I feel like day to day life is often a series of ‘oh, that worked out’ and ‘oh, that didn’t work out’. My lesson this time around, maybe, is to learn not to freak out so much at the latter, to keep my emotions in check, to remember they will pass.
It’s really challenging. Onward.
I live in an area where there is something amazing going on every day and every night. There is something interesting to do at all times. No exaggeration.
I do little to none of it.
I used to go strong, events in the afternoon, something else in the evening, often I was performing at one thing then supporting another, then closing down the bar after it all. Now? Not so much. I can blame it on being older (true.) I can blame it on not gigging as a dancer anymore and just occasionally performing as a musician (okay, okay, as a percussionist) at the moment (true). I can blame it on happily nesting (true, I mean…I have a cat to take care of now!). I can blame it on cynical burnout (probably a little true though I hate to admit it). I can blame it on being overwhelmed by it all (true). I can blame it on shit being expensive (kinda true, but the rich folks have their sparkly shiny things, and there is still a lot for the rest of us even as the rich take over more and more spaces, plus it is scary/ego-gratifying/weird how often I can still get myself on a list in this town *snaps*).
I found myself wondering if I lived in a place where there wasn’t much happening if I would make more of my own happenings again. Or if I would be so grateful for something interesting going on I’d be there with bells on. I don’t think so, though. If I leave this city, and even the region, would I still find my nest so appealing? Do I love being home a lot because I know the thrum of everything going on around me is…there? Do I take comfort these days in knowing I could go do all the things right now if I damn well pleased, and since I mostly damn well don’t please, the joy in quiet time with sweetie and cat are made even more sweet?
I think that also just might be true.
But then, maybe the shiny happy rich part is ruining all the things just a little bit, too. Back in ye olde punke rocke days, we talked about posers. I know, I know, it is silly. But it can be a useful lens to occasionally peer through once in a while. In an area and a time where everything has to be monetized, and everyone has to make a lot of money just to have a roof and a meal, it changes things. You can’t have a hobby anymore, you have to be serious and try to make money off of it, or at least people will casually say ‘hey, you could make money off of that’. So people hustle hard to make you come to their thing, that they are so professional at now, and that they really need you to come to, okay, okay, please come out to the thing, it is what I do now. It is exhausting. You have to cut through a lot of, well, posers to find the ones with heart, often not the shiniest, prettiest, most athletic, youngest, or most popular and with a lot of likes or followers on virtual spaces. They are doing it because they have to, because it is how they grew up, how they live, what they live, eat, breathe, and it is real, and you want to go, even if you are not on the list, just to be near them. Not because they have good promo photos. But becasue they make you feel something in the land of noise and all the things, all the time. Them I go out for, and I would no matter where I lay my head. Them I want to be. Them? Not posers. Few and far between, though, few and far between.
It reminds me of how I found some of my favorite songs and bands when I was a kid. I would listen to a record or 45 or tape I loved, or hear a song on the radio (thank you KXLU, and then a bit later KALX and KUSF), then try to learn who that band was influenced by and go listen to them. Or I would find out that a song I liked was actually a cover, and then get my mind blown tracking down the original, then going back to what they were listening to, and on and on.* Backwards thinking? Maybe! But it often led to seeing both the forest and the trees, and knowledge that nothing exists or is created in a vacuum. I’ve done it with dance that way over the years, too, and with my other studies. Having had to do research, both as a hobbyist, academically, and for work, without the internet, I sometimes get bummed seeing what can be perceived as superficial knowledge taken for granted or as solid truth, with no critical thought or context required. A blog post or a facebook post or a you tube video does not research or education make, though it can be a great start and a most useful tool. But it is never an end.