December 29, 2017
When I awoke on January 1 of 2017, still buzzing from opening for Finger Eleven on New Year’s Eve, I had no idea that the year would bring this blog into existence.
I also didn’t know that in 2017 I would play London Music Hall twice with Hiroshima Hearts, opening for Nazareth and then Headstones. Or that I would finally get to play London’s famed Aeolian Hall, again with Hiroshima Hearts. Or that I would record a terrific album with Lindsey Burns & the Lonelies. Or that I would play the main stage at the Home County Music & Arts Festival with Carly Thomas. Or that I would be offered a few shows with Sarah Smith, culminating in a month-long tour of Europe that was a dream come true.
Amazing what comes along in a year, no?
Yes, some lousy stuff happened in 2017 too, but that’s still a pretty cool list. If you had shown it to me six years ago I’d have thought you were on drugs. Or I was. Either way it would have seemed impossible.
Amazing what comes along with one small act of courage, no?
Everything on that list, plus every other incredible thing that’s happened to me in the music world over the past six years, comes from the simple act of answering an online ad. That was the first of several small acts of courage that have led me here, to this post and this moment. I can’t even catalogue the memories I’ve collected or the growing I’ve done along the way. Getting here has been incredible.
But where is “here” exactly? Good question. I’m staring down the barrel of 2018 and all I know for sure is that it’s going to be a year of substantial changes for me. Just what those changes will be and what they’ll look like I can’t say. I just know some things have to change.
I would like to tell you I have complete faith that my current situation – searching for my path, questioning whether the things I want to do are even really possible – is exactly where I need to be, and that the universe is quietly conspiring on my behalf to bring my dreams to life. I’d like to tell you that, but I’d be lying. I don’t have complete faith. I have hope and good intention, but I struggle with faith a lot of the time, which is maybe what circumstances like this are all about. Developing faith. Building trust in whatever silent thing makes the universe happen.
What I can say is that I’m open to the opportunities that may come along in drumming, writing, perhaps coaching and speaking, and maybe even singing. I’ve written before about how important it is to be willing and to say yes to things. I have my ear to the ground and my eyes open. I still don’t know what comes next, but I’m doing the best things I can while I wait to find out: Working on my drumming, writing this blog, and looking inward for direction. I have other ideas I’m exploring off the stage as well. I’ll write about those if and when they take some kind of shape.
For now, I’ll say again (and again and again and again) that action is the key. New Year's Day is almost here and people are talking about resolutions, but resolution without action is impotent. My encouragement – my challenge – to you is to take action in 2018. My message remains that good things happen when you put yourself out there. My list above proves that it’s true, so do me and you a favour and commit one small act of courage this year.
If you’ve always wanted to be in a band, answer an online ad like I did. Whether you get the gig or not doesn’t matter. What matters is putting yourself in the room. If you’ve always wondered about singing, go to an open jam and try it or go to karaoke with your friends. If you want to start a business, take a step. You don’t have to quit your day job, but you do need to take real action.
If you want to lose weight, join a gym, get a trainer, and put yourself out there. If you want to run a marathon, join a running group. If you want a better job, start applying. If you need qualifications, sign up and get them. If you want to move to a new city or even country, get the information you need and figure out how to do it. If you really don’t know what you want, be courageous enough to find a coach or mentor and do the work you need to do to uncover it.
The things you want are so much closer than you realize, but if you do nothing, you’ll never have them. Everything is one step away on the other side of fear. You have to be willing to take that step – commit that act of courage – to get there. This is the year you could do it. This is the year you could start that thing. This is the year you could become the person you want to be, or at least begin the process of getting there. The next 12 months are going to go by whether you do anything or not, but imagine where you could be if you just try.
Yes, I’m still writing this stuff for me as much as I am for you.
So what small act of courage are you going to commit in 2018? I want to know, and I want to know when you do it. Send me an email and put yourself out there. I look forward to reflecting on this a year from now and seeing how far we’ve all come!