What decisions are left, what life-choices remain as options when you get to the point where you feel that you’ve placed all your choices into the hands of others? Truly these are depths plumbed, and the darkness is made to feel like dark syrup by the knowledge that I made the series of decisions placing my future choices and my future itself into the someone else’s hands.
Real life may not be as dramatic as that, or indeed as clear cut, but this is where the curtain rising on this morning finds me.
In a little over three weeks I start my first new job in three years, in a completely new environment, with diminished responsibility (thankfully) and with something I’m fairly certain is a totally different software product than those I’ve been designing and building for the last three years.
I feel very nervous about this, and that’s fairly understandable given my life and circumstances at this point, but my confidence has taken knock after knock leaving me with big black spots in my self-esteem and all-round dealing-with-life abilities.
Last night kinda summed up the last few years: the live recording of The SuperMasters arrived. The band are superb. There are few mistakes (every single group on earth makes mistakes whilst performing on stage, every single one) and the music is rockin’ in just the way we wanted it to be.
I wrote the bulk of the material, the band was my idea, I wrote the lyrics and the melody lines, but I can’t sing them for shit.
The entire CD, completely fucked by my inept gurgling yelps. I am completely fucking shamed and ashamed. Publicly humiliated. And what’s worse, there’s another CD from a set we played two nights later still to come, and a video.
So as it pans out, every single thing I previously thought I was good at I’m being systematically and explicitly shown otherwise. I can’t even meet my own personal fucking criteria.
So it’s around and about this point that I begin to seriously question any creative endeavours in which I may be more than a supporting character. Should I even bother continuing to try and write, play and perform music if this is all I can give? Nothing but fucking smoke and mirrors; while talking a good game, scores own goal.
Or perhaps it’s pride. Pride before the fall. Up to this point I’d been confident, had felt unassailable in this one area, this one assignation in which I knew I could deliver. Music has been the one thing, the single thread binding me to any feeling of worth all these years. And this has sheared my support leaving mere filaments between me and the death of dreaming. My dreams died years ago, but the death of dreaming is the death of hope itself, the commencement of a life of unrelenting and unrelievable drudgery: knowing that there is nothing more than this, and that there can be nothing more than this: knowing that all aspirations have slipped by not even bearing my fingerprints.
There’s a balance to be struck regardless of what your life consists, happiness and achievement at work, happiness and achievement at play, happiness and achievement in love, happiness and achievement in friendship. Balance. Problems in one area pulls the focus, skewing your perspective. I am not having an easy ride in any of these areas, at this point none of them are good. Shit is flying like a pushing a flymo though an abattoir.
So, you see, I’ve accumulated some fantastic photos (amazing, stunning and very cool photographs, you know who you are), had some brilliant experiences (I mean, having twenty people stand in front of you singing your song back at you [The Devil Rocks Me], that feels niiiiiiiice…you also know who you are), but in the end it was all style and no substance, a momentary salve for a wounded life feeling its heartbeats pumping more and more essential fluids out through the cuts.
Was it all worth it?
Did I achieve or gain for myself anything by it?
It seems not.
And just yesterday I was telling someone how these days, the message mattered less than the style in which it was delivered. Isn’t that ironic?
The power of advertising. I stand by that but silently, secretly (well, not any more) wish it applied to me a little more often than it does.