I have a place inside my basement where all my guitars are stored. And I have seven guitars. And right besides them are all my old music things. A decrepit computer I used to record with, an old PA system and my old drum set.
I really love music.
Once in a while, I head down to the basement with my son. We turn up the volume really high and make some simple music. Nothing awe-inspiring; my son’s just nine.
But after a few minutes (or hours), everything becomes still and quiet again. We head back up and I revert to my normal persona of Father. All my responsibilities and worries flood back.
Sometimes, I reminisce about the time when I got my first job. I got enough money to afford all my music stuff. I remember feeling that my dreams had come true. I finally had a personal recording studio!
But I have been trading off money for time. I am an adult now. I have so much to do and so little time. And until I prepare myself properly, music will have to take a back seat.
Truly Seeing the World
Television played cruel tricks from me. When I was twelve, I used to think that all I had to do was learn how to play the guitar a bit. I would then get discovered and become rich and famous.
I remember me and my friends debating with each other how many albums we would sell. At that time we had not even played any gigs. We thought that we were awesome. We thought that we were the best.
But then reality slapped us in the face. When I listen to the few jams we recorded, I realize how shitty our songs actually were. Only a miracle could have given us a career. We were just dreaming… but then we woke up.
And that’s a lesson that every human being should learn. Unfortunately, it can’t be taught, so you have to learn it by yourself. And since advice rarely seems useful without experience, there’s no point just saying it.
But I will.
Nothing important is thrown into your lap. Your career, your money, your love; they all have to be earned.
Unfortunately, getting those things isn’t easy. You have to sacrifice.
Just because you play a guitar and look a certain way isn’t going to get you any record deal. To become a true rock star, you have to go all out on your career. And it still won’t be certain to get that deal.
And that is one of the hardest things that someone can learn when growing up. As Bill Gates once said, ‘Life isn’t fair’.
So what does this mean for me? I always thought that my real career would be in music. Have I failed in life?
And Then I Woke Up
You know what the second part of that Bill Gates quote is? ‘Deal with it.’
I dealt with it. I grew up. I realized that it didn’t matter what I wanted to be all those years ago. I realized that what mattered was today. What did I want to be in the future right now? Do I just want to be a musician because that was my old dream? I increasingly think so.
But I still had to have a passion. I still had to look for something to work for.
And I found my new quest: financial freedom.
If music wouldn’t save me, I would be saved by… No I wouldn’t. I was an adult. I would find a way to save myself. I couldn’t just hang around waiting for an opportunity to hit me in the face! I would find it myself.
From thinking all these thoughts came the idea of blogging. I embraced it. I wanted to share what I had realized. And although I’ve said that that lesson can’t be taught, maybe someone would finally understand it after reading my perspective on it.
I could spread my ideas to people. I could write things that would be as useful (or more useful) to people as their favorite song’s lyrics. I could get a new way to make money. I could have a great conversation starter in my arsenal! Tell someone you’re a blogger and the resulting questions will quickly swamp you.
And I realized another thing. When you remove the music from a rock star, what do you remain with? You are left with someone who others look up to. Someone who people listen to. Someone who loves and is loved.
When I go home after working hard for my family and see my beautiful wife, I feel like a rock star. When I don’t owe anyone a single penny, when I realize that I have made it on my own, I realize that that’s as good as being a musical rock star.
When I write an article on my blog and thousands of people read that article, I feel like a rock star. When someone writes how much my blog helps them, I feel like a rock star.
But what’s more important is that you’re Superman for your children. You’re wife still looks at you with love in her eyes. You take the whole family out and feel their joy as your own.
And on this day of realizations, I’ve realized something else: it’s not so bad being an adult.