Feeling the Burn

I have found that people who are physically active typically gravitate toward a certain form of exercise, or at least stick to one area. Typically because they want to build themselves a certain way. For example, one could be craving to bulk up, get stronger, lift harder, literally rip their shirt every time they even look at a weight. Alternatively, a gym goer could desire a more lean build, built for speed not so much for comfort.

Typically I try to strike a balance between the two, but more often then not I find myself the camp of the latter. For a few reasons, but primarily because I have fallen in love with running.

Ah yes, running. The wind rushing through my hair, blood racing through my veins, makes me feel like I am some sort of super hero every time I finish a five mile. Of course, I didn’t always feel this way about my preferred form of exercise.

“What the hell?! It’s only been five minutes!” Is what you would have caught me saying about four years ago during one of my many attempts to conquer the spinning conveyor belt of death.

“Ok…ok I need to take break…catch my breath…not die” I recall saying while jamming my thumb on the down arrow to the speed till it reached a more reasonable pace. Then, I would do just that, take a break, try again for five minutes, break, so on. Every time feeling like my heart was about to leap out of my chest and do a jig in front of me.

Funny thing is, though I felt completely miserable at the time, I couldn’t help but to love it, even then.  Maybe I was just some sort of masochist, but there was just something about it that fascinated me. Even though ever time I did it I was convinced I was going to die and was sore for days following.

Maybe I became addicted to running for the sheer challenge it gave me. Maybe, it represented some barrier in my mind that I was determined to overcome. Maybe I was just fixated on becoming a healthier me. Maybe, I did it for the rush it gave me, the thrill of pushing my body to the limit every time I ran. Or, maybe, I really am just some sort of masochist. Either way, I was determined to make this thing happen one way or another, because I was in love with it.

As we go through our journey in life, we eventually find these thing that we can’t help but to fall head-over-heels for. Writing, photography, gardening, sports, cooking, we all have passions. Sometimes our love for them grows so strong, we even make the decision so presume them seriously.

That’s when the honey moon ends.

Like running, I have fallen deeply in love with music. Not just music as a whole, but the idea of being a musician. The thought of being the person who births new music into this world, excites me to no end. I have made it my goal in life to becoming this creative individual. Which is a great first step, but between here and our end goal, there are many steps to be taken.

These steps will include, excitement, disappointment, loss, gain, joy, defeat, intimidation, failure, success and so on, probably until the day we die. And even though it may be our life’s dream, there will be days when we just straight up don’t feel like doing it. Not because you don’t love it anymore, it’s just that you are starting to feel the burn.

As any physically active person can attest, during long period of exercise, especially if you are working a particular group of muscles, you will start to feel very fatigued in those areas. AKA the burn. That burn comes from your muscles being torn apart during exercise, so that they can be rebuilt stronger and tougher.

It’s natural, it hurts, and it sucks. Especially when you start feeling it during the middle of a work out. When, you know, there is still another half to get through. This is the point where you have to make the decision to, a) give into the pain and quit, or b) keep moving forward, despite the pain and difficulty.

There is an old saying that sums this up pretty well, Anything worth doing is never easy

When you do anything worth doing, you are, 100% guaranteed, going to meet difficulty. The kind of difficulty that will bring any sane person to their knees. But you know what the beautiful thing is about that? Your aren’t sane. You are in love with your passion. You are committed to her and love her with all your heart, and would, never in your wildest dreams, let her go.

But, just like in a marriage, crazy shit is going to happen along the way and a lot of hard lessons learned. You will have to learn about her. Her good sides, her bad sides, strengths and quirks. Some days, it will feel impossible, and during that time you maybe tempted to give up.

When you start feeling over whelmed like this, and thinking of leaving your passion behind you. Stop. Take a breath, and know what you are feeling is temporary.

You are probably feeling worn and tired, even crazy intimidated. That’s ok, It’s only natural to struggle. The important thing is to remember that you will pull through this. You will finish this race, stronger, and more prepared for the next challenge.

In sickness and in health, till death does you part, you will chase her to the ends of the earth, and nothing, will get in your way.

NOTW: Anya

What up my sexy people, and welcome back to another installment of ‘Notes on the Wall’!

I hope you have had a glorious week thus far, and if not, then you are almost half way through it already!

This week’s NOTW is going to be a completely over done cliche, so cliche in fact it already has an entire day of the year dedicated to it.

This week I have discovered (more like re-learned honestly) how thankful I am for my Mom. Now as I write this, of course my inner angst driven teen is trying to rein me in. Telling me that ‘No! We must be against Mom so we can show her that we don’t need her! Down with the machine!’

Ok, while it is true that my Mom has not always been totally on board with my whole rockstar shtick, that was only because she was afraid to find her son dead in a ditch somewhere. And, to her credit, she has really started to get used to the idea of me chasing after my passions. Could be because she sees that, after all this time, this whole music kick really isn’t going to go away, or it’s that she really is starting to believe in me.

My new found thankfulness also stems from a change in my own perspective. Being a parent is a hard, thankless job. You go through all kinds of heartache for eighteen years raising this kid, feeding them, cleaning them, taking their stupid asses to school, putting a roof over their head. All that just for them to tell you at the end of it, that of course they had to do it, it’s their job.

Which is true, but a ‘thank you’ is still appreciated.

I even now, sometimes struggle with my Mom and some of the choices she has made. She has made mistakes, some pretty stupid. But you know what, so have I. So who am I to judge? She is a human just like I am, and needs love, forgiveness and compassion just like I do.

Like I said, this week is a pretty standard thank you to an obvious choice, but you know, sometimes the obvious choice the best choice, and often the one that needs to hear it the most.

So if your reading this Anya, or any Mom out there who may have a shit head son like I was, let me just say Thank You. Thanks for putting up with us and sticking with us through the years. From the poopie diapers to the car joy rides. (Sorry Anya, but I mean, did you really think I was just going to park your car for you?)

So what are you guys thankful for this week? What’s something that you are looking forward to? Maybe even something that has inspired you?

If you feel like sharing, feel free to leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! (@PunkMusical)

As always, have a fantastic week and I will see you in the next NOTW, or in your dreams. Which ever comes first.

(P.S. Anya means mother in Hungarian. Considered yourself cultured.)

(P.S.S. Go call your Mom and tell her shes fabulous)

(photo credit: flicker.com)

Back to Basics

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Who said it was ok for people to wake up this early?

Shit, I am already running late, need to get going.

Shit, I’m going to be taking the late shift today too?

Shit, why did I take that?! What time is it?

Yep still running late. Thought that would change for some reason.

What else do I have today?

Shit, I have to do some work for the channel today, on the video that is already a week late. That HAS to get done today.

What, I need to find time to work out too, you know, get out the anxiety?

I should stop requesting for late shifts at the deli. But I need money. fuck money man. hate money. why can’t I just get paid for what i love doing already? why does it have to be so complicated? shit still running late! need to eat or something. why do i care i hate this job anyway. need money though. why can’t the things i work on make money for me. how is this going to  work going to be late need to get up earlier but have to get stuff done but i am tired but need to push out new projects otherwise bad stuff need to get going

Now, I feel like the act of categorizing one’s self is a stupid thing to do. We are all different and unique. Any ‘test’ that you take either from a psychologist, or on the back of magazine, could never accurately describe who you are as a whole. However, they may be able to give you some guidance about a trend that you follow or have a tendency towards (maybe not so much the magazine, but still). That being said, I resonate a lot with certain personality type called a type ‘A’ personality.

A type ‘A’ personality stems from the theory generated by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and R. H. Rosenman back in the 1950’s when they conducted a study on heart disease. They wanted to see what kind of personalities have a higher tendency to develop heart disease and complied their findings into two opposing categories. A type ‘A’ personality, typically being people who have a tendency to have a constant, powerful, drive to do something and to make an impact. Then the contrast, type ‘B’ personality. Who have a tendency to take a more relaxed approach to things and tend not be be as competitive about everything.

Not surprisingly, they found that the type ‘A’ tends to be more prone to develop heart disease and die in an early grave. Probably because we are convinced that we are superman, and can bench press a bus with our shear will power.

This isn’t a particularly new development for me though. Ever since I was a kid, I was always trying to think at least a couple steps ahead of the game. Either when playing a game of ‘Yugioh’ with my friends or even when ‘playing pretend’, I always made an effort to plan ahead so I could divide and conquer. Not to mention I knew for a fact that I could bench press that bus if I worked hard enough and planned it correctly.

I don’t believe one personality type is necessarily better than the other. It’s just two sides of the same coin. Either way is a valid form of work as long as you balance it a little. (i.e. Type ‘A’ takes a break every once in a while, and type ‘B’ gets their lazy ass in gear sometimes.)

However, when you have a tendency to want to take on the world, you will be quickly, and easily, overwhelmed.

In a constant battle for supremacy and control of my own mind, with millions of voices and theories racing through my head at once. As you saw, it can turn into a serious struggle.

The other day, I was planning through my day for the third time: ‘Ok, go to work, hopefully have enough time to grab lunch, back to work, work on website… Ok sounds good, oh wait. I’ve got to fit guitar practice in there some where too…’

I stopped myself.

I’ve got to fit guitar practice in?

I was saying it like I had some appointment to check my prostate.

Type A, B, D, personality regardless, the day I say “I’ve got to” when speaking of the instrument I adore, is the day something needs to change.

How about “I get to play guitar” or “I have been blessed enough to go play an instrument I love.”

Recently I went to a book signing with my roommates, but before the signing, a group of authors hosted a panel discussing their very first works they had ever written. It was an incredibly inspiring experience, especially for a small time musician and writer such as myself, to hear these veterans discuss their humble beginnings and how far they have come as novelists.

At the end of the panel the group of authors took a few questions from the crowd. One of the questions asked was “How do you know that your book is ready to publish?”

One of the gathered authors replied with another question. “Why be so worried about it?”

Of course was met with some confusion.

She explained (and I am paraphrasing) “You know, everyone is always so obsessed over when the book is ready to throw out to the masses. ‘When can a I publish this? When is this ready to go?’ An important questions sure, but hardly the point. It’s the process that matters, not the product.

This sentence will forever echo through the caverns and crevices of my mind.

It’s about the process, not the product. It’s about doing it because you love it, not because you just want to make money. If you are doing it for the money, you will be quickly disappointed.

Money, fame, fans, likes, subscribers, all of it is fleeting. It will come and go. When you discover your passion, chase it because you love it. In fact, don’t even expect that your book will even make money, or that you will be the greatest rockstar known to man. Just do it because you are madly in love with doing it.

I have been so distracted by entertaining the thought of creating content for the sake of content, I’ve missed the point of why I do all this in the first place. To create music and art that may encourage people through their own hardships and struggles. Not to be some sort of think tank, that solely exists to push out more and more content till I am used up and withered.

I love being a creative person. I love writing music, working on my blog, and making goofy videos on the internet for the world to enjoy. I would love to one day make a living off of doing these things, but that’s not the ultimate goal. It’s about enjoying what I get to do in the the first place.

NOTW: This one pains me to admit…

…and, I mean, it really does.

But before we get to that, please allow me to welcome you to my second installment of Notes on the Wall! (NOTW for those of you keeping track at home) How much longer will I be keeping track of these entries? For as long as it sounds cool to me!

I hope you all had a wonderful conclusion to the end of your week last week. Maybe, you even have even found a few things that motivate you, or are just straight up thankful for.

Today I am going to share with you something that I am both, very thankful to have and causes me to physically cringe at it’s very thought!

My delivery job.

Yep, I am honestly very blessed to have it.

Getting mixed signals yet?

I hate my job. Like. Hate it. I like really, really just think it’s plain icky. However, I am one of the most blessed people in the world because of it.

Stumped yet?

I am grateful for this job because, though it’s a crappy side job, it’s a side job that has allowed me to have a roof over my head and food to eat everyday. Truthfully, at the end of the day, if your side job is at least doing that for you, then it is a success.

Now, I am not going to give a speech about how you should always be ecstatic to walk through the doors of your particular crap hole every day. What I will tell you, though, is that you could be a lot worse off.

As of right now there are five percent of Americans who don’t get a job to complain about. Five percent who have much bigger problems then having to get up early for the morning shift. There a group of people, just like you and I, who aren’t sure where their next meal will come from or where they might sleep tonight.

It is also worthy of mention, that it’s because of this crappy side job that I get to do this. It’s what funds the electricity to use this computer and to purchase the needed equipment and software for this expanding project.

I won’t lie to you, I greatly look forward to the day that I get to throw my resignation in the general manager’s face, along with a pair of middle fingers. But right now, I am just glad I have a job to complain about.

So what are you guys, maybe even begrudgingly, thankful for? Or even something that maybe inspiring you this week? Please feel free to share in the comments or, if you are feeling adventurous, shoot me a message on twitter (@punkmusical) about it!

Have a fantastic week!

(Picture credit: Flicker.com)

NOTW: Un-certainty is the only certainty

Wait a minute. . . it’s not Saturday. Why is there a new post? What is this madness?!

That’s right boys and girls! We are doing something different this week! May I be the first one to welcome you to a new segment here on the Punk Musical, ‘Notes on the wall’!

“Notes on the wall? What does that even mean?!” I hear you asking. Well for an explanation, I will need to give a little background.

A few months ago, when the not-so-metiphorical shit hit the oh-so-literal fan, I was feeling pretty depressed and lost (for additional background check out the ‘About the Punk’ page). So I decided to do the most cliche thing I could think and wrote myself a letter. A letter about all the good things in my life, and about how generally awesome I was.

Except that I was to lazy to actually even write a whole letter, so I compromised with sticky notes. Sticky notes that I put on a wall adjacent to my bed so that they where in view throughout the entire room.

The thing was though, I was only planning to do a couple of them. Just to be visual reminders that things will get better and I will get out of my slump.

Here’s the thing though, I am up to like twenty five now and my wall is covered. Not only that, but I have them color coded depending on the subject!

I can’t really explain why I kept doing it. I guess it was because I just wanted to try to keep account of all the good in my life, and how it should be cherished.

So I had the realization the other week that I didn’t want to just keep that to myself. I wanted to share it with you guys! Just a few things that either, I have learned to been thankful for this week or has inspired me.

This week I discovered how thankful I am for the uncertain.

Sounds weird right? If someone would have gone back in time and told me that, I would have first asked how they managed that whole time travel thing, and then asked about that whole ‘thankful for the uncertain’ thing to. I guess.

The reason the uncertain particularly appeals to me right now is because, up to a few month ago, I could have probably told you exactly what my life my have look like ten years from them. I was on a steady track up management within the company, and probably would have eventually landed some sort of general manager position.

Sounds . . . fun

But now, I couldn’t tell you where I would be two months from now, let alone ten years. While the uncertainty can be scary, it’s also liberating in a way. That anything can happen!

Who knows what tomorrow holds, could be a cake!

I challenge you guys to find something that your thankful for this week. Though there is always crap in this world, there is also always something to be thankful for. It could be from working that job you always wanted, or that you simply have another day of life.

So, what are you guys thankful for this week? Feel free to comment below with your answer or hit me up on twitter @punkmusical!

(Photo Credit: d.umn.edu)

 

The Time Machine

So, I’ve been into this whole ‘going healthy’ thing for a while now. You could maybe blame that on me once being approximately eighty pounds over weight, or the fact that I used to work at a gym, either way I’ve drunk the kool-aid and am in deep.

As time went on since my ‘large and in charge days’, I fell in love with running. Weird right? The fat kid falling in love with running. The same fat kid who swore that he would only run if there was a zombie chasing after them. Regardless, it has turned into my favorite times of the week. It clears my head and works up a good ‘honest’ sweat.

Like most people who work out, I also listen to music. If anything to keep me going and stay in the rhythm of things. Not to mention, If you couldn’t tell by this point, I kinda have a huge crush on music. Don’t tell her.

Just before I went for my last run, I was flipping through the music on my phone to see what sounded appealing. As I did, I came across a name in my artists that I hadn’t heard in a long time, Flyleaf. Thought ‘why not’ and started jamming.

Listening to these old songs, some of which I hadn’t listened to since high school, certainly brought a smile to my face. Like visiting an old friend that you haven’t seen in years, flipping through an old photo book together.

Nostalgia washed over me, then as songs progressed and changed, so did my emotions. Going from joy, to reluctance, happy, to sad and the pattern continued till I found myself sitting on the side of the road weeping. “What the hell?” I found myself asking. “Its only a few songs, why am I feeling this way?”.

It then it dawned on me. The last time I had even heard some of these old songs was during one of the hardest times of my life.

When I was about sixteen, my mom had gotten re-married. Re-married to a man who I didn’t care much for, nor did he for me. A few days after the marriage ceremony we all moved to his house in the country, thus starting a years’ worth of disputes and anger.

During my stay there, he and I were always in some sort of argument or disagreement, and with every passing day it got worse. Till eventually one day, on way walk home from school, I just froze in place. I couldn’t even bring myself to take another step forward. To take another step forward felt like taking another step towards death.

I took a deep breath and decided to, instead, take a detour. Specifically to the small lake that was on the property, where I often went to clear my head. On my way there thoughts of ‘why‘ started washing over me. I tried to turn up the music in my headphones to drown out the voices, but I couldn’t help but hearing:

Why was this my reality? What did I do to deserve this? Why do I have to face this hell everyday?

I hardly even made it to the lake side before shear anger and frustration washed over me. My thoughts turned into yelling. Which then gave way to blind rage. I shed the backpack I was carrying and chucked it half way across the lake side. In the process screaming at the top of my lungs:

“Why am I condemned to face this hell everyday? What would you have me do God?”

Then the music, that I had up till that point been ignoring, sounded over the kayos and said:

I want you to Arise

It was at that moment I collapsed under my own weight and shed tears like I had never before. Just like I was on the side of the road the other day. Despite years of difference, experience, and growth, I had been taken back to that exact moment in time. I felt like a vulnerable, angry, and confused teenager once again.

It’s funny how that happens isn’t it? Music, or anything really, can act as this sort of trigger that just takes you back years, decades even. To a you that, if you met today, would feel like a total stranger. This isn’t by any means a bad thing either. Some times its exactly what we need.

Of course most memories are not always so dramatic, and the trigger can be in the shape of anything. A book that your mom may have read to you as a kid, the smell of baking bread, or even the sound of a bird chirping. Anything can magically take you back in time.

Though I had a wave of emotions wash over me during that run, that was all they were, just emotions. It was something that had taken me back to a difficult time my life, but made me look at how far I have come. How far I had ‘arisen’.

That day by the lake stopped me were I stood to tell me something, to arise, and that run stopped me in the same way, to tell me to keep going.

It’s one of the reasons I am so madly in love with music. Sometimes it forces you out of your routine, tackles you if necessary, to deliver an important message. A message that is forever book marked in your brain. Every time I have since listened to that song, I may initially get sad, but the sorrow turns to joy when I realize that I have arisen and I continue to.

(Picture credit: Wikipedia)