Recently I had the chance to speak to some Middle-School students in a summer guitar program. I’ve done a few things like that and I’m always very nervous. I don’t know why kids scare me more than a room full of (possibly) inebriated adults! They just do.
Anyway, the one question that I was asked that stuck with me was “Has your career turned out the way you thought it would?” My answer was a quick “NO!” (not “Hell No!” because this was a bunch of kids) It was only after spending some time thinking about it that I would add “Thank God” to that.
I haven’t revolutionized music, cured cancer, sold a million copies of my record or played in front of 100,000,000 people at once. I don't have my own bobblehead doll or a reality show about my dog. I don’t have stacks of free guitars and amps and the old bank account looks like it usually does. All that being said, as I’m probably at the halfway point in my life (I hope!) I’ve had a hell of a time! It’s been way better than what I planned and everyday is a new wrinkle that has me saying “Huh! Didn’t see that coming!”
I have met and made some of the most precious friendships through music, I’ve seen the world, I’ve had experiences that I never imagined. I’ve been blessed to be a son, friend, uncle, nephew, father and a husband. My family (both blood and chosen) is amazing and a true source of peace and contentment and confidence for me. I’ve ridden an elephant, tasted kangaroo, had a king cobra dropped in my lap, survived a few car wrecks, spent the night in a castle, survived the loss of people that I thought I’d never be able to live without, met my heroes, had the chance to live long enough to learn to say “I love you” to people without feeling silly or uncomfortable, had some amazing meals, read some incredible books, heard some fantastic music, seen some beautiful films and admired some incredible works of art.
All the while, I’ve been guilty of being focused on trying to bend life to my plan. Spoiler Alert: It don’t work. The harder I’ve tried to go one way, the father I’ve gone in another direction. Looking at it from this point though, I have to say I wouldn’t trade the experiences, the people, hell just the life I’ve had. I wish some of the mistakes I’ve made hadn’t happened, I wish I could’ve held on to some people a little longer but as I said before, in general I’ve had a hell of a time.
I’m not done yet (as far as I know!) I’m writing and recording new music, planning tours, working with my band as well as other artists, I’m even getting ready to try and write a screen-play! I guess the point of this “musing” is to say if you’re out there and you feel like life hasn’t been what you thought it should be, take a look at what’s in your life that has real value; the people, the loves, the laughs, the tears, the pain and the joy. That doesn’t mean you have to quit kicking, it just means allow yourself to enjoy what you have. At least that’s what I think.