I'm Having Trouble Being a Grown Up
Guys, I'm having trouble being a grown up. You see, just 12 months ago I was partying in a big college house full of graduation-happy musicians, without a care in the world. I fell asleep in my little black punk dress, makeup still on and contacts still in, no alarm set, and was woken up by a loud knocking on the door at 6 am by one of the party goers because "time to graduate!" I showed up at the ceremony in the same clothes - black boots and torn up tights peeking through my robe - walked across the stage and shook Roger Brown's hand. I had made it. I was so done with college, and so ready for the real world. I felt like a rockstar and the whole world was mine.
One short year later, the world still is mine. But now I can say I feel the weight of the world. The weight of freedom, of growing up, of trying to put these puzzle pieces together which I will call adulthood. I don't even feel like I have the right to use that word, because of how little I understand about it. Plus it makes me cringe.
All of a sudden, before I knew it, I was faced with the question of how to survive on my own. And by survive, I mean how do I pay my rent, pay my bills, buy myself food, and god-forbid, maybe spend some money on other pleasures? In 12 months I have gone from which party can I go to tonight where I will have the most fun to which day of the week is it again? Oh wait, it makes no difference. I have gone from writing music "when I feel inspired" to a quota that I must fill every single day. I have gone from being a clingy girlfriend to literally not even being able to physically go on a date. I have gone from complaining about working four nights a week as an usher, to working 10 hours plus, every day, as a composer. My definition of some foundational aspects in my life has changed drastically, in fact, it's become quite warped.
I miss going to parties. You didn't see that coming, did you? It's funny how when you experience a dramatic change, let's call it a "shock" to your lifestyle, that certain things start to unexpectedly tug at your longing. I miss walking into a room full of people, grabbing a drink, and talking about whatever we want to talk about. Just because. No agenda. No responsibilities. Just purely socializing. The last time I went to a party was months ago. I ended up meeting the guy I would on and off be bfgf with for a long time (on and off being because how do you date someone who's never around) - looks like I chose the right party. Thank you world for coming through on that one.
So what do you do when you're thrown into an environment that doesn't support the current you? You change.
Oh boy, I said it, and you probably don't like it. I don't even like it. You change. That's it. Here I am, it's 7:45 am and I've worked the night shift almost every night for who knows how long now, and I'm kinda pissed, to tell you the truth. I felt this feeling coming on last night as I was getting ready to head out the door, so I even put Enema of the State on my iPhone and had a glass of South African Chenin Blanc to cheer myself up.
But I'm still pissed. I'm pissed because I don't want to change; I don't want to work 7 days a week, I don't want to miss every single party, I don't want to cancel gigs, I don't want to not go on dates, I don't want to miss all these things that once made me happy. Yet here I am. No one's forcing me. The door's in plain view.
So through the noise of Tom Delonge singing "No one should take themselves so seriously. With many years ahead to fall in line, why would you wish that on me? I never wanna act my age" I started to feel even more pissed. He even talks about being 23 and watching TV shows instead of hooking up with his girl and making prank phone calls and being a goof. I'm 23. These words are foreign to me.
So the answer is this. You change. You grow up. This is the hard part. And this is me convincing myself, so that if anything, I get up tomorrow and I do it all over again with a smile on my face. And I keep daydreaming about my rockstar future where I say "the beginning was hard, and I did it." And then I go to the biggest rockstar Grammy party I've ever seen and my friends are all there and we laugh about how clueless we used to be and how we got our asses kicked by the world, and how necessary it was.
All I want is a chance. Ever since I left high school I've been saying this. I just want a chance. It started with Berklee - I just wanted a chance to go. I went. When I was there, I just wanted the chance to finish, and I did. Then I left and had nothing, and I just wanted a chance to have a career... and here I am. Careful what you wish for. No one said it was easy, but boy did I never quite feel the weight of those words as I feel them now. Never did I realize what I had to give up in order to have the chance to gain so much more.
As I'm writing this paragraph, I realize that I don't quite know where this leaves me. I started to write about redefining what fulfills me, in order to cultivate a lifelong fulfillment as an artist. But, this doesn't seem quite right. That's like saying "now I see the light, I don't even want to go to a party or date anyone or have any fun because I have a career now". No. That's not me, and that's never going to happen. I guess this is about investment. Maybe it's temporary. Maybe things will get more balanced in time. Maybe they won't. Who knows. But what I do know is that I've been given a chance - the chance that I asked for from this world. So, I'm taking it and I'm believing in it, and I'm doing it with my whole heart.
This isn't the usual happy-go-lucky-if-you-can-dream-it-you-can-do-it blog post. This is one of the most real ones I've ever written. Shit is getting very real very fast, and I am tired. I'm really, really tired.
But I'll see you at the top, my friend.