Edited by J.S. Marler
As kids we were raised to believe we were capable of anything. I heard it all the time: “You can do anything you want to” and I believed it. I mean, why shouldn’t I? I was taught to believe in crazier things like the easter bunny and santa claus. Plus, I was living in America, the land of the free, where any person has the ability to claim what they can create for themselves.
You can do anything you want.
It all sounded so easy in grade school, we were being raised as a generation of astronauts, super stars, musicians, dream makers. On some level anything is possible, but that level feels like it is reserved for the lucky few. Like it doesn't matter how talented or smart they are, at some point they were in the right place at the right time. The reality is that most of our dreams are just beyond our reach.
I was raised on phrases about how I am “destined for great things” and now is the time in my life when I am supposed to be achieving them. It creates the inescapable feeling that I am letting down every person who saw in me what I can't see today.
All I want in the entire world right now is to spend a year touring in a band. Living inside a cramped, smelly fifteen passenger drifting from city to city with too little food, not enough money and almost no comfort. Playing shows every single night.That is all I ask one year then the band can break up and we can be forgotten forever. All I want is a year.
Every day that goes by feels like I am a step closer to never getting that. I hate going to sleep at night thinking that it is just the end of another day where I came closer to losing what I want most in the world.
I suppose I shouldn’t be too disappointed. We achieved more than most bands. We played a major festival and got to tour for nearly 6 days. Yet, we only played two shows because the other three (or four) just dropped out on us. They gave us no word, but just disappeared. There we were with nowhere to play and a thousand miles from home for what felt like no reason at all. Still, I loved every second of it. We spent over 10,000 dollars in gas, recording, and merch to play shows that don’t pay. We maxed out credit cards that we still haven’t paid off, and I had the best moments in my life.
At home the cost left a bad taste in my mouth. How could we possibly play for any extended period of time if we couldn’t even get enough money to cover gas. One week and over $1000.
I just hate going to sleep because that just means I am closer to that day when I realize there is no chance. That might even be today but I am in too much denial to realize it. I hate being desperate. Desperate enough that I buy lottery tickets and check the numbers actually expecting to beat the odds and win the jackpot. The money, I see it as one of the last possible ways to tour. If we can’t make enough money through touring, then finding any other way to make it happen is all I want.
I was raised on belief that I can be anything; raised that I was made for great things. Come to find out you and I are just serving those who have greatness and luck.
when we only have greatness.
Still, there might be more. Screw the luck and fame; I have no claim to it. I do not expect these words I am writing to be made into anything either. There is greatness in every single one of us. If enough of us do what we love despite soul crushing daily jobs, then we can’t stand to support the respites of passionate expression we have maybe just maybe a few more of us will have greatness that stands apart and will have the luck to do full time what we kill ourselves to do part time in the dead of night when sleep would be wise but our passion will not allow.
maybe you’ll get lucky.
Or I’ll get lucky.
But I kind of doubt it.
Still that isn’t a good reason to give up. 5 minutes from now, an hour from now, a day, a year, twenty, at the end of my life I want to look back and know that I used my time wisely. Was I foolish enough to dream or foolish enough to waste my time? Did i cultivate skills that made me happy or did I waste time on things that don’t feed me? Was I trying to become who I wanted to be? or just hoping to become who I wanted to be?
Maybe the lucky are great and lucky because they never give up. Maybe, even if I never get lucky, I can die without regret.