I had it all figured out.
If I may quote myself, circa September 24, 2013 (from the very first post on the blog that would morph into this one):
Towards the end of my recent stint as an “Herbalism Educator” at a wonderfully quirky summer camp in Hudson Valley, NY, I realized that I had no idea what I was going to do with my life come Fall. (Note: I feel that it’s important to mention here that I am 37 years old, and for most people this would constitute some sort of quarter-/mid-life crisis. For me, it’s been my general state of being for as long as I can remember.)
Anyway, I decided that– rather than do what I tend to do when anxiety descends upon my racing brain in the face of uncertainty– I would take 40 days and 40 nights of intense music study* and contemplative practice** and make every effort to really, truly figure out– once and (perhaps) for all– pretty much EVERYTHING. (Spoiler alert from Day 30: I’m not even close to figuring out everything.) However, I did figure out what I want and need to be doing with my time on this planet, and in upcoming posts I will begin to share my story.
[* , **: I realize that as soon as you read these things, you a) start to get a sense of my priorities, and b) wonder how I can afford to do this. The reality is, I set up shop in my parents' house in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, where I store a plethora of musical instruments that I've accumulated over the years. The situation is wholly unsustainable in the long run, for a variety of fairly obvious reasons... but it's what I felt I had to do. Honestly, I'm fortunate that my parents agreed to the situation. As I sit here and type, the 40 days and 40 nights are coming to an end and this is the beginning of WHAT NEXT. This blog (as opposed to facebook) is where I'll be chronicling "what next" as events unfold.]
“What next” turned out to be SO not what I’d anticipated.
Not only did I not go to the Bay Area, I spent a solid chunk of the money that I’d planned to spend on that road trip on flying to Nashville, Tennessee– in order to rock out and track wildlife (no joke) with Victor Wooten– probably the world’s best living bassist.
Here are a few photos of what that looked like:
What happened next (i.e. when I got back to Pennsylvania) was–
I stopped playing music.
And after two days–
I just stopped.
[Note: You can watch (i.e. read) the whole weird situation unfold by reading the October 2013 archive on this blog. Though I admit, I haven't quite found the courage yet to go back and read my old posts. (Too soon? Probably.) In any case, I'm going to write more about my breakup (and eventual reunion) with music soon.]
I did, however, keep writing blog posts.
I mean, like– I REALLY kept writing.
For example, on the same day that I posted that link sharing my new-song-in-the-works (10/29/13), I posted five other full-length posts.
And the next day I published this: The Time I Lived With a Squirrel (Part One)
(If you haven’t read that one, I highly recommend it. It’s the beginning of what would become an 80K+word memoir project. I’ll understand if you don’t commit to the whole shebang, of course.)
And then I sank into a pretty fierce depression for several months straight.
And then I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program in the self-proclaimed “mushroom capital of the world.”
And then I traveled almost non-stop between February and June.
And stopped blogging for 3 months.
What’s the point of me telling you all of this?
Well– first of all– I’m just trying to figure out what the hell actually happened this year. Because (if you read the blog from October onwards) stuff gets real crazy, real fast.
And– second of all– I want to provide a little context for my new readers. (Hi, new readers!)
Mostly, though– I want to acknowledge the following:
What started off as a promising year (by the way, I still for some reason run on a “school year” calendar)– and later morphed into one of my worst years ever– later morphed into one of my best years ever.
And now that summer has come and passed, it’s time to reflect on what just was, dream of what might be, and live fully in the Here and Now.
Yes, I’ve just finished an immensely successful summer filled with eight weeks of 12 – 14 hour workdays, and I took this past week to basically do nothing and catch up on sleep.
Tomorrow starts a brand new year.
See, I’ve spent many an August 31st chomping at the bit to post my favorite snarky Green Day-inspired facebook status update:
This year, though–
Wake me up– bright and early.
Wake me for some yoga.
For a green smoothie.
Wake me up.
Wake me up.
Wake me up.