I'm at the point where I need this blog more than this blog needs me, which is a stupid thing to say because I'm fairly certain I have less than twenty regular readers, but I'm serious—I need this right now.
I've been unemployed for two months. I don't hate myself yet, my EI going through was a huge factor in staying Joel-Positive, but the cabin fever is starting to set in. In addition to my situation, my wife lost her job roughly a week ago, and this has put a second person with a second, overlapping but unique set of emotions to the house.
There’s a feeling of acceptance and love in our house right now. Our situation is what it is, and there are things in place that’ll keep a roof over our heads and our bellies full, but we’re only human. Today I’m struggling to find myself through the cloud of negative thoughts in my head, I feel like I’m losing focus in one area to amp it up in another. This weekend alone, I started working on four songs, which just populated my head with more ideas, I really think by the end of next weekend I may have (for the first time in my life) a cohesive body of music to show off. The entire process was completely unexpected, I started to feel something, played around with some other things and ended up just hitting record and here we are. Whatever it ends up as, I want to call it “A Sign of the Times” because I view it as a flare being sent up from my soul.
When I’m this creatively productive, it’s a sure sign that I’m fighting something I’m not even aware of. The fear of failure and disappointment lit a fire under my book. The frustrations of love, angst, intimacy and the intensity of big emotions in a small house wrote all the music sitting on my hard drive. I’ve always been like an uncontrolled laser beam of creativity, and it seems like tragedy, trauma and loss are the lenses that focus all my efforts and it’s finally narrowed enough for me to cut through the bullshit. I finally feel like an “adult” when it comes to writing and music, like I’m not just a boy dicking around anymore.
It’s only creatively I feel like an adult, though. I’m still a sixteen-year-old when it comes to my habits. I started smoking weed again, cigarettes feel like my one true love at times and sleep has been an after thought through this entire thing. I’m usually only “out of the game” from four to nine every morning. I feel fine, I think, but this whole experience has taught me that I’m not actually as self-aware as I think I am, or wish to be.
I need a routine, and it starts here. They’re not going to be much, but I’m going to start writing every morning. Yeah, I’m posting it, but these are for me. I need a benchmark to keep me humble when I become a success. These are the dark days, but one of the most poignant pieces of advice I’ve ever heard is, “act like you’ve been there before.” So, this time around, I feel like I remembered my flashlight, and even though it’s scary as hell out here—I can see my path ahead of me. I'll write a post, apply for real world jobs, try to find freelance work and then write my book or work on these songs. I just need to remember eat, shower, brush my teeth and kiss my wife.
The only area I feel confident anymore is in my art, and thank god it's enough to keep my back straight, but I'm realizing more and more these days that I just don't know myself like I thought I did. I'm half a stranger.
If you'd like to help out with our situation, I can write a wide variety of things (web content, opinion pieces, research, listicles), I'm able to record voice over (see the podcast for examples of my voice) and can also offer transcription services. Or, there's a PayPal donate button at the bottom of each page.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.