© Procrastinator, Inc.
Just when you think a year can't be any more
significant...you find yourself thirty, expecting your first child, responsible for
mortgage/renovation payments and unemployed. It's the kind of reminder a wise man OR a
cynic might expect. Life can always be more challenging, but it's only as difficult as you
The weight of the combined issues above was pretty heavy at one point,
but the perspective that allows me to write about it now reminds me to lighten up. I'll
use unemployment as my example.
I was working at a recording studio
in downtown Boston. When I began, I was still working on the vague notion that I
should "do something with
music." It quickly became a job I couldn't wait to leave behind each day. Instead of
focusing on my music, I was focusing on the end of the workday.
There was a point where I wanted to blame the job for my miserable experience. However, I really liked the people I worked for, and no one
was holding me hostage to the job. I realized that it was my series of choices that got me
to where I was. No one was responsible but me. While that was a great realization, I was
very upset by my (seemingly pathetic) choices. How did I make so many poor choices?
Fortunately, that line of questioning led me to the answer. Rather than
take you through the agony, I'll just tell you. I didn't have a plan...ever.
From way back, I've been striving to accomplish. In so doing, I managed
to avoid having to really figure out, specifically, what I enjoyed. Get good grades so you
can go to a good college so you can get a good job. By the ideals that suggest the
previous sentence, I did all that. Nowhere in there did I find mention of challenge,
enjoyment, fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness, etc.
I found through endless meditation that I like to solve problems. I
took a long hard look at EVERYTHING I did given some free time--music, sports, computers,
house remodeling, etc.--and that was my conclusion.
I was determined to understand why music could be both frustrating and
rewarding and what that meant for me. I realized that the parts of music I really enjoy
are the creative learning aspects. I love to build up the pieces of a song from the drums
to the bass to guitar to vocals, but I also love to tweak the sonic elements in the mix.
Once the idea is out, though, I lose interest.
My passion isn't in polishing. I like to create a song but not perfect
it. I like to create cool guitar parts, but I don't like to play them repeatedly until
perfect so I can sell records. Therein lie my frustration. I was trying to "do
something with music," but I wasn't as passionate as I was "supposed" to
Basically, I realized that forcing the square peg into the round hole
wasn't working, and I stopped pushing. When I realized how important it was to get out of
the job I wasn't enjoying, I simply quit. I still didn't have a great plan, but it felt
like the right thing to do.
As soon as I quit, the job opportunities rushed in to fill the vacuum
I'd created. It was quite bizarre. I had been job hunting for nine months--six of them as
intensely as I knew how. I got one interview. Two weeks after I quit, I had two offers in
hand and a third lined up.
I learned that I really enjoyed software development, but I was doubtful
anyone would hire a hobbyist. I was wrong. A consulting company eight miles from my house
found me and surprised me with an offer. I accepted, and I couldn't be happier.
I've spent the last few months learning so much everyday. I can't get
enough. As you can see from the website, I spend my free time doing what I do at work!
That joy has allowed me to live more fully in the other areas of my
life. Music is flowing better than ever, and I should have some new material shortly after
the new year. Check the Music section of
this site periodically. Best of all, though, Libby and I are having the time of our lives.
We have great fun together, and I am so excited to be a dad!
For now, I'm going to continue loving life until the next round of
challenges. I know there will be many, but I can use my recent experience to remember to
pay attention and listen to what the world is telling me.
Don't take anything I said too seriously. On occasion, I like to talk.