Inside Straight

“For me, there was simply nothing else that truly held me by the throat the way music does to this day. I wake up simply craving it.”

Meditations In An Emergency

“people who say you need a plan B, that you should have a backup plan, expect plan A to fail. What is the point in having a plan A if you’re concerned with having plan B?”

What You Trained For

As a child, I was very particular about how I approached any extracurricular activity or hobby. If I was going to be a part of something, I was going to see it through to the end or master my craft, which for someone under the age of ten, was a pretty ballsy move. When I said I wanted to play lacrosse at age nine, what I really meant to say was I wanted to play college lacrosse. Check that off. Watches? I had to purchase a book to read about every piece of a chronograph. As for music, it was more so a visceral movement than anything else. Despite other passions and hobbies finally having faded in and out, music remains constant.

            I remember going with my dad to his job for some forgotten reason and seeing the seemingly endless rows of cubicles and the lack of color. My father is someone who is able to do his work and turn off the proverbial switch at the end of the workday. I can safely say that I need my work to resonate with me to the point where it doesn’t feel like work at all. Granted, my father enjoyed his work in his own way, but I didn’t see the attraction to an office job. Yes, it’s a grand notion but I prefer to think of it as the long term goal. From childhood through my professional career I’ve thousands of hours perfecting my craft and discovering new ways to carve out a niche for myself. For some, a job is just a job and a degree holds no sense of identity even with extra letters attached. But for artists with or without degrees, for vocational trainees, for anyone who’s job transcends their “workday”, those are the lucky individuals who can thank some cosmic power for another day.

            Sadly, sometimes the pressures of life, whether they be personal or professional can cause us to have to divert from our original plan. The important thing to remember is that not matter what you’re doing for money, you’re still what you trained to be. I’ve held jobs completely aside from music. I still called myself a musician first every time I introduced myself or had to say what my profession was.  Whatever you’re doing is right. Hang in there.

Starting Over (For The Last Time)

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Starting Over (For The Last Time)

Everyone has declared a resolution, whether it's at New Year’s or at an important point in their life. I'm not a self-help expert but I can tell you that from personal experience, setting the same goal time and time again and coming up short for different reasons will make you want to shove a samurai sword in your gut. For me personally, I cancel everything in a moment like this and resign myself to my dining room table with a legal pad and literally get back to the basics. I recently started reading a book by Devan Kline entitled Stop Starting Over. The great thing about this book is that it pertains to fitness transcending other aspects of your life. It discusses practices and exercises to rid yourself of the cycle of repeating your strategies that are failing you and leaving you feeling helpless. For me, it’s been about my career and what I want out of it and the rest of my home life as well. It’s very easy to not become complacent but rather unaware of your misdirection in a professional sense, and personal as well. Imagine finishing a degree you liked but never briskly walked to class for, getting a job that paid your bills but you didn’t mind leaving early, and always being ok with hitting the snooze button on your alarm. I can tell you right now that I’ve been there. And it culminates in one hell of an ornery breakfast eventually. I’ve never abused scrambled eggs that way before. So now I'm being methodical in my approach, sitting down to write my thoughts down from the day before and to set my intentions for the day before I touch any task. One of the hardest parts of improvement is taking the hard kick in the ass from your mentor, your coach, or your significant other. I take all three about twice a week. And it can be hard to receive the hard but necessary advice the right way. You can't be mad at the people who want you to succeed. So far, the evidence is incontrovertible that if you’re setting your intentions every morning and working to meet them and approaching the day with some level of exuberance, chances are you’re going to reach at least part of your daily goal. And there’s always tomorrow. If you're feeling like you need a reset, clear up your day, put all other stimuli away and sit down and write what you're trying to do, what's going to make you happy, and don't stress about the steps too much. Set your mark and just get started and be ready to not have to  do this again. 

 

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