To say I’ve been blessed in my 20 year long career is a gross understatement. While I have not yet arrived (and I don’t ever plan to), I look back fondly towards every independent recording artist, film director and tv producer I’ve had the pleasure of working with and I have not a single regret. Despite all of this, the desire for more still burns in ways I haven’t felt before. There is definitely a wall or ceiling that I’ve hit as I’ve grown weary of dredging up past accolades in a futile attempt to remain relevant, when the only remedy for that issue is to blaze new trails, create new connections and produce fresh and new content.
Having taken up residence in Massachusetts for almost 4 years, I have yet to tap into the rich culture of film, music and gaming culture that is Boston. I’m not too sure if I just didn’t believe I could achieve the same success I did in New York, or if I was unwilling to let go of the past, fearful of the unknown. That has always been my achilles heel. I’ve never been afraid to fail, but the fear of success has always been ever present, preventing me from realizing my true potential as an artist. Yet and still, evolve I must as I’m very rapidly losing my spring chicken status (my membership was irreverently revoked after age 30).
Over the past few months, however, I’ve focused solely and completely on personal and professional development and while the results have proved promising, the discomfort of sacrificing novelties that don’t contribute to said development is becoming something I look forward to. In layman’s terms, I am embracing discomfort and most days, hanging on for dear life. When I think back to my more athletic days, I can truly say I enjoyed the brutal destruction (and reconstruction) of my muscles whether it was a grueling weight training session with Kevin Golding when I played Division III ball in Lancaster, MA or my personal beat down sessions when I ran endless 40-yard dash wind sprints at Wingate Park in Brooklyn, NY.
So coming full circle this time around (see what I did there?) is all about embracing adversity and discomfort in ways that were only limited to athletics. Creating fresh new music and sniffing out new clients via the independent film market here in Massachusetts has been very difficult and on some days I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. That right there is what’s brought me joy lately. I’ve somehow found ways to run my mind ragged with new knowledge the way I ran suicides by myself in the sweltering heat, pushing myself to exhaustion. At the end of everyday, I ensure that I’ve done at least one thing that made me extremely uncomfortable; something that made me cringe because I had no control over the outcome. Despite that last point, while I couldn’t control the outcome, I could control the output of energy I put towards the outcome I desired.
So yeah… While I haven’t really gone anywhere, I do feel as though I’m back to that guy who first discovered what he wanted to spend his time doing way back in the late 90’s. The major difference is how I see things now versus how I saw them then. Most people wish they could go back and slap some sense into their younger selves. I beg to differ. I’m actually very happy that I did things exactly the way that I did. I made some bad choices and burned some bridges I had no reason to even light a match in their vicinity. With those mistakes came the adversity that I face today. If focusing on my personal development has taught me anything, it’s taught me that I owe it to myself to spend quality time embracing adversity and discomfort, if and only if an opportunity to level up patiently waits for me on the other side. And speaking of waiting, I’ve ‘waited’ too long for things to just magically appear based on my previous successes. When I ponder on my lack of control of my imminent expiration date, it has driven me to focus on the things that matter and less on the things that don’t.
So the wheel has turned and while I am moving forward, in many ways I’m back to square one and for the first time in a very long time, I couldn’t be more excited for this fresh perspective.