Artists, musicians, people doing things they like to do, this may be a familiar story.
I don’t recall where I read this – it could be a quote from a musician with a lifetime of achievements, or an entrepreneur with a Fortune 500 company, or I could have read it on a “Marshalls-esque” home décor inspirational sign hung in a friend’s bathroom, but regardless here it is: “Whatever you are into – keep doing it”. A notion that gets harder to comply with, but also yields greater returns as you grow older.
I had to tell myself this a few times in the past two months (and honestly the past five years). Life’s been busy and it’s been easy (maybe even helping to satisfy procrastination tendencies) to fall into one of those, “what the fuck am I doing with my life” moments. What is this? Is this a hobby? A dream job? An art? Is it even art? Am I an artist? Am I a musician? Am I an entrepreneur? Do I want to be an entrepreneur? Do I need validation for this art/passion/hobby through sales? Is this business successful? How will I pay for a burger when I am 65 if I have no money now? How are we going to afford this? What if my Jeep dies in New York this weekend? What if? What if? What if. What if.
But then. Something changes. It could be the way the sun slips into the shower curtain at 7:38AM, or it could be your partner or friend helped to frame the situation just right, or for whatever reason, you woke up “cured”. Regardless of how you got there, you’re back and ready to keep on pushing (ala Curtis Mayfield).
And so it goes (another reference). You keep working on whatever it is you are into for whatever reason you’re into it. Just keep doing it, because this is how you get to the next plateau. This is what you’ve signed up for.
The balance between these points of “what am I doing?” and “life’s pretty great” is hard to keep. I have never used devil stix, but I am going to say it’s a lot like devil stix.
The crowd laughs.
“Doing it” (in regards to pursuing your art/passion) doesn’t have to mean locking yourself away, and trying to make for yourself some “Bob Dylan sitting in a room with a typewriter, a guitar, and a bottle of wine while he writes the next great album” type of romanticized, tireless artist. In fact, one of the most important pieces of advice I have received in the past six months would be, “don’t lock yourself in the workshop”. Sometimes you have to remove yourself from your “art”, and go about this in a logical method with realistic goals and tangible outcomes. It sounds boring, but making something great doesn’t always turn into a career or a sustainable lifestyle. You need a bit of logic and planning too.
It’s finding balance in your highs and lows. When you are on a high, keep it humble and take pride, but don’t relish. When you are low, remember this is a small part of your life (maybe not so small) and your life is a small part of someone else’s life, and that person is one of ______ humans on this earth and……
You get the point. You are small and what you do doesn’t matter except to you. That’s the most inspiring news I have for you. Take pride in the insignificance. It's lighter on that side.
So love your friends. Pet your cat. Don’t beat yourself up, and just keep making things or doing what it is you want to do.
That’s it. I had about four other topics (that dealt with electronics) I wanted to write about, but I have been putting this off for almost two months, so I am going to sit back, congratulate myself for finishing even one of them, and send it out via the great web of internet streams.
On a final “amp” note – I am working with a cabinet designer and figuring out some cosmetics. The amp design is about 80% done. Stay tuned for drawings/pictures of the work in progress. The next post will be less self-help and more electronics – I promise.
Thank for reading, Matt