Firstly, I must apologize to you: my reader(s) – for my lack of presence as of late.
Between the illness befallen upon the House of Duncan, the whole Rapture hullabaloo (that sure was awkward for a lot of folks, wasn’t it?), and the fact that I’d been feeling like I’ve had FRAK ALL to really write about (which is my own fault, really), I have not been the friend to you all that I meant to be.
So, here I go again, hoping to make amends and sally on forward with more geeky, personal, artistic bits of awesome for you all to sink your teeth into.
and here’s a promise to you: I promise to try really really hard to never let so much time go by without word from me again.
Now that we’re done with all of that, lets get on with some actual discussion, shall we?
I’ve talked before about my growing up nerdy. My desire for more knowledge and my love of it compounded with my inherent social differences (my sensitive soul, my very artistic nature, and my love of that which was, at the time, not very popular at all with most of the people I grew up around) made me a bit of a weirdo to my peers and to, at times, my family. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with who I was – I still don’t , and that’s kind of the point of who and what I am today.
I won’t lie and say that I never wanted to “just be like everyone else”. I wanted to be the kid that was good at sports people gave a damn about like football and basketball. I wanted to be the guy that the girls fawned over, the one that always knew what to say at the right moment.
Then I discovered that not only was I incredibly smart, but I was also talented – visually, theatrically, and musically. Surely, this would get me liked, right? I thought I’d become that kid that said all of the cool lines and was so good at it, or the kid that sang that one song that made all of the girls melt, or the guy that drew so well that all of the girls would want me to draw them.
What the hell was I thinking?
I should have paid better attention to “The Wonder Years” and “Family Matters” during that time. Yeah, it got me noticed more, but it also got me shunned, made fun of, and laughed at by the people I seriously wanted to be accepted by. There was a girl that I liked so much back then, a girl that I thought I would impress enough that she’d like me.
Sadly, she was one of the people I mentioned earlier. She laughed at me the hardest – at least, back then, it felt like she did.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Why do I feel the sudden need to recount my past to you?
Well, recently I discovered some old photos of myself and some of those people, including the girl I mentioned (who shall remain nameless). A lot of that old anger, resentment, and rage that I thought I had dealt with came bubbling back to the surface. It wasn’t something I expected, especially since the pics were all of some seriously happy memories of mine from that time. Possibly the happiest I can remember from those days.
It got me thinking about something. When I discovered my particular talents, I threw myself into them. I wanted to get better, to be fantastic. I wanted to someday be discovered and get a multi-million dollar recording contract with some big label and become a rock star. Then those kids would see. Then she would see – see what she missed out on, what she could have been a part of. (for the record, I was all of 13 having these thoughts)
I started this journey for all of the wrong reasons, but I couldn’t know that then. I was just a 13 year old who had been picked on and made fun of and laughed at enough that, when I found out about my talents and found people to help nurture them, I began to have elaborate fantasies.
Bear with me, you may have had similar fantasies.
I dreamed of returning for a reunion (this later transitioned to high school), busting down the double doors with a beautiful actress or supermodel on my arm. An entourage of friends and fellow musicians are close by and, behind us all, a crew of reporters and photographers clamoring to get an interview or a photo or a statement of some kind. My old classmates would be there, with their normal jobs and normal lives, and I’d be there in my custom designer outfit, multiple Grammy Awards, and incredibly hot wife.
I imagined them mad with envy, regretful of the way they had treated me, wanting to be my friend and wishing that they’d been nicer to me when we were kids.
In my dream I was wonderful: I was gracious, compassionate, I was the epitome of Cool. I even played a set for the reunion dance with my band and the girls swooned and the guys that weren’t jealous of me wanted to be me. ME!
Then I’d wave graciously and whisk myself out of the auditorium/gym/whatever where more fans and press would be waiting for me, and I’d zoom off to perform in some exotic locale and leave everyone speechless and awestruck.
This was a dream born of loneliness, exclusion, and hurt. It fueled my desire to become a performing artist for the longest time. It was nothing more than a desire to be accepted, loved, and wanted on a scale that I thought would quench the need/desire to belong. It was, in my opinion, the wrong way to begin this.
Years later, at 30 years old, I am still a performer, though I still have a ways to go to reach the goals I have for myself. The difference is that I don’t share the same goals as 13 year old me. I’m not seeking out fame, fortune, or vindication, not actively, and while commercial success would certainly be nice, I’m not looking for that either. I’d like nothing more than to be heard and liked, to possibly become someone’s favorite musician somewhere. Release a few albums, write some urban fantasy/science fiction novels, maybe even compose a few longer pieces – maybe a film score or two, perhaps. Who knows?
But looking at those old pictures, recounting those times and the emotions and choices made as a result gives me pause. I am the man I’ve become because of them, my journey began in those moments and continue now. I have to admit that understanding my reasoning and my feelings from that time have helped me understand myself a bit more, though there is a part of me that wishes that I didn’t have those memories to begin with, that my journey didn’t begin in bitterness and lonely tears shed in secret, vowing that I would someday show those kids what I was worth. I wish that my primary drive in life had been simply to make fantastic music for music’s sake then and to not be so damned concerned with proving myself to other people. I gave them too much credence in my young life and allowed myself to worry about being cool in their eyes.
Well, I understand now. I’m reclaiming myself, rediscovering my drive, reigniting my bliss, and reenforcing my passion for my music and for my writing, and I do so with the intent of making art that I care about, that pleases me, that is my vision of perfection and no one else’s.
And I understand that I have done better than I could have imagined, and that my most important dreams have already come true. Knowing that, I understand that every other goal I have is within reach and no longer tainted by the grievances of my past. I just have to buckle down and bloody damned DO IT!
okay, that’s enough of me and my Rambling and carrying on for one post. The 13 year old me of 1994 thanks you for putting up with this strange trip down memory lane and for helping current me let go of a lot of that residual crap! Stars and stones, I feel so much better! Like the burden of that period of my life had weighed upon me for all of that time
And to those kids that gave me hell all those years ago who are now adults, I hope that all of you are well. I hope that you too (as a cousin of mine put it) have drank from the cup of “Got better with age”. I hope that you are happy. Most of all, I hope that you have or will soon find your bliss.
I love you all and I’ll be back in a couple of days with something new!