rough seas - they carry me - wherever i go.
I felt it was important to write today. But writing is essentially not speaking what you’re thinking and when you are at a loss for words, where does this leave you? It’s one of those days where you feel a tremendous amount but can’t exactly put your finger on it. You feel as though you’ll either wind up smiling and singing the day away or burying yourself in a corner of a room wishing it would end.
A lot of people (by a lot I mean the two or three who read or post on this blog & some interested friends here or there) have asked/inquired/hoped for(!) a little something about Bonnaroo and my experiences there. In all honesty, the last few days have been quite a (non-drug induced) fog. On a personal note, I find myself back to the drawing board with my “career path”. I hate the phrase because it can pigeon-hole one into sacrificing desires and passions for a monotonous daily life that yea, may pay well, but… you know the rest. In simplest terms, my heart belongs in music and that’s where I would like to “work”. Again, I know that only I can change the course I am on and my desire to find “work” in that vein of life is rooted in a deep passion, love and pleasure - it’s the greatest, longest and most unconditional relationship I’ve ever had so why not make a marriage of it? At the risk of sounding completely silly & dramatic, on the dawn of my 26th birthday - I really thought I would be at a different place in life. Some days, I am a ball of clay - left on a table and shaped into the molder’s vision of beauty and idealism to the point where I no longer know my original form. I can dress it up in any metaphor or simile I like but the fact of the matter is I allow myself to be affected by others opinions and wishes for me, I lose myself, berate myself, disown myself. Thankfully, the recovery time from these minor relapses has become shorter and shorter over the years. I consider myself very self-aware and confident but oftentimes my actions and thoughts contradict these characteristics and blaming it on my being a Gemini only works so well.
The only way I can describe what is happening in my heart and mind is a shedding of sorts. I can ever so slightly feel delicate layers being stripped away. I’m quite shit at being concise and putting what I’m feeling into words which is why most of my posts, conversations, texts, e-mails (see what I mean?) ramble which turn into apologies for not being able to adequately say what I’m feeling. The beauty of something such as tumblr is it provides a space for these ramblings that is safe (as safe as this big world wide web can be) and freeing for me - I don’t feel like I’m burdening anyone with my thoughts. That being said, I wanted to write coming off a week such as the one I’ve had to vent, to air out the dirty laundry (literally and figuratively - fun fact: I didn’t shower for four days while in Tennessee) and work out some mental kinks.
This past week, the only day/night I didn’t hear/see music being played was Wednesday, however, Wednesday was eventful enough as I found myself resigning/not quite being fired from my current job. As someone that prides myself on being hard-working, efficient, dependable - basically a good employee - this was crushing. I had never once been talked to about my job performance and sure - I have my beliefs/reasons for how I dropped the ball on this one - it doesn’t make it any less sucky (eloquent, I know). There is a slight consolation in the fact that I had come to the conclusion that my current job was not for me (hello, self-awareness). I would wake up and go to sleep with a pit in my stomach with so much anxiety. The efforts I was putting forth were not pushing me forward - I wasn’t understanding as well as I knew I should or could be. I am not a quitter and I acknowledge the short length of time at this position may make some think that I clearly couldn’t know this early on but you most certainly can and, honey, life is too short. These are scary things to admit. Initially, I felt like a huge failure and that voice does have a quiet solo in the back of my head. But, here I am. Thankfully, I was smart enough to take off today in order to re-cooperate from my musical travels to Manchester this weekend. It is a grey morning which is a fitting companion for my artsy angst. With my black coffee on my nightstand and my clustering of instruments in the corner, I feel like I’ve got a good handle on things. I feel ready to take on this next chapter - however short the last. I kind of like this choose your own adventure lifestyle which is funny because I’ve been told I float through life - meant condescendingly and initially very hurtful - but if the alternative is to be shackled to unhappiness and lack of passion then, yes, rest assured I’ll fire up these wings and keep my head above the clouds. At Bonnaroo, there is a distinct sense of community. There are 100,000 people on a farm in Tennessee who become your neighbors, friends, helpers (who assist your attempt to move 6 cars so you can leave a day early). When I was telling people about my trip to Bonny, a lot of times I was told “that’s so you” - which made me laugh. I think, at times, when repeating this, I sounded defensive when really I just like the idea of what makes something “so me”. What is it that people see in me that makes Bonny such a “me” experience - my vegetarianism/pescatarianism (yea - I’m that snobby)? my interest in yoga and folk music? my style of clothing? the fact that my favorite colors are earth-tones or that I bring reusable bags to the grocery store and try to drink fair-trade and/or local coffee when I can? For me, this was a “me” experience because I love music and had never been to Tennessee. I’m not sure that is really original or specific to the likes of me in particular. While I was there, I saw Arcade Fire, The Low Anthem, Phosphorescent, Civil Twilight, Mumford & Sons, My Morning Jacket, and Ray LaMontagne (I may be forgetting one or two). While I was there, and sitting here now, it was very surreal but the main point being was that people had traveled from all over the country and globe to gather for a weekend and listen to music. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.
That was not my only experience this past weekend where my (musical) dreams were actualized. Driving home last night, I felt something - the same something that brought me to this keyboard this morning. The frustratingly beautiful thing that is happening right now is that there is an understanding of what is present in my heart but the way it is attempting to manifest itself in the real world is merely a mirage at this stage and I am sat here trying to reach it, make sense of it - even crossing my eyes to see if there is a clear picture in the dots a la those Magic Eye puzzles circa 1994.
I get anxious because I know that this is perfect timing and I feel completely empowered and know that the ball is in my court - I’m just not sure which direction the basket is in. It is extremely overwhelming in the best way. I recognize I am not unique in these moments of revelation and understanding of self but a very small, yet powerful, fire is burning in the pit of my stomach. I’ve always felt that I was “placed here” to do a couple of things in particular. I think I’ve been successful in some respects and am confident that this tune, too, will play itself out in some way.
So, why am I having a dear diary moment here on what is intended to be a music-based blog? Well, last night I was again reminded of the beauty and strength of music. It is what carries us through the good and bad, the pretty and the ugly, in sickness and in health ‘til death do us part. I think of all the oppressive words and things people do or say - the sole purpose being to establish some sort of power or control over another and I feel extreme sadness for those individuals. It is clear to me that they have not found a passion - something to pull themselves out of the hole in which they are sinking. I do not intend to sound so all-knowing or condescending, I am not better nor worse than they, but thankful that - through music - I have been able to find footing in the earthquakes, family in strangers, strength in weakness, love in moments of hatred and ignorance. Once again, I feel let in on a really great secret that despite its magnitude in reality still feels intimate and unique to me.
I feel like this posting has been a summation of a lot of little things I have said previously but I needed this today so thank you for taking the time to read this (the assumption being that I lured you in with my words and wit and you’ve actually gotten this far).
Regardless of taste or style, it is my sincere hope that you find comfort in music. That you fall into its open arms. That there is a song that takes you to a certain place in your mind and heart and allows your better self to guide you forward and acknowledge that this too shall pass - you’ll be truer and better for it when it does. I am eternally grateful to all of those people, words, melodies, chords and bridges that have made this understanding possible for me and - to those few included in this list who read these ramblings - you know who you are.