I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want lately. As far as my long-term goals go, I have a few things that I’d absolutely love to do and to some extent, I’m constantly working on those goals (to varying degrees), but I’m honestly not putting everything I have into them every day. I’d love to be, but life gets in the way and it’s sometimes just not an option. I’ve dreamed of making my living as a musician ever since I was 11 years old. The only thing that I don’t get bored of and don’t want to distance myself from after repeated exposure is music. I’m at my happiest when I’ve finished writing a song and I get to hear the finished piece or play it through for the first time, even if it’s just on my own.
Tomorrow I’m auditioning for a spot as a lead guitarist in a band that will be touring; almost exactly what I’ve always dreamed of doing. If I nail it and this band is legitimate and will be going out on tour, I’ll be making my dream come true. And honestly? I’m fucking terrified.
When I think about the life I have right now, I’m happy. I work a full-time job that I don’t legitimately hate where I’m paid a decent salary (I’m severely underpaid as far as the industry is concerned, but for my area, I do pretty well). I own a house because of that job and have minimal credit card debt (I had none until my refrigerator died recently). I have a great relationship with my family and friends and I have an amazing dog who is always down to hang out with me when I’m really down. If I take this opportunity, I may have to leave that job. As this band is up & coming, I’d imagine I won’t make enough to own this house anymore. I may not even make enough to keep my dog. Part of me doesn’t want to leave any of that behind.
But there’s another part of me that’s totally discontent with things being the way they are. Something about the day-to-day grind and feeling like I’ve just become a workhorse that wakes up, drinks coffee, works all day, has a couple of beers to unwind, goes to sleep and does it again is legitimately sickening to me. I keep telling myself it’s all temporary until something better comes along, but there are days when I think this is it. I have friends that are content with that life and say they’d only chase their dreams if their dreams proved to be as prosperous (monetarily speaking) as their current situation.
I get that to a certain extent because change is scary and comfort is not, but if your dream is to be an author, you’re probably not going to write a best-seller and be set from there on out. You’re going to have to struggle if you want to chase your dreams.
The funny thing is, it’s all tentative. The band is more of a singer-songwriter whose backing band I’d be a part of and he doesn’t have any recorded material to date, but is currently recording an album. I could go to the audition and blow it and never get a call back. I could go out to audition and find that I just don’t jive well with the rest of the band. I could go out and find out that “recording his first album” means he’s sitting with Protools on a Macbook, no record label or way to really make income on it, in a bedroom at his parent’s house and “touring” means we might drive 4 hours to Salt Lake City to play a show and then come home. None of this is certain and I’m still stressing over it like I need to make the decision tomorrow. Either way, it’s gotten me to think about whether or not I’d be willing to give up what I have to chase what I want.
But I still don’t have the answer.