Further Self-centered Musings From a Random Internet Connection

Monday, April 1, 2013  12:30 PM

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I’d decided to pursue something more conventional with it. I wonder what it would’ve been like to become some sort of business man or to have finished college (instead of dropping out those 3 times). Aiming for creative goals has made me have low expectations for what I can hope to happen. I enjoy the simple lifestyle of trying to write and create things. It feels meaningful in ways that probably wouldn’t exist in my life if I just had a nice job that paid well. Yes I’m almost 33 years old and the idea of having my own house or even a car is kind of a laughable thought, but I’m free enough at least to be able to buy food for myself and devote a couple of hours each day to my writing, which is something I value very highly. That’s nice.

I ABSOLUTELY don’t recommend this lifestyle but there are some of us who can’t really control the need to be creative. I’m kind of designed to be average at every other pursuit, because my head is usually on some page somewhere else. Oh well, so is thangs.

It’s funny to me how when I was young I thought I’d somehow make some hit record and tour around. Part of that is realistic (the touring around part) but making hit music seems like a shot in the dark. It seems you do your best and cross your fingers. I believed too much in the myth that to have a career in music all you have to do is write good songs. That’s not entirely true. You have to play those songs sometimes (definitely more than the 3 times I usually play mine!). Writing good songs is important but you have to do something with them, and that’s a part of the puzzle I never really prepared for. I have total interest in sitting alone in a quiet room and thinking of words and chords that work together and zero interest in memorizing and repeating those songs for strangers in other cities. It’s a weakness but it’s good to at least know this.

I’m just struck by how this has all affected my point of view on everything. I went from thinking I’d make some huge hit that would take care of me for life, to accepting that it’s a lot of work with not very consistent payoff, to now feeling like the expectation should be closer to impressing 5 people a year or something and hoping those people aren’t just being nice out of pity for the choices you’ve made (just an example). That’s just WAY different from where I started and it’s wild to think about.

I used to think there was some sort of promise for success in pursuing music. These days it feels like the opposite, like complete failure is the real guarantee. It’s not working forever to get to some distant, definite light at the end of an extremely long tunnel, it’s more just going and going for whatever reason you can conjure up in the moment of creating each day. It sounds so hopeless I’m sure, but it’s so freeing to just come to a sure conclusion of what I can expect from this way of life. I’m more bothered by the herky-jerkiness of it than anything. Waiting for a mythic payoff that probably won’t ever come is a waste of energy, even if that payoff did eventually come. I can’t put faith in that junk anymore. I’m the type where I just want to know what I can realistically expect so I can prepare for that. I think a lot of people hope for insane, sudden improvements but there’s something to say for solid, sane steps in positive directions. Get a few of those behind you and you’ll forget about winning lotteries and being able to devote your life to being rich without working.

All I’m really saying is it’s been good for me to figure this stuff out. These aren’t conclusions I would’ve let myself come to in my 20s. They aren’t cool conclusions. It’s comforting to find hope in real, tangible things that are right in front of you TODAY, not in some dreamed up tomorrow. That’s a lot of weight to put on the future. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t dream, just that even when dreams come true they still have to exist in the same reality we live in right now.

My current dream is microwaved soup. If you’ll excuse me..

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