01.16.11 Rest Day
“I’m going to go with the Golden Monkey. Four-fifty for that high of ABV? Come on,” said my girlfriend last night as we walked up to order drinks at Now That’s Class before the Weekend Nachos, Homewrecker, Masakari, and Grin and Bear It show. A smile crept onto my face as I knew, without a doubt, the night was going to be solid. Turns out, it was about as rock-hard as the lead singer of Harms Way. And I only have my new friends and loving girlfriend to thank for it.
See, I moved to Cleveland roughly three and a half months ago and have “struggled” to find my niche, largely because, for the last three and a half months, my life has consisted of three things: work, working out, and recovering from both activities. All of my “artistic,” “academic,” and “business” endeavors have suffered and what little social life I had back in Cincinnati dissipated into short conversations held between ringing out customers and overhead press sets. And, to be honest, my mental state has been on a steady decline because of this. Not that I’m a social butterfly or a starving, but brilliant, artist – I just know that I thrive when I’m creating something, sharing what I’ve created, and interacting with people who have created, or are in the process of creating, something that makes them thrive.
This process is what I miss the most about my life as an undergraduate, where I divided my time between classes centered around small group discussions, writing lengthy research papers, working for the school newspaper, and taking part in real activism and, subsequently, writing and sharing articles and poetry about all of these activities with people who did similar things day-in and day-out. Graduating and relocating not once, but twice, and feeling student loan debt breathing down my neck brought this lifestyle to a screeching halt.
However, last night showed me that I have made some progress toward rebuilding and expanding my life in a city I never imagined I’d call “home;” I have managed to find a few like-minded individuals who are making their lives work for them – in their own way and on their own terms. And their ability to do so comes from the fact that they know how to find the perfect balance between biting the bullet and spitting on the loaded gun shoved in their face. My girlfriend does this. My co-worker and friend Bob does this. My friend Lauren does this.
And, recently, I have started to as well. Because if I have learned anything from ten years of rubbing elbows with kids headbanging to metal and hardcore in crowded and dirty bars, it is this: life is only worth living if you’ve made it into something worth loving. And, for all intents and purposes, shows and attending shows are the embodiment of the unbridled pursuit of carving out and creating a niche for people that makes people feel alive and allows them to thrive. It is, at its core, the perfect example of the creative process – from conception to reception.
Maybe this doesn’t make sense. What I’m trying to say is this :last night I stood next to kids who probably feel dead a lot of the time – from dead-end jobs, dead-end relationships, dead-end friends – but, for about four hours, they all felt pretty damn alive. I just hope that one day they realize, like I have, that they weren’t passive agents in that situation; I hope they see that they were a part of what made that moment happen, that they were just as active in their “awakening” as the music itself. Because without them creating that moment, that scene, that feeling wouldn’t exist.
And that feeling is exactly what I’m going to start making happen every day in my life. Or die trying.
"When in doubt, squat and run hills." - Jim Wendler
IRON MNTN // LOG