On this day, a year ago, I quit my job a day before Chelsea Cutler's debut headline tour to become her full time drummer. I have been reflecting all morning about the experiences, the highs and lows, the amazing people I have met, the love I have received and the places I have seen. I am truly grateful for everything I have learned in past 365 days (or 31,536,000 seconds). Leading up to this past year I forgot what it was like to feel. I was on a stoic path of rationality and on a quest for esoteric wisdom. I was more concerned about my productivity with work, rather than human connection, and sadly I left emotions behind. This experience of being on the road, meeting so many new faces everyday, playing for giant rooms full of people radiating love, and constantly being surrounded by amazing friends showed me how wrong I was about emotion. With every show, the thick walls I built around my heart started to crack until it exploded LIKE A SUPERNOVA!! I started to feel an insane amount of energy flowing through me. I cried for the first time in years, I laughed deeply, I wanted to give my everything to everyone around me and I felt for the first time what I now call massive energy.
To everyone who has believed in me throughout my life and everyone that I have met this year: it is your energy that that makes me feel so alive and the reason I will never stop giving my 100% to every moment. This is a dream come true and I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for rocking and chopping with me.
Staying on the topic of meeting people and how they affect your life, it has been a goal of mine this month to be more conscious of my judgement of others. After reflecting on this year it has been people that have made the most impact in my life. We will begin with a quote from the cultural anthropologist and writer Ernest Becker: “Mirrors can only lie. A mirror shows your external aspects, it stops at the face, but the face is not what one feels himself to be: even one’s own voice seems strangely alien- when we hear it on a recording we muse "is that me?” The face is a lie for an animal who really feels himself to be somewhere in his own interior; but you cannot project interiors onto mirrors. We find ourselves in the ironic situation of having to transact with others with the part of ourselves - our exteriors - that we value least. And we are all placed in the position of having to judge others on this least important aspect. We are continually searching faces, commenting on eyes, hair, ears, or a “characteristic” voice. When we think of what a person is like we think of his face, his expression; it is like trying to appraise the books in the library of a castle by detailing the underside of a drawbridge.”
We love to categorize everything. It is easier for our brains to put ideas into neat boxes rather than think that everything and everyone is unique. For example, MUSIC! What the fuck are genres these days? Yes, there are definitely artists that fit nicely in a genre category, but more and more am I discovering artists who's music is unique to them (with influence from many genres). Same goes for people. We tend to judge people based on their looks, put them into a box that we created from our life experiences and ignorantly think we know everything about someone at first glance. I am guilty of this as well and am working on being more aware and open. The more I've realized the uniqueness of every being, the more I realize how beautiful and complex we are. The awe and wonder I gain from learning about someone is parallel to the feeling of going on an adventure but instead of external, it is an internal journey. THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE TEACHER J.T. (the keyboardist for Chelsea Cutler) has been a huge inspiration for me. Watching him interact with people, has influenced a huge cognitive shift in how I interact with others. He is genuinely curious to learn about others and views everyone around him as a teacher. He is always interested in people's lives and about all their experiences have led them to where they are today. Under all of our individual experiences, layers of personality, our imperfections, and perspectives, lies our humanness - something that we all have in common. To have food + water, to have a comfortable place to sleep and most importantly to be loved. J.T. gives that love to everyone around him and truly listens to what people are saying. He goes beyond a first impression to make a lasting connection. So be like J.T! You may meet someone that will change your life in a small or big way.