Growing up. I remember wanting to “grow up” so bad when I was young! Growing up meant independence, freedom, and privilege! I eagerly waited for my "grown up" lottery ticket allowing me to enter bars, rent cars, vote, stay out late as I wanted and basically live and love how and who I chose without need for adult supervision. Once I got the golden ticket giving me the access I craved, that was pretty much the point I quit thinking about "growing up" any longer.
I learned in time that growing up comes with a tax in the form of responsibilities, bills, commitments, and all the things most associate with being “grown up.” I learned to navigate the unchartered backwaters of life by building careers, families and memories along the way. I made sure I collected all my tokens of success. And failure. These tokens came in the form of promotions, titles, raises, divorce, debt, regret and all the things my parents warned me about when I was too busy to pay attention. Somehow, through it all, I gained experience and it slowly took its shape in the form of wisdom.
Then the day came when I took a look in the mirror and wondered how in the hell my dad got in our bedroom. My sometimes very vocal demands of children reverberated with an echo that sounded eerily like my mother's. I had definitely grown up, but somewhere along the way I also began to "grow old.” For the first time in my life I really began to contemplate the notion that there is indeed an end to all this. I lay in bed watching a ceiling fan’s hypnotic pull and all I could hear was Jim Morrison screaming with his eyes closed, back to the audience while swaying to a pulsating beat..., “No one here gets out of alive.” Nope. Not one.
John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." I'd been busy making other plans. I'd been working on "growing up" all the while "growing old" without noticing. There were things I wanted to do. They weren't important to many, but they were important to me and I knew in my heart I would simply do them when I had time. I'd write music, I'd stand on a stage in front of complete strangers and share my songs. I'd record an album! I'd take singing lessons or learn how to play the piano. I'd simply pursue the passion that's in my heart because I've come to learn through time and faith that my passion is not there by accident. It was put there by my creator for a reason. All I needed was time. But John Lennon kept whispering in my ear..."life is happening RIGHT NOW." I came to the conclusion I will never "have time." I'm not "given" time. I must make it. I will take it. It was time for me to make, well, time.
Fast forward a few years...I'm leaving in a few days to enter the amazing recording studio at Greer Castle Recording Room in Greer, South Carolina to make what will be my third studio project. This one is the first to be released under my actual name (more on that subject in a later blog). I finally feel like I'm making time for me.
This isn't a hobby; It's a calling. I'm not paying bills with my music (yet), but my day job supports my calling. I fight the notion this is all somehow not a very "grown up" thing to do. I'll likely spend several thousand dollars to make an album very few will ever hear. I'll travel around singing these songs and spending more money than I earn to share them with complete strangers. It all sounds so very NOT grown up. It all sounds so very NOT responsible. Until I remember, life is happening RIGHT NOW.
There will be a today when there are no tomorrow's and I have absolutely no idea if that day is today or many many years from now. But I will make time for me because the irony in my discovery is that making time for myself, pursuing my passions and dreams, is one of the most "grow up" things I can do! I'm learning putting me first, while it sounds very selfish, makes me the best me I can be. Turns out that's the guy who everyone wants around anyway. I have a sneaking suspicion as I continue to learn how to redefine my notion of growing up, I may actually stop "growing old." Make no mistake, I'll age. My body refuses to let me forget despite my best efforts with diet and exercise. But, I will not grow old. I will continue to work on growing up by making time for myself and I think in doing so I may just discover growing up actually allows me to grow young. I hope y'all will continue to follow me and grow young with me moving forward. Love all y'all!