Sunday, July 15, 2012

This Is Not How I Planned It

Things just aren't going well suddenly. Some things are...but most things aren't and it's incredibly frustrating and I just kind of want to close my eyes and pretend these things don't exist so I don't have to deal with them, but I know that I can't.

I've been given sort of an ultimatum with my job. I need to make a decision soon, like, tomorrow and this is just not a good time for me to make these kinds of decisions. I am 100% focused on only things music related and I just don't want to have to make life decisions regarding how I make my money right now. Maybe a month from now - but not right now. I just can't. But I have to. And I don't know what I'm going to do. Should I be sensible? Or should I jump into unknown territory and possibly not have a net? I'm kind of bored with being sensible. But I also know that there's something to be said for being sensible. I'm no spring chicken anymore. 

 Then my dad broke his arm. I found out about this the same day I found out about my job. He's old, in an assisted living home, and he fell and he broke it right underneath his right shoulder. He already had his right leg amputated about 12 years ago from diabetes complications. So now his whole right side is completely useless. He won't be able to use his arm for at least a month - but most likely two months. And since he is missing a leg and requires a cane or a walker or a wheelchair and those things require the use of both arms, he's completely immobile. He is someone who likes to get his daily exercise and now he is stuck in bed in a home...alone. He was already depressed. This is not helping matters. The last time I went over there, his room was tidy. He was talkative, walking. When I went there yesterday, his room was scattered, he was completely out of it, and just looked...gone. I know part of it is the pain meds, but it was really hard to see. 

I left there and went straight to (one of my many) hometown 125 years old celebration. This is the last city my mother lived in (she died when I was 6 years old).

I consider this the house I grew up in - even though I was very little when we lived here and we didn't live here long.

I parked right in front and stared at it for a while...just sort of amazed at how many of us lived in this little place and how it never seemed crowded to me. I remember the yard seeming huge and feeling like I had to run across acres of fields to get to the neighbors house. Obviously, that wasn't the case. 

I spent the day in this little town with some of my family, baking in the heat and drinking cheap cups of light keg beer, talking about old times. I saw some people I haven't seen in years, though most don't remember me. I never really make an effort for them to remember me, though. 

When I left I passed by an old childhood landmark - the slide we played on daily as children and graffiti'd with inappropriate language as teenagers. It was a tradition. There were things written by and about my older siblings on this slide, as well. All writings are now gone.

I think they have been threatening to tear down this lawsuit waiting to happen, but people fight for it to stay. 

And then I stopped by this house... 

This is the last house my mom lived in. For a while she had to have a hospital bed in the living room and I would crawl into it with her at night. Both of these houses in this town seem completely untouched from when I was child. Same color, no noticeable outside updates. Just stuck in time. Stuck in 1985.

It was just a weird day full of emotions and thoughts on life and the long and painfully short of it. And I  think about my job and the reasons why I don't want to lock it down and slave away and stress and get into the grind of it all. But I know the grind of it all is just the way life is and everyone has to do it and why should I try to have it differently?

I just want to make the most out of what could be a really fun time in my life right now. I want to have some freedom to do things. I know I need money to do things, but I don't believe I need a ton. It's more about time for me. I think I just want a year to be able to play shows and travel and not have to worry about having enough vacation days at the job to go places. I think about these things:

  • The day I put my dog down, I called work to let them know I would be late because I had to do this but that I would come in after. Of course, I just couldn't. I was bawling and in no shape to be in the office. So I stayed home - but I went in the next day - still an emotional basket case. And what did that get me? Nothing. I was still laid off 2 months later.

  • My best friend got married. It was a sort of destination wedding. I should have been there. But I was afraid to ask for the time off. So I missed it. I missed her wedding day. And what did that get me? Nothing. Same job as above - I was laid off a month later.

  • I wanted to go to SXSW this year. Just head down there and see what it's all about. I had a new job, though. But it was part-time, so I could easily take a long weekend to go. Oh, but it was the one week I had to be there all week. So I missed it. And what did that get me? Nothing. 3 months later I get notice that my position is being eliminated.

What's the point of what I'm saying? I don't know. Maybe that I just don't want to sacrifice the moments anymore for the money and security. Because the security is a facade and the money is never enough. 

I made a new record. 

I am very excited about it and maybe I want to spend a year just playing it around and exploring that world because it's a world I want to explore and why can't I take some time to do that? I had that opportunity with my current job when it was part-time and flexible, but it's not going to be that anymore and I'm not sure I'm ready to give that up.

I just don't want life to feel like one big uncompromising sacrifice. And by that I mean that I will sacrifice money, sleep, clothing (seriously, everything I own either has a hole in it or is stained because I'm spending all of my money on everything music related), and I am okay with that because I am giving up one thing for another on my terms and I am getting something back for it. But giving up everything for a steady paycheck is not an ideal swap for me right now. And really, I have put a ton of money and time into this record and wouldn't it just be me throwing it away if I jumped back full force into office life? 

I really wanted to play with this one a bit. I wanted to get out there. The timing of all this really sucks.

BUT, then I send email after email after email out into the black hole of venue booking and don't get any responses and I think, well, looks like I won't be playing any shows anyway, might as well get a proper job. 

I just love playing music, writing music, performing music...I just want to do this and have my work life be secondary and not what defines me. It's hard enough to get shows and play them and promote and network and write right now being part-time. If I go back into a full-time demanding job, I feel like all the stuff that's important to me and makes me happy will just go away. And that's just not worth it, right?


Sorry to be so sad and whiney. I know other people have much bigger problems than this. I get it. But it's all relative, isn't it? 

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