So, my birthday is coming up. 44 years old. Man, that hurts to even type!
Usually, this makes me happy. Planning the party gig, getting to hang out with some of my closest friends, celebrating another year of experience, it has always been a fun time for me.
I still enjoy it all, but the last few years have found me reflecting on the previous year’s experiences and where i am in life at that moment. I’ve been blessed. I get to do what I love to do and I’m able to make a decent living doing it. I’ve been told my whole life that my art will never amount to anything, yet here I am making it amount to a fairly successful career, both as a visual artist and as a musician and songwriter.
I’ve gotten to make music with some of the greatest musicians in the area (dare I say, world?) and have forged friendships that will last 3 different lifetimes.
I’ve created designs for people all over the world, things you see daily.
I’ve done pretty well for myself. It ain’t always been easy, but I made it through.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about the things I haven’t done, the things I’ve lost, and the things I’ve thrown away.
I’ve never gone on tour. I play a small circuit, the north half of the state, but I’m talking about a real tour, one where everything is booked months in advance and I hit the road, not coming home until the tour is over. This is on my bucket list.
I’ve never had a song or album hit the charts. I know it’s a long shot and the competition is stiff, but I would like to have at least one before I’m gone. Shameless plug, I have a new album out!
I’ve lost some people that were very dear to me, be it from illness/accident or my own pride, people who I will never get to see or speak to again.
I’ve lost my youth, and with it, a lot of my health. This ‘getting old’ BS is for the birds!
I’ve thrown away large amounts of time on people that weren’t worth a few seconds while only giving a few seconds to some that would move mountains for me if I asked. I can look back in reflection and see it, now. I really wish that part of my brain would learn to work a little faster.
I’m beginning to realize that we’re not just a product of our successes, but also of our failures. While success makes me happy and carefree, failure tends to ground me, reminding me that a second shoe can drop at any minute, disrupting my celebration in a sudden wash of angst. Failure shows me things about myself that I don’t like, things that need to be addressed promptly. I’m not saying that I do address those issues promptly (or at all, even), but at least I know about them.
Sometimes, though, success comes disguised as failure, or so I’ve been told, and with a little luck, maybe I’ll learn to recognize these times. I’m not gonna hold my breath.