I know the past year or so has seemed oddly quiet. It’s all with good reason. For a couple months I was wallowing in self-doubt, jealousy, and a bunch of other negative emotions. I looked at other budding creatives and despised their overnight success.
I took a step back to re-evaluate my thought processes.
What may appear as overnight success to me might have actually taken years to achieve. On top of that, I should be encouraging of other creatives, not dismissive. Either way, these are emotions we can’t avoid. But we can challenge them. I began to evaluate the effort I’ve put in over the past six years. I upped my reading, watched a lot of stand-up comedy, took on a couple hobbies, and spent some quality time with friends and family.
Around April of this year, my next project began to take shape. A Spoken Word concept album.
Though I am excited, that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
I won’t lie, I have material ambitions. I’d love to be a celebrated writer. These thoughts worried me. I found myself thinking that if these were the thoughts that drove me, then I didn’t want anything to do with them. That’s why I stepped away for a while. And as I just lived life, and focused on college and the people around me, I realised that at the end of the day, relevance is not up to an individual. Furthermore, my annoyance at “not having gotten somewhere” in the past five years is downright rude to those of you who have supported me over the years.
I am somewhere. Somewhere good. And it’s with you all. Look, these materialistic ambitions won’t ever disappear. I’m not expecting them to and I don’t think you should either. We live in a world where we expect everyone to be running at the same damn pace and jump the same hurdles at the same time without ever falling down. And frankly, that’s bullshit.
You do you.
Fall down again.
Get back up again.
I can’t tell if this album will be what changes everything and puts me on the map. Would it be great? Sure. But right now, it is life-changing for me. It genuinely is. It is the first time that I have actually seen through the first draft of a personal project. Granted, there is still a lot of work to do but I’m finding a ton of inspiration in the incomplete. It’s exciting. It’s exhilarating. I want to share so much more with you but I can’t without giving too much away.
I’ll leave you with this.
Forget New Year Resolutions and all that jazz. Panic is fine. It’s the first step. The next step is to breathe.
Yes, right now.
Once your shoulders have relaxed, take your brainchild, get a piece of paper, and start putting things down. Trust me on this, it doesn’t have to look clean or make sense or be in order. Let it flow. Riff. Grab your three-year old guitar and start practicing. Open Voice Memos or download a recording app and mess around with that podcast idea. Sketch those shoes you want to make for Adidas. Go to that open mic and freestyle.
Yes, it’ll start out rough and sound like shit for a while. But if Matt Damon can grow potatoes on Mars out of his own excrement, then you can definitely make something digestible.
If at the end of the day you decide not to continue, that’s fine. Just give it a shot. If anything, it’s a learning experience.
I’ll see you around.