High Time for Lows
On April 18th I went into a studio in New Jersey with another band I’m a part of Vagus Nerve to start recording our first EP. Sadly the recording process went worse than I ever could have imagined with broken promises, equipment and basically a broken studio. I’ve been going through the recorded tracks here at home I’m still not entirely sure what is really “usable” or not. Either way, I’m happy to report that among the extreme lows of the situation there were definitely some great highs (no this is not a comical drug reference).
I consider myself a pretty friendly person regardless of the fact that I have a rather eccentric persona and somber demeanor that’s can be a little intimidating or off-putting to some. The reason I say this is because growing up as an artistic person in a very non-artistic environment was kind of okay when I was younger but not so much as an adult. As a teenager there were plenty of confused young people like myself to latch onto and befriend. Even though I never had many friends the few I did have were very close to me. The trouble started later when we all grew up and left school. Whether a lot of these kids dressed and behaved differently while in school in order to fit into a social “click” or were simply acting out of teen angst, most of them seemed quick to shed their “young” skin after graduation and traded their band shirts for a button downs. One could certainly guess that perhaps if we lived in an area more conducive to creative energy more of them would have held onto their young identities and became artists, musicians and other creative folks but…at the end of the day it all dwindled away into the “it was just a phase” category. The problem here lies in the fact that, I never changed.
I knew I was destined to be a singer and musician from a very young age. I didn’t necessarily go to preschool with a Led Zeppelin shirt on or anything but regardless I always felt odd and knew I was a little “different”. Later in life when my family broke up and I had to change schools multiple times, my “difference” was only magnified by the “friendly” young peers around me as well as multiple new step-mother and father figures that floated in and out of my life. The once happy bright eyed child with lots of friends was now growing into a much more confused and “broken” individual as I was consistently judged me as “the new kid”. Perhaps being judged so harshly only led to me judging myself more radically resulting in more confusion and my world-view going further down the rabbit hole. Either way, my point in all this is that I wasn’t acting out to fit into a “click” nor was I dressing to fit a part and, by the time school ended…I had nothing to shed.
I was and still am the same troubled person with weird hair cuts and tattoos. I still have a rather fucked up view of the world along with a twisted sense of humor. What little friends I had disappeared after school leaving only one whom was so troubled with emotional and addiction problems that he later killed himself (and the blog has now hit an all time low). As I carried on into adulthood nothing ever felt even a little “right”. Within every job I’ve had I felt just as lost among my peers as ever. I didn’t fit in and I questioned every day “How the hell did I end up here?”. Time went by and the environments changed little by little. I made more and less money, I had slightly different stupid jobs but always the same thread of confusion ran through everything. The lack of real friends in my life created a hole and every time I would drop to my lowest of lows I would look around and just notice even more how alone I was. That’s when I met the girl of my dreams and we got married and everything was great. The End. hahaha Sorry sorry…just kidding.
By now you’re definitely wondering, “What the hell does any of this have to do with the top paragraph?” Well buckle up cause here comes the conclusion. :0
The week before my band went into the studio we had a rehearsal. This was the same as many other rehearsals but this time around the middle of the day we all took a break together to grab something to eat. As we walked across the parking lot I felt something I hadn’t felt since I was about sixteen years old and in a shitty garage band…. “I’m part of something and I fit in”. I almost felt like I was in slow motion for a moment and forever young. These guys in my band enjoyed my company and it didn’t matter whether I had a mohawk, was wearing eye liner, was wearing all black or any other weird personal accoutrements. I was valued for my talents and dare I even say loved for who I am.
In an attempt to summarize… I woke up very sad this morning which is not uncommon. I crave interaction with people and I don’t get much (boohoo). We are social creatures and we need one another. Loneliness is processed in the “pain” center of the brain so basically… it’s painful. Being at the studio with my fellow band mates was both heaven and hell because for every god damn stupid fucking thing that went wrong there was always a thread of togetherness. I was finally around people I could consider friends and feeling like I’m not so strange and not so alone. So, thank you to those guys for sharing that time with me and making me feel accepted and I sincerely hope that that studio in New Jersey burns down. If you made it through this and have a similar story and would like to write and share with me…feel free. I like talking to people. I’m a nice guy…I’m just kinda strange that’s all :).
I’d like to add to the end of this that throughout my life, since I was 18 actually, I’ve had one person with me through it all and that’s my wife Renae. I don’t wanna get corny or anything but it is important to note that if she hadn’t been with me since then I’m pretty sure I would have ended my existence long ago. Some folks that really struggle with finding love or a life partner may read this now and be like “what was all that loneliness bullshit then?” and to that I say once more…we are social creatures and even though we’ve always had each other, we’re all still in need of personal friends, acquaintances and outlets. So uh…find yourself a Renae. They’re terrific and good for suicide prevention.