in myself first and foremost and trusting my own gut, not a religion, not a group, not an idea or a fantasy.
You can’t avoid your own truth. It will always come out to haunt you until you face it dead on.
To the real. Always.