Below is a journal segment that I wrote sometime in 2015. The words in bold are my current reflections on what I wrote. Life is interesting, in that, you are always working with limitations. The main limitations being a lack of knowledge, experience, or merely information.
Despite my adamant failures on solving all of LIFE. (and my growing CONFUSION of it all) I’ve learned some things.
1.) When things come to an end, respond in grace and appreciation. Close the chapter nicely. I still agree with this.
2.) When you feel like you’re in a cycle of failure to go public (with your music, career etc.) DON’T STOP UNTIL YOU HAVE A BETTER PLAN TO GET OUT OF THE CYCLE. I actually don’t know what I was trying to say here, I think that I kept meaning to release music and just didn’t and thought a plan would solve it. Plans sometimes work, but I think I should have just done it.
3.) People besides you are struggling with the largeness of the Universe, the smallness of the earth, the teensiest creature which is self, and what to do with the life that society says is immensely important and just vapor at the same time. Community is problem-solver all on its own. At this point in my life, I was going through a very existentialist phase (it lingers- as they do). And I stand by this, community is a type of solvent.
4.) When you start thinking that your friends are judging you for your beliefs (or lack of), you will begin to see them judging you for your beliefs. (RELATIONAL WARNING: love love love. give give give. even when you feel people closing, or you will be the one that closes in the end.) Strongly disagree with this, and I think it points to the codependency that is inherent in some brands of religion. In retrospect, I think I should have hindered the warning signs in these friendships and listened to my instinct. Albeit painful, friendships end and my written philosophy just stretched the pain out didn’t necessarily save me from it.
7.) Read more fiction. It’s good for your person. this stands.
8.) Do your art (creation routine) everyday no matter. Beat Resistance. yep.
10.) Coming from a place of FEARFUL COMFORT.
F.A.I.L. JUST GO. FAIL AT SOMETHING. PLEASE. can you tell I had read “war of art” and it shaped me a lot?
12.) Over-communicate expectations to people from whom you are relying. still true.
13.) Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love dearly that you love them dearly. Even if they have a history of manipulation and sending you into silence. god. The first sentence, yes. The second sentence, no….? Yeah, no. Walk away, you know how.
14.) Waking up and going to sleep can be either of the following: the two worst moments in your day, or the two most magical beautiful moments of the day. The first I learned from dread. The second I learned from listening: when you wake up you’re still alive and you have a new day to create. when you go to bed you get to put all the past mistakes behind you. Wow, this little paragraph is like a captured moment that was my movement from depression to aliveness again. Not a moment, but if you were to freeze frame the action of turning a page in your life. That is what it is. A turning page, right in the middle but still feeling both.
15.) The first step to fighting the unjust treatment of humans, is to not treat humans unjustly. Even if you can’t see the effects. This I think is especially valid considering that we live in a culture where capital is often created (or our own personal comfort is created) by and through unjust treatment of other people.
17.) Sometimes it looks like there is nothing to learn from pain. Relational pain that was once vibrant, but now faded into a passing hot memory. Give grace. Stand on a love (even if it is a love constructed in your mind) that is bigger than your own.
19.) Fear is hidden in many mundane things. It’s bottle-fed by procrastination. I stand by this idea, maybe not how I wrote it. But basically if you’re afraid of doing something and you put it off, often it becomes scarier than it was originally. Not always, but often.
20.) Books are friends. And some books may lead to the loss of friends. Wow, a lot to unpack here. First of all, it is incredibly nerdy to say, “books are friends,” but… I’ve slowly (over years) been coming to the realization of how incredibly sheltered (I like to call it “cult-adjacent”) my younger years were. There was so much I did not know. And in so many ways I simply did not know how to be in the world. I learned a lot by merely observing. But because of the layer of shame that goes into discussing my upbringing (ostracized for leaving, and then ostracized for not knowing the things I didn’t know) I’ve relied on reading to guide me.
I really think that I read myself into a freedom that I could not have found otherwise. There were obviously other factors in my situation, but nothing can speak to me like a dead author who has little agenda for my life. And because of my background I don’t really trust people that have an agenda for my life, nor do I completely trust that all people don’t have an agenda for my life.
But this author, who doesn’t know me? I trust them sorting out their experiences, and I trust that I can see myself or situation within that. So in that way, books have been some of my most influential “friends.”
22.) You can make art and work at Starbucks and still call yourself successful… according to Elizabeth Gilbert. This is still a core value for how/what I decide to create. It is very interesting to read this back and realize that a lot of the things that I decided about how to live and be– were decided when I was 20. A period of time when I felt completely lost, a lot of the times lonely, and a bit depressed.
I didn’t know if I would ever really find a way of life that didn’t feel like treading water. But I did. And these things that I learned are not things that I actively think about anymore, but influence so many of the decisions I make.