I Have Made Music My Own First World Problem
When one approaches any rite of passage, or significant accomplishment in life they tend to take a look at themselves from a different perspective. Why shouldn’t they? Soon everyone else will be looking; might as well see what they’re going to see.
Everyone’s self-image changes when they reach these big moments in life. Typically, to go along with the change in self-image, their status among the society which celebrates their achievement improves as well. It feels nice to have one’s self-image improve at the same rate as one’s status amongst their peers.
I’m approaching what I consider to be a significant accomplishment of my own, with the support of my family and my friends. I’m about to start life on my own. As I approach this solo-life, I’m confronted with the discovery that I must do what I can in this life on my own with what I have: a loving degree, a 4 year job, a higher paying family, and it’s still not near enough to let me know in which order to state them. For most people in my situation, that list comes with a heaping pile of debt in the form of student loans.
I’ve still got about a year to go until I actually reach that ominous darkness at the sphincter of this well-lit tunnel that clearly outlines each step on my journey. It outlines each step right on up to, but not a toe-line past, the steps that lead down the stage on which I will receive my diploma. After those steps, the path gets a little harder to read and it gets kind of dark, and I am scared of the fucking dark.
Who wouldn’t feel, and hasn’t felt, that way in the same situation? Everyone has to transfer to a life on their own at some point in their life. Some people have to do it more than once. Most people land on their feet for the first few steps through the dark, and then they get the hang of it and learn to run. I understand that. I also understand that there aren’t monsters lurking in my closet. I’m still scared of the fucking dark.
This rational, yet unnecessary fear makes my mind go to crazy places. One of the places my mind likes to frequent is this little cabin in the mountains. Maybe it’s a cabin somewhere in Appalachia or Colorado. In this cabin, I have become a hermit, shunning every responsibility I was ever given, never feeling any need to do anything other than what is necessary to survive. I would learn to play the harmonica, chop my own firewood, kill my own food. I romanticize the shit out of this fantasy, allowing myself to forget that a life like that would actually suck a real big one. There’s a reason nobody brought up in modern culture lives their life like that anymore.
Sometimes I aggrandize this place in my mind a little further and become a monk; explaining to myself that It’s not running from your problems if you’re running for spiritual purposes; a higher plane of existence and all. Whatever I tell myself, I know it’s just fantasy and will never actually happen. I’ll never really become a hermit or a monk because that’s not what I want out of life and I know that. One day I’ll bite the bullet and become a responsible, productive member of society. I just hope it doesn’t come soon.
There is one part of these fantasies that may actually have some grounding in reality. As I was going to my mind-cabin in Appalachia the other day, I thought to myself about the day I’ll bite the responsibility bullet. I began to think about the reasons behind why I knew I would never live in a real life version of my mind-cabin. I couldn’t help but notice that the most overt reason that I couldn’t accept a life of seclusion for myself was a little ridiculous. It isn’t about missing my friends and family, or that I wouldn’t find that mind-cabin worthy of the standards which I have set for myself, it was that I would miss music. Sorry Mom.
I came to the realization that music isn’t just a hobby or a passion, it’s what keeps me anchored to civilization. Most people pay their taxes and keep their jobs in order to support their families, give back to society, and at the very least follow their dreams. My reason for wanting to do the whole job and pony show is much more selfish than any of those reasons.
I just want to listen to awesome music. I want to follow the artists I already know and find the artists I haven’t heard yet. I can’t do that when the only form of electricity in my mind-cabin is my potato clock. I’m not saying I wouldn’t miss my friends and family in my mind-cabin. I’m just saying that a major reason I couldn’t actually live that life I’ve made up in my daydreams is that I would simply miss music.
So there’s my motivation for doing the things I don’t want to do, but must in order to remain a member of society. That’s my biggest first world problem. I get scared of the potential I have to succeed, I get more scared of the potential I have to fail, and either way I can’t turn back because not having music is worse than that fear. So I push forward with my life and the things that scare me, not because I’m driven to succeed and live a wealthy life, because I’m determined to have music in my life.
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