“Taking the bus home from my last final of the semester yesterday, I took some time for self reflection. Here’s two different perspectives from the same year in a life:
1. This year was hell. Taking on the house, after having waken up to find my mom passed away in the night, has weighed on me mentally and emotionally in ways I can’t describe. And home ownership has been a hard learning experience, especially when all the good and bad of it is still so connected to my mom for me. Over the summer the basement flooded, a couple months later the deck fell off the house, I have to remove a tree in the yard to fix the piping to the street in the spring. I overextended myself to frightening degrees at times, with responsibilities and obligations piling up in terms of school, work, two bands, landlord responsibilities, social obligations that I refused to miss because those same people were there with me through it all. My depression, anxiety, and ptsd have been at an all time high. I started smoking weed as a tool to just keep moving forward and grinding because there were times I felt like i couldn’t even function without it. Through it all I drifted from my recovery and self care.
2. This has been an incredible year. James and the Low rollers played their first show, my first time on stage in 7 years. I released a solo EP back in May, I took over a house and with the help of so many am turning it into a new home. Glorious Retribution officially changed its name to BRÖTHER and under this new moniker we’ve been making the best material of our musical lives together. Last Saturday we started preproduction on a 13 song album. I was able to show up: for birthdays, celebrations, breakdowns, heart to hearts, and every day responsibilities. I started focusing on self care a lot more recently: putting down the weed, quiting cigarettes, daily meditation, AA meetings and other recovery based groups, and I’m 8 months into therapy. I was able to get through another semester while working and with all the music I’ve dedicated myself to and all still without a lisence. I didn’t pick up a drink.
Perspective matters. I heard someone recently say that people who do a lot of good are trying to make up for the bad.
I think this is a worrisome outlook, because we can’t bury our past.
We can use it as a tool to grow and become a better person who wouldn’t make those same mistakes and whose accountable for them when we do, not just trying to tip the karmic scales in our direction. I stepped out of prison 4 years ago after taking the life of one of my closest friends in a drunk driving crash. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and know I still have even farther to go. I’m not trying to make up for the sins of my past. I’m just trying to become the person and friend Toni deserved on that night so many years ago. I’m just trying to make my momma proud.
It’s been a terrible, wonderful, difficult, beautiful year. Bring it on 2019.”