NOTW: Something is Better Than Nothing

“Something is better than nothing” What a cop out. Because that phrase implies you are settling for something less that the ideal, less than best. Which seems stupid to me, for you see;

I am a junkie for perfection.

I don’t necessarily always seek perfection in circumstance or in the people around me, but in exclusively myself. I am always trying to find ways to stand out from the crowd and I found that, being a perfect person, would do that. If I am ever preforming less than optimally, then, in my mind, I’m a failure. Even if the product of my labor is average or meets expectations, it’s still not good enough, because I know it can be better.

This is mind set rings especially true in my work (being my music or this blog). From the beginning I have been near obsessed with trying to make THE best content. Which is a good goal, but sometimes a lofty expectation to put on ones self. Especially when first starting out.

You know the funny thing about being a perfectionist? Is that you never win. Simply because there is no such thing as perfect in this world. There is always something more that can be done, something to overcome, something to learn. We may progress forward, but we never really ‘arrive’.

The perfectionist syndrome really seems to start when we start a new project, one that we may feel particularly passionate about.

For example, when I started this blog. I had never blogged or done anything quite like it before. I had known about free blogging site, but I wanted to be taken seriously! Not be some other schmuck on the internet! So I did hours of research on domains, RRS, web hosting, and general blogging. Then, equipped with my new knowledge, I found a decent web host, put in my information, then got hit with the price tag. It was a few hundred dollars more then I expected.

I was a little devastated. I felt like a failure before I had even started. Then it occurred to me, that it wasn’t that I was a failure, I was just expecting way to much of myself to start with. You don’t expect when a baby is first born to be able to talk, or a person to preform heart surgery after reading one medical book. It is all about taking the first step, then continuing to walk, then run, then fly, but first you need to crawl.

That is why it is so important to just put something out there, anything, that will progress you forward. Because If you just fixate on making something perfect every time, you are never going to pass the planning stage. Many times, that means settling for less than perfect.

These days, I am just a another schmuck on the internet. However I am a schmuck that works hard to progress everyday, and sometimes that involves being less than perfect.

How about you? What is something that has inspired you this week or that you have been wrestling with? Maybe something you are thankful for? If you feel like sharing, hit me up on Twitter (@PunkMusical) and we’ll talk about it!

(Photo Credit: Flickr.com)

Life Lessons with Daytime TV

So we finally broke down and got Netflix over at my place, (which I guess makes me officially a young adult now) and it’s, admittedly, amazing. I’ve had a ton of fun poking around in the Netflix-averse, and experimenting with different shows to see what I might like.

Though I love seeing what all I can get into on this thing, I also love rediscovering some old shows from my childhood. Shows like Seinfeld, Fraser, NCIS (I was a weird kid, I know), but there’s been one show in particular that I’ve re-kindled my love for, Scrubs.

If you aren’t familiar with the show, then stop reading this and look it up on Netflix, it’s amazing. If you don’t have half an hour to burn then I’ll give you a quick synopsis. Scrubs is a comedy/drama(ish) show that follows the story of a medical doctor, by the name of John Dorian, and his many misadventures he and his friends get into while under the roof of their hospital, Sacred Heart. The story starts with his first day, fresh out of medical school, interning under the terrifying/lovable doctor Cox. Leading up to when he is teaching his own students by the end it all.

The show lasted for about nine years, and, just like any long running series, you really got to know these characters. More then just the people you watch live their lives for half an hour, but it became more like hanging out with a group of friends. You knew these people in the show. They where your roommate, your collage friend, your girl friend, mentor, co-worker. These where people you hung out with outside the nine-o-clock reruns on NBC.

Not only did you know the characters, but you knew their struggles. Heart break, disappointment, failure, and some days, paralyzing fear. However, the thing that always got my attention in all of this, is that they kept going despite all that. Daily these group of friends were looked down upon because of their rank, had to manage eminence amounts of stress, and, sometimes, death.

I suppose the most appealing thing about the show for me is getting to witnessing the journey. That these group of people had a goal to help people and be the best doctors they can be. Some days were easier than others to do that, but despite the pains they encounter every day, these doctors still cased their dream. With more vigor than anything.

In a way I have felt more encouraged in my own journey by re-discovering this series. Like the doctors in the show, I also have a powerful passion, to be a musician and to help people, and, like them, I am going to screw up and learn along the way. No one knows how to shred a guitar or preform a heart surgery out the gate.

The skills can be learned, but the important thing is to find that passion, your reason to do all this before you do it.

You can’t ‘teach’ passion. You can’t attend a ‘dream’ seminar. It’s something you have to discover, then everything else will fall into place over time. We all start out as awkward, naive, interns that have nothing but the bag on our back and head in the clouds. We will struggle, make stupid mistakes, and someday’s have our faith’s seriously shaken. The thing that helps though, is to know that it’s natural to feel these things, and that you’re not alone.

Whenever we do something worth doing, we are going to encounter opposition, and one of the opposition’s greatest weapons is isolation and loneliness. This feeling of that you must be the only one feeling this way. That, somehow, everyone else must have had an easier time making their dreams happen or, that you personally are just not equipped enough to do what you love.

Let me tell you right now, all that shit is a lie. You know what else, I think you know that already.

We all aspire to reach a magnificent goal, but we have a lot of growing to do. And growing, is never easy. The important thing to remember is that it can be done. Others have been in this exact same place and they have come out the other side, and so will you.

It has been done, and you can do it too. Don’t buy into the lie that you are the only one struggling to do great things. Because we’re all dreamers baby, and we all feel the pain.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Faith and Fear

I am not used to slowing down. I find myself more often then not, either working or thinking of a new project to work on. Stopping, is not a thing I do often. Not because I would be opposed to taking a break, it’s more because of all the change happening in my life and my desire to keep up with it. In a way, running along side the change to see where it leads me. I’m a dreamer, it’s how I operate.

But dreamer or not, you can’t evade reality forever. Bills still need to be paid, people still need to be tended to, and life happens. Every time, completely throwing you off your rhythm. Often these things happen in spurts, and sometimes, all at once.

That is where I am right now.

Next year, in January to be specific, is the time I plan to start playing open mikes at local venues. January is also the time I am hoping to leave my delivery job. Due to restaurant management completely falling apart, and possibly causing the entire branch to be closed soon. It also turns out that January may also be the month where my housing situation may get a bit more complicated. Not to mention that same month, is already going to be incredibly financially tight due to the holidays.

All that to say, I’m feeling pretty fucked.

This feeling reminds me of looking at the beginning of a sand storm. The moment when it hasn’t hit yet, but it is just this wall. An orange wall of dirt and rocks, all hurling towards you at nearly triple digits.

Then there is that moment. That moment when the world slows down and the severity of the situation really hits you. You realize that you can’t out run this thing, you can’t hide from it. There is not a thing you can do to prevent this thing from hitting you.

That moment where there is no plan or prevention to be made. No words to be said. You are completely powerless.

We all have sandstorms and some of us may even be in the midst of one right now. Many probably more severe than myself. Regardless, when we face these storms you have two choices. A) Worry and freak out about what will happen, or B) Accept the situation, buckle down, and maintain hope.

I may not have been on this earth as long as many people out there, but I have figured out one thing. Worry gets you no where. The amount of energy we put into being anxious over one thing, a thing we probably can’t even control, is ridiculous. All that time meditating over the issue, dissecting it, begging for a solution, for what? Nothing. Nothing other than probably an ulcer.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t be afraid. It’s ok to be afraid, that is a natural reaction to seeing an endless wall of sand barreling toward you. However, don’t let that fear control you. Instead choose to hope and to have faith that this hell will end. Because the storm will end, but it is up to you if you are going to come out stronger, or let this storm destroy you by worrying so much about it.

The clouds will eventually pass by, and there probably will have to be rebuilding. However you will ultimately make it through the devastation. The rebuilding may not be easy either. It may even take years, but it will end.

Until then, choose to have faith. Choose to have hope. Because if you choose to worry and grow anxious over this thing you can’t even control, it will destroy you.

In complete honesty, I have no idea what my life will look like in a couple of months after this storm hits. How I will pay the bills, if anyone will care for my music, or where I will even be sleeping. I know one thing though, I will pull through this stronger, and so will you.

(Photo Credit: pixabay.com)

 

NOTW: Creatives

Creative people are insane.

Like, legitimately.

I am actually fairly certain, that all of us creative types either belong, or have once belonged, to some sort of loony farm. We all just, somehow, managed to escape our, totally justified, confinement from society. Maybe we escaped using a smuggled plastic spoon, that we shaped into Abraham Lincoln’s head, and pick the lock to our cell with it. Not to escape, but so that we could go find a different room that had better acoustics for our ukulele practice. Then, one of the guards discovered us, and was so impressed by our mad skills to shred that tiny guitar, released us so we could unleash our madness upon the world.

What a mistake he made.

This week I have discovered how grateful I am for my fellow, crazy ass, right brained people out there. I am talking about the people who can never just see something and accept the way it is. Rather, they take it all apart, throw it in a cup, shake it, then throw it at the wall to see what sticks.

The sort of people when looking at a sky scraper, think how cool it would look upside down, like a stalactite in a cave.

The sort of people that hear a death metal song, then transpose it to work on a xylophone.

I am talking about the sort of of people who decide to throw on a wedding dress, cover themselves in white makeup, then find a place to stand in the park. Only so that they can observe how people react.

If you are one of these people, know that you are doing this world a service. You are adding a bit of kayos, in what would otherwise, be a very boring existence. If you are not one of these types and more align yourself with our left brained counterparts, know that you are doing this world a service. You add much need balance to this world, and a bit of ‘actually getting shit done’. Because I assure you, without you, we would just have a bunch of very colorfully dressed people standing around calculator, all asking “What do?”.

So, if your left brained, right brained, or even have a whole brain, what are you thankful for this week? How about something that you have recently come across that inspires you? If your feeling social, feel free to leave a comment or hit me up on twitter (@PunkMusical). We’ll talk about this potato chip I found that looks a lot like Sigmund Freud.

(photo credit: pexels.com)

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.