It's been a minute since I addressed my friends at large, which is probably a good thing, because what friend enjoys hearing about a friend via broadcast? Since announcing that my studio The Bucket NYC is on the market to be leased or bought, I've received a lot of friendly inquiries in the spirit of WTF?! Some moments call for finding a less exhaustive approach to catching up, so hopefully this can fill in some blanks and form an overly-long answer to that question.I'm sharing this in order to mark this moment and air out a little of what I've kept hidden away. This is not intended to sound pitiful or important. It's just something about me, for anyone who cares about reading it. So here's what's up.
##2013 has been pivotal
To start with, I began the year newly separated from my wife, and eventually divorced.
Not one week of this year felt the same as any other. My joy was as fleeting as my sadness. My confidence was as comforting as it was fragile. I fought to sort my inner voice from my always-judging super-ego.
I began work to achieve balance in each day:
I practiced the artist’s way and re-sparked my creativity.
I started eating for my blood type, running regularly and practicing yoga.
I leaned hard on my friends, and I felt them lean back.
I was struck with an idea for a mobile app by which I became very inspired.
This led to me getting serious about learning to build the first version of the app.
I took courses online ( http://startup.stanford.edu/, http://codeschool.com ) and became all the more driven and intrigued.
I submitted extensive applications to a few competitive, immersive coding programs.
I began interning for a digital agency here in brooklyn (AD:60).
After multiple technical interviews, I was offered a spot at Hack Reactor in San Fransisco, and I accepted.
I will begin there in the first week of 2014, and will, hopefully, come up for air 12 weeks later as a much better programmer.
##Learning to fly
Being a musician has long felt to be a defining quality for me, and moreso as being a career musician, rather than a musician by love and talent. I don't remember a time when I felt like my identity as a musician didn't walk into a room one step ahead of me.
I recall that for a long time, my canned, and candid, response to compliments regarding my gift - the luck of being "talented" - was always the same. "The gift," I'd explain with genuine humility, "is that I have the fire to go hack at this every day." I never took for granted that I was driven to move forward.
In the time since the beginning of 2011 or so, I took notice when that feeling left. I waited it out for a long time, without the ability to even indicate to myself what would make me happy. I turned my whole life upside down, pining for something that could make me happy again. And even though I know that happiness is wanting what you have, I knew I wasn't going to be able to spin this around without some very big changes.
In these previous years, I was overwhelmed with fear. Of not living up to my own ideals, of interrupting the romantic narrative I had for my life's story, of disappointing my family and friends, of being an inadequate partner, of being a failure and a hack. All of this is classically symptomatic of depression, but I mistook it for my universal truth for a very long time. I sought help, and I managed to break out of the negative feedback loop with the assistance of a professional and Wellbutrin XL.
Damnit if it doesn't feel good to be on the other side of that. I don't imagine that anything could make me feel that affraid and paralyzed in my own life ever again. Once I confronted my greatest fears and resolved to live for myself despite the consequences of external judgement - fear was no more.
I am on a journey, for now, to discover and separate the man from the musician. Not to cut music out from my life - it will always be as crucial to me as oxygen - but to come out from under it and walk with another purpose. I actually feel more in touch with the essence of my affinity for music and audio than I have in many, many years. In my musical career, I never stuck to one sound, genre or aesthetic. I am acutely aware of how much that restlessness is baked into my bones. I am at peace knowing that my life may be a series of curious non-sequitors. But I am also very single-mindedly focussed right now on this next phase; focused on learning, meeting monumental challenges, and creating in a new medium. I'm prepared. There's never been a better time than right now.