It’s 9:04am on a Friday.
I accidentally slept in longer than I planned.
I should have moved my Jeep by 8am,
and it would have been annoying to get a ticket while sleeping in the vehicle.
I’ve been visiting Seattle for a little over a week now.
I’m exploring this new city and its music scene.
And since I kinda left without telling people, I suppose I should explain..
It’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve last posted. I apologize.
I’m gonna take a quick break on So, You Wanna Go to Europe series to give my Life update.
Let’s start with my excuses:
- I’ve been busy moving out of and leaving San Diego
- I’ve been busy driving up the coast seeing friends
- I’ve been busy finishing recording/mixing of the #HappyHeartbreak tracks
- I’ve been busy playing at Graton Casino in the Bay Area with Bosen & Suede
- I’ve been busy planning for the Education Work and trip to SE Asia coming up
- I’ve been busy questioning my Life and the decisions I’ve been making
- I’ve been busy driving around homeless and not as on top of posting
- I’ve been busy procrastinating posting because it feels overwhelming expressing in the way I’d like
So again, sorry for taking so much time. My mind has been a bit all over the place. So in an effort to catch you up and process this adventure of mine, here are the updates:
I’ve moved out of San Diego.
Man, do I love that city. It’s such an amazing place and a vacation destination. I recommend everyone go visit and enjoy yourself. For some, it’s a great place to live and explore what you’re capable of accomplishing when surrounded by a relatively stress-free environment and eternal sunshine. I am proud of what I’ve achieved while in San Diego. I cherish the friends that I’ve made while there. And the Life experience, as always, is invaluable. However, I’ve been having this nagging feeling for some time now that I need to find a community where I feel more at home and less on vacation. I love SD similar to how I loved college.. such an amazing experience, and now it’s time for me to move on. My biggest fear (and what was beginning to feel inevitable) is that one morning I would wake up in my late 30’s and wonder what had happened to the time.. and why I hadn’t accomplished more that I had set out to do.
I think I just needed a Change.
“The journey of change doesn’t begin when you intend, it begins when you move.” – Steve Maraboli
I decided to drive up the coast.
I was leaning toward Denver as a potential place to move.. I considered Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, etc. I knew that I wanted to stay fairly close to San Francisco (cheap flights) because I have an ongoing contract at a casino there each month. I knew that I wanted a city that has a music scene. Less than a year ago, I spent a weekend in Seattle playing a couple gigs with Bosen, and I remember being really charmed by the artsy vibe of the city.. everyone always brings up how rainy it is (and it’s really rainy), but after living several years in San Diego, I feel less influenced by weather as a motivator (or demotivator) in my Life. As always, it’s up to me to be productive. So, I had about a week and a half between casino gigs open to explore. I drove up to Seattle, and I’ve been here for the past 10 days.
I’ve never felt so uncertain and outside of my Comfort Zone.
For real. I’m totally alone. I specifically chose a place where I don’t know anybody. I feel like I’m challenging myself and testing this idea of being a “struggling Artist” (probably to a flaw). Even when I was backpacking Europe, I still had one of my best friends every step of the way.. this time, I’m on my own. And it’s scary to think that I have to entirely start over.. with gaining respect in a new music community, making new friends, acclimating to a new community, finding a place to live, seeing if I’m able to support myself financially, and testing this daily internal struggle with self-doubt. At times, it feels like such a fun challenge going into places and forcing myself to network and meet new people.. and it’s always so refreshing when my feigned attention turns to genuine smiles as I make real connections with people (something I’ve been working on). I’m beginning to feel like this “struggle” is what I need to move forward. With that said..
I’ve been sleeping in my Jeep.
And it’s surprisingly not been that bad. I have the seats down and the vehicle is full of clothes, a full PA, my guitar, suitcase and backpacks, and fortunately, blankets and pillows. When I first lay down, I can’t help but feel overcome by the “what the hell am I doing with my Life” feeling. But once I wake up, for a moment, I forget that I’m in the Jeep and only remember that I’m on a new adventure. This thought is quickly followed by:
“This isn’t thaaat bad. If this is the worst case scenario, then Life ain’t all that bad. I can do this.”
I’ve also been sleeping on couches. Several times, I’ve slept on the couch of an amazing Couch Surfer (if you’re familiar with www.couchsurfing.org) friend whom has been an incredibly generous person with her place, talents, and connections. Other times, I’ve pretended like I’m on tour and just stayed awake and chatted with people at music events until the end of the night to see if something pans out.. I’ve met some really amazing people this way, and these moments of accepting the idea that I may be sleeping in my car and this somewhat desperate desire to find a place to crash has lead to some interesting, comfort zone expanding moments. I can’t wait to have my own place to return to the favor soon!
I need to travel, but I need a home base.
I’m realizing this about myself. It is frightening how off balance you feel when you don’t have a place to call your own. Even homeless people tend to have spaces that they consistently return to. For myself, I recognize how fortunate I am to be able to travel and meet people and be open to experiences.. but I am most definitely less confident, more unsure of myself, and struggling with my own self worth during these times. I recognize these are all just thoughts in my mind, and that I can choose to feel differently. However, I also recognize that I’ve learned this about myself.. I am a better friend, more productive, and more giving when I have my foundation securely in place. I’m excited to have that once again. Soon.
I’m having a hard time letting go.
As much as I know that I’m trying to do my best to move forward, I can’t seem to shake this feeling that I’m just running away. Maybe I’m running away from my problems. Maybe I’m only leaving to avoid ever having to interact with my ex again. Maybe I’m leaving because I don’t have what it takes to make it in San Diego. Maybe I’m leaving because many of my friends moved out of San Diego. Maybe I’m leaving because the pressure of the California Dream is too much. Maybe I’m leaving because I have a short attention span. Maybe I’m leaving because I think it’ll be easier to take this new path..
I don’t know the answer. I know that I still think about my ex every day. Every. Single. Day. And I hate that about myself. Deep down, I still hold onto this ridiculous thought that she’s going to come around and realize how great I really was.. realize how great I am. And it’s so foolish, because it implies that I have the answers, and that we could actually work out.. if you’ve read anything I’ve written before (like The Challenge with Break-ups in a Hyper Connected World), you already know that we’re not right for each other. So why do I hold on? Some moments of strength are better than others, but it’s obviously something I’m still working on. I’m working on myself. I’m working on my dreams. I’m working on moving forward.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse
Finally, here are my plans for the near future:
Next week I go back to the Bay Area to play some gigs. From there, I fly to China to visit a friend in Shanghai and check out Hong Kong. Next, I fly to Singapore/Malaysia where I’ll be running academic camps for the education company for a month. Then, I’ll spend the next week traveling around Thailand trying to find new experiences to help me figure this crazy Life out. I fly back to San Francisco to play gigs for the week (and Eve) of the New Year. And then finally, it’ll be time to face my Life decisions and strap in to the Seattle adventure.
I gotta be honest.. I’m not as sure of myself on this one as I normally have been in the Past. And that terrifies me. Also, it reminds me that I’m pushing myself and taking a chance. This very well may be a huge mistake, but at least I’m willing to boldly make this mistake. I’ve got high hopes and big dreams, and I’m hoping to come out the other side of this one closer to being my Best Self. And as always, I’ll let you know how it’s going in the process!
Take Risks, Friends.
No one can take them for you.