I’m a little nervous to put this out there, but here it goes …
It’s been a tough few months for me. In July, after 8 years, I moved away from most of the people I love most in this world, and the city I love most in this world, Brooklyn, NY, all the way across the country to Los Angeles, CA. I felt that LA was a better place for me to be for continuing to pursue music. It’s been an adjustment getting situated in a totally new environment (although, I’m adjusting to the Southern California winter just fine, watching the hypothermic cold envelop NYC from afar). In a lot of ways, it feels like starting over again; new friends, new places to get your foot in the door, etc. I’ve always had a tough time reaching out to people, but I’ve been kicking myself in the butt to connect with people in the industry, mostly people that I’ve never met, so that maybe, they’ll respond and give me a moment of their time and some insight into the world of music in LA. I’ve been trying to write a lot, and I think, coming up with some good stuff that I will hopefully be releasing as singles in the not-so-distant-future. I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps, though. A lot of times I feel like an outsider in the music world, watching from afar as everyone else hangs out with each other, posting pictures of each other on Instagram, posting supportive statuses of each other’s accomplishments. Basically, I feel like a loser amongst the cool kids a lot of times and that’s a shitty feeling (admittedly, brought on by my own insecurities).
I’ve also been paralyzed with the stress of my lack of finances. Honestly, I can’t remember ever being so poor (yes, poor). The stress of my lack of finances makes me want to stay in bed all day. Staying in bed is free. It hinders my creativity because I can’t stop thinking about how broke I am. It makes me question my entire life. It makes me think about different career avenues besides music that would make me happy (there are none). Sometimes it makes me feel so disheartened by what kind of life I’m living that I begin getting disconnected from music. Even resentful of it. It makes me question my talent. It’s been tough trying to stay positive and to feel like things will get better. It’s hard to imagine a life where I can actually support myself, to one day maybe have a house, to have a family to live in that house with me, to buy furniture, go to a nice dinner once in a while, to one day not stress about every penny I spend or to not feel guilty about treating myself to something as little as a coffee or a cheap bottle of wine here and there. It appears to me as if almost everyone I talk to has their life together, and I feel so far away from having anything remotely together. It’s like “Having Your Life Together” is a planet that all these people I know live on, and I live on planet “What The Fuck Am I Doing With My Life?”. I know I’m not the only person in this world who struggles with money or struggles period. I know that people who live on planet HYLF have their own struggles and that there are plenty of people who have things much, much worse. I am lucky enough to have friends and family who are endlessly supportive and loving, a lot of people don’t even have that. I’m only human, though, and pain is pain, no matter who you are or where you come from.
But don’t fear! This is not an essay asking you to feel sorry for me. No, no. All of this is to say (in a round-about kind of way) that I’ve realized recently that if I don’t change my attitude, my life won’t change either. Staying in bed won’t do anything for me except make me even more depressed and unable to motivate myself to do things that matter, like write songs, for example. I must focus on what I do have (which is a lot) and to be thankful for those things. Every day. I may struggle to pay for my rent, but at least I can sleep in a bed with a roof over my head. I have got to convince myself that I am not only capable of one day living the life I want to live, but also worthy of it. I have got to convince myself that things will improve and that this is just a rough patch in an otherwise pretty good life. There is no way of going through life without encountering people that will think I’m not talented enough, not pretty enough, not good enough, not worthy enough to hang out with, but fuck those people. I mean, there are people who think those things about Beyonce … BEYONCE! They are not the ones that matter. I’ve got to focus on the people who love me, not the ones who don’t. Obviously, most of the time it’s not even other people that are thinking these things about me, it’s myself. I’m the asshole.
Don’t be an asshole to yourself, people. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself lovingly, with respect. Appreciate yourself, and the talents that belong only to you. Think about your best friends and family, how amazing and unique they are, and how they are all equally important in your life for different reasons. You are just as important. Even if it’s difficult to grasp, you are important to people. Be important to yourself.
There is an experiment that I always think of when I’m feeling like a lowly piece of shit where Dr. Masaru Emoto took water from the same source, separated it and treated it in different ways. Some he played beautiful music for, some he had blessed by a Buddhist monk, some he spoke meanly to, etc., and the results were nothing short of incredible; the water actually changed according to the treatment it was receiving. Guess what? The water that was treated kindly, blessed, played lovely music for, turned into beautiful, delicate crystals and the water that was treated like shit, turned into an ugly, mushy looking substance.
We are made up of about 65% of water. Marinate on that. And then tell yourself every day how fucking awesome you are, even if you feel like you’re lying to yourself. It will literally change you. It’s really, really hard to do, but after a little while an amazing thing will happen: you’ll start to believe it.