the clouds of unknowing

There are a lot of things that I would like to do in my life. 

All through my life, there have been clouds looming overhead. Those clouds would speak to me in their thunderous voices. Every time they spoke, they boomed out the same question –  “SO, WHAT NOW?”

The answer I would often have for them was “…ehhhhh, let’s just play it by ear.”

I have always been laid-back in my approach to finding new hobbies, jobs, even friends. The one thing that I have never been very easygoing about was my approach to writing music. That has always been a goal for me since I was young – to make music as consistently as I could.

Then as I got older I realised that my world won’t run solely on music, and that I needed to have a good job to keep myself afloat.  This drew a line to my initial goal, and made things just that much more complicated. Now I would either have to find a steady job and become part of the working world, or go to school and go deeply into debt to train for better jobs after school. OR I could find a way to make money while consistently making music.

I did a little bit of everything. 

After high school, I went to my community college majoring in music business. At that time, I was still living at home and commuted to and from school, and in my off hours I would work in the produce department at my local grocery store. It was also around this time where I became friends with some people who played in some nationally touring acts. I completed a year of schooling when I dropped out to go on tour playing bass for a band that had been enjoying some mid-level popularity.

The tour was only a month and a half long, and after it ended I’d wanted to stay in touch with the band and do it again when the time came, and try to start becoming an active member. Unfortunately, the band had been undergoing many disputes between members, and the singer ultimately parted ways with the rest of us.

All was not lost though. After we parted ways the rest of us started up a new band. One that I suspect we’d expected to have take off very quickly due to the high-level contacts some members had from the last band. And they did, but it just didn’t work out the way we’d pictured, and members started dropping off one by one.

I was one of the first to fall away, and I did so in conjunction with my decision to move away from my home state on the east coast.

So here I’ve been in the Midwest for 6.5 years. Still trying to make something happen with the music I create. Currently with my second band, and I’ve been playing solo for the whole of my stay here. So I have to ability to stay musically active. But honestly, I just got burned out.

So many bands and projects of mine were tried and failed for various reasons, and I became very discouraged about 3 years into my life here in the midwest. The band I was with at the time was stagnating, and I was getting tired of playing shows by myself. It was around this time where my singing ability started to decline. That was a huge setback for me physically and emotionally.

So what am I getting at here?

Well, recently, the idea of going back to school had been brought up. I never wanted to be in debt to a college loan for the rest of my life, like nearly everyone else I know. That’s why I went to a cheap, community college, where grants paid for most of my tuition. But I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. As I’ve said before, we are always learning. Always. So I’m beginning to think that this might be a beneficial route for me.

I no longer think I need schooling in order to further my musical career. I’d learned quite a bit by just being out in the industry. Maybe it’s enough and maybe it’s not, but either way, I know that I am never going to stop making music in some way, shape, or form. So with that in mind, trade school is what I’ve been thinking toward.

I am scared to bits about taking this risk, but why shouldn’t I take it? I have hope. And there’s a good chance that this could beckon a great wind to push away all those dark clouds of unknowing.

What do you say? Let’s….play it by ear? 

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