Unpacking Some Bags


Well, we did it. Masks are off, people are vaccinated, and summertime is upon us. What’s next? Shows are getting set up, tours booked, and the last of businesses are opening back up. The next phase in society is shifting and we must get with it one way or another. Things like this are easier for me to deal with if I just try not to think about it too much. The onslaught of questioning I can put myself through can often cripple or just bum me out to a point of depression-like symptoms. In my heart, I am an optimist. In my head, I’m a cynical over-thinker. There’s a word for this, right?

Anxiety. This term gets tossed around quite liberally nowadays. On one hand, it’s a normalized dysfunction, on the other; it’s a downplayed hindrance. Growing up an only child, I developed in a loner atmosphere and actually relied on inner dialogue, imagination, and hobbies to keep myself occupied. I kind of became my own best friend (and worst enemy) and thus I created my turtle shell. This can usually be a beneficial thing—as there is always someone inside of me to remind myself on any unfinished business, or someone that carefully plans out how the day is supposed to go, but there are many cooks in the kitchen…and they are all me. Sometimes this kitchen gets a little too hot though.

Right now, the Tyler Durden in me pushes me to practice some cover songs, plan my next few releases, make sure the website is okay, work on a blog, plan the next podcast, read a book, clean the apartment, and get ready to be in a band again. Like many of us, the extended lockdown displaced me and put me into a completely different identity. Having to adapt to survive reigned supreme in my mind, and I reeled back into the turtle shell from my youth to pass the time whilst staying productive. As we approach a full reopening, it’s like parents coming into your room and opening the curtains after a year of them closed. I guess it’s time to play outside. I hope I am not the only one whose head is spinning a little bit over this.

The way society is set up nowadays; we all have to wear many hats. The workforce is constantly asking us to step outside our job description in order to get things done. In the creative world, it is no different—often even worse. Within the scope of being in a band again, there’s always a task to be done way outside of just practicing. Having to book shows, post things on social media, write some new tunes, reach out to record labels, iron out the latest recordings, work on getting some press coverage, put together ideas for a music video, plan a photoshoot…and maybe eventually tour again? Whatever you can’t do yourself, you’ll probably end up paying someone to do it. So then working some job for some money gets added to the list. Obviously being in a band is usually a team effort, but it really doesn’t stop the thoughts if you’re a constant planner. The only thing that really quiets the noise is to cross things off the list.

Now, here’s where the kicker is setting in. My brain is having a super hard time getting reacclimated to the goals I had prior to the lockdown. This is when my anxiety can be a real pain in the ass. Because it starts sending me thoughts that can really affect my moods and motivations. When it rains it pours. I described this to my therapist as trying to walk forward through a cloud of mosquitos. The ones you can kill you are actual thoughts you can process and deconstruct, but the rest are just making it hard to see the path ahead. The biggest one that’s knocking me down is that no one is going to care. There’s no point in getting the band back out there because it’ll never go anywhere, no one’s really going to care, so I should just give up to save myself the time.

Usually, this is just a lingering thought that I figured most creative people have, especially at the DIY level. Typically it’s just something I push past while I get my hands on the next task, but currently, the force is real strong with this one as I try to step back into the music scene. Don’t get me wrong here, all I wish to do is create and perform. Mentally and physically that has always been the goal, it is why I built this website, blog, podcast, and all the other creative outlets. The conflict lies within the pre-COVID mindset clashing with the lockdown mindset and now moving forward into the future with both of them. Trying to process which aspects should be kept, let go, or changed as the world gets back into action is a hot debate topic in my head.

What I also question now is how the music business is going to be different post lockdown. Are record labels an option? Old venues still around? DIY spaces? How are we going to make it? Hopefully, these questions don’t trigger a spiral for you, but for me, these are the things I start asking myself when I think about how I’m going to move forward and if I just keep pondering down that path, the mosquitos of doubt come out to play. Eventually, I can get to a point where I just become totally disappointed in myself thus far and bask in nihilism until I find a way to shake it all off.

The point of this blog is not to complain, nor is it to invoke any type of pity. Like all of the things I put out there, this is just to unite like-minded creative people and establish some sort of support in knowing we aren’t alone. It can be daunting to admit to anxiety as if acknowledging it makes it more powerful, but if you are in this spectrum with me let me know how you’re coping. Feel free to CONTACT below or message me on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM. What’s really working for me is weekly therapy, being open to the people I talk to regularly, and constantly telling myself that I don’t have to worry about these thoughts right now.





    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.