Despite being cast over a backdrop of pain and disorientation, an otherwise gloomy handful of weeks were tempered by positive developments. In stark contrast to the tone of recent circumstances, documenting and reflecting upon said developments felt not only warranted, but necessary for my overall well-being and morale.

Beneficial as trying to make sense of life’s more distressing aspects may be, it’s also easy to get lost in the process of navigating. More often than not, entries by which I’ve made attempts quickly devolve into messy ramblings. Such entires are probably best reserved for personal writing, to be made sense of over time as part of a gradual process. While the recent absence of my best friend can definitely make the in-between moments feel pretty dull and dismal, I’d still like to try and focus on the good (regarding this post and also in general), amongst other things, because recaps of this nature are more easily relayed with neatness, fluidity, and lucidity. Additionally, given this past year and a half has held such a disproportionate seeming share of bad, representing and underscoring the instances in which good things occur feels especially important. At any rate, it’s a practice I should try and implement in my own life more than I’ve been known to.

Hopefully that past paragraph didn’t serve to oversell anything, because if you’d have asked me about five years ago whether any of whats been going on qualified as especially noteworthy, I’d probably have laughed, but that was back at a time when I was playing shows regularly, across two bands, and committing to an obsensely long workweek, across two jobs. Actually, for a period from 2015 into 2016, in addition to the music, this meant working seven days a week, every week, for just over a year, at which point the insustainability of such a soul-sucking schedule became impossible to ignore or endure any further. Fast-forward to today — an entire year since the bar management position I’d held last fall was abruptly cut short by mass-reclosures across the restaurant industry, and nearing five since having played a proper live show — and I’ve recently been struck with this feeling that I’m just wandering aimlessly. Worse was the sense that this feeling was something I might want to start getting used to. Parallel to the pandemic itself, what I’d been writing off as a pandemic-catalyzed, existential crisis, bound to pass eventually, was just becoming the ‘new normal’.

While there’s no shortage of yet-unprocessed collective trauma stemming from these past couple years, it wasn’t until recently that I felt a sort of break from this dismal cycle. Perpetually broke, both financially and spiritually. Roughly three months ago, after a drunk, serendipitous encounter resulted in my being inducted into a prolific music collective and spawning two new projects, my years-long hiatus from live performance was finally broken. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and for many reasons, not the least which is that (with the exception of 2020 for obvious reasons) a DIY basement show is nearly always a guaranteed opportunity — be that either performing or at least attending.

According to personal experience, preparing material for the ‘first show’ milestone is a luxury most bands experience with a less rigid time constraint of three practices/writing sessions across even fewer weeks, but all things considered, we pulled together and made it happen; somehow maneuvering with enough finesse that even I was mildly impressed, despite my impossible standards and hyper-critical tendencies. Despite feelings that this was an admittedly low-stakes affair, my initial confidence was offset by the reality that we were barely more familiar with our set than the audience to which we’d be performing it. Following a collective sigh of relief, these coming weeks’ meetings will be focused around developing our sound and writing new material without a pendulum looming over our heads; something I’m eager deeper immerse myself in and form a solid routine around.

Aside from all of this, I finally scrounged enough motivation together to start applying around f for jobs. After having been what feels like an eternity — and if I’m being honest with myself, it has been entirely too long — since feeling part of the working world, it almost feels nerve-wracking in the way it felt when I was literally half my age, doing this for the first time. Luckily, along with those years, my resume has progressed quite a bit, and I forget how that probably affects the process. For example, after three days of sending out messages, I’ve solidified two in-person interviews, as well an over-the-phone meeting pending. This really couldn’t come soon enough, as for these past two months, I’ve been beyond fucked when it comes to finances. Again, there are still so many aspects of my life in drastic need of improvement, but this feels like a start, and I’ve come to learn that making holistically positive changes typically start from something smaller: laying foundations where you can to have a platform off of which to work and grow.

Guess that’s all for now. Here’s hoping that these positives remain on trajectory and that the next update holds only more of the same.