Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Road Waits For No One

Everybody must travel down a different path. Perhaps the hardest and most frustrating experiences come in this life when we prematurely try to walk in someone else's shoes, and fail miserably, because really - there is absolutely no earthly way to ramble down someone else's path. We all must face those dark nights of the soul and those lonely solo evenings of yearning to thrust us back to where we need to be.

Sure - travels and communities and relationships may put you on the same course as another for a short time, but in the end, everyone has a different road - and the road never waits. It is always winding, it is always bending and mysterious - and each road for each individual is beset with different obstacles, demons and delights. Your journey is your own. That is an immutable truth.

One of the best and most refining decisions I made happened in 2011. I was tired of my life the way it was in Cobourg, and I knew that I needed to get more serious about music. That decision came with some scorn, and some ruffled family and social circle brows and feathers, but I pushed on because I knew it needed to be done. So I contacted a few musical friends who I used to work at the same summer camp with - one was from Winnipeg and one was from Whistler. Trish and JD. Never in my life did I experience more highs, lows, frustrations, frictions and fortifying connections in such a short amount of time. Tears were shed, prayers were thrown and smiles and laughs beamed out of places from a different stratosphere of the soul. It was truly the best and the worst of times. I've done smaller tours since then, but never one of that distance and magnitude. The above photo is from that tour, and it is a book I'll never take off my shelf. It showed me that as scary as life gets, it can always get scarier - and when you think you're at your limit, you're probably nowhere close.

We don't know how much time we get. We don't know what our legacy will be - but we make the decisions, we stick to the path that we need to stick to, and we push on. But no one is going to make decisions for you. Only you can decide and only you can take action.

If life is something that bores you, you should drive to Osoyoos BC and play to a room of 4 people where a man in a ten gallon hat chirps you the whole night. If you are sick of your job, you should drive through the coquihalla pass and wonder if your van is going to make it through the centre of a mountain and down the steepest of roads and tightest of hairpin turns. If you want a change, you should drive through a ten hour snowstorm, between Vancouver and Calgary, and feel penned in by deep blue darkness, mountains, snow and sleet in every compass direction. If you want more challenges, you should argue with a venue manager in Calgary who tries to stiff you out of $100 that they guaranteed you in an email.

And yeah - I did all of those things. And since then, I've taken some steps to make my life more about music and writing - but I know that I need to do more, and so I'm going to take more action to do just that. I want to live out loud - in technicolour and with full volume. I've met so many people who are slaves to an invisible, self-defeating master - and I know these people well - because I've been in that same captivity before. But there is a way out, and there is always a road that waits for your four black tires that is ready to guide you, challenge you and push you to your next destination.

May these words challenge you, as they have challenged me.

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