Wow. That was a BIG summer.
“Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”
― Jon Krakauer
Sometimes when you look back on things, it seems surreal. It seems like yesterday, but the haze over those memories make you feel like it was ages ago. You can’t remember the exact conversations and themes of that time, but you can recount the facial expressions, and the important moments. It seems like only looking through the blur that we have the opportunity – particularly the time – to sit back and reflect on these events in our lives. It’s through this very blur that I have been gazing affectionately for nearly 24 hours.
I am utterly astounded at everything Kasey and I were able to pack into these past short summer months. It was less than a year ago we met and less than 6 months ago we began playing music around town together. We each worked full time jobs, working 40 hours a week, and then played three to four gigs a weekend. We enjoyed several nights with friends at concerts, bonfires, dinners, parties, dinner-parties, floats, campouts, and baseball tournaments. We bought a van, fixed the van, busked around Kelowna, fixed the van some more, beached day and night, met new friends and caught up with old ones. We had good times, bad times, funk times, and most of all, fast times. It seems like it was only at the beginning of this trip I’ve been able to stop and take a breath.
Had anyone asked me in the early spring if I truly believed this trip was going to happen, I would have said probably not. At that time - it seems so long ago - it was just a dream. A dream that seemed so far away. As most of my friends know, I’ve never had any luck with money - my savings account once topped out at about $1000. (Then it went back down to the 3-digits as I promptly celebrated.) I’ve been perpetually broke, and my money-saving skills were pretty sub par. Not only that, but my confidence in my own music wasn’t worth taking on tour. Most of the music I was writing sounded awful, conceited, uneducated, and - worst of all - whiney. (There’s nothing a musician hates more than sounding whiney.)
So, in reality I didn’t believe this trip was going to happen… But slowly the bricks started falling into place. We began picking up gigs around Kelowna at places like The Habitat and The Grateful Fed, all through our own calls and drop-ins. Friends were encouraging us to get out and gig more, and the couple jam nights we went to in the spring were very inspiring.
As those early gigs came and went we were honing our trade, and it became obvious to us that we were starting to get really good at entertaining. What was more passion than profession began to change into our business, taking it seriously and playing professionally. This turned out to be one of our best decisions to date. Solely because of that decision we began gigging 3 - 4 times a week, usually packing all of our time off of our day jobs into proper gigging time. When we weren’t playing at one of our favourite haunts, we were busking on the street and meeting passers by. Our exposure grew exponentially at this point, picking up gigs with Parks Alive, Festivals Kelowna and private house-party gigs all over town. (House parties are still our favourite to play.)
We packed any days off we had with a ton of our friends. They were going to be what we were going to miss the most while we were on the road… It’s not always the place that makes you want to stay somewhere forever, it’s the people. My buddy Gabe coined it just about every time he came back to visit to Kelowna… He said something to the effect of,
“I hate leaving here, because it reminds me of where I’m going back to. Not many people have the opportunity to be surrounded by so many amazing people. Between their skills, personality, and all around awesomeness we’re so unbelievably lucky to be a part of the circle.”
It’s true. They’re a pretty awesome bunch. I mean, just look at ‘em.
Despite not being able to see everyone, I think that was the most successful photo we had of everyone all summer… Everyone was there, and everyone was in it… You just couldn’t see them.
It’s amazing what you can get done when you put your head down to it. You can accomplish anything you want if you manifest it. If you want it so badly that it begins to take precedence in your life. There’s a lot to be said for manifesting things… It’s relatively simple - All it takes is passion. Plus, it always helps to have support. A partner, a coworker, or in my case - a lover. I wouldn’t have been able to do it with out Kasey. She was simultaneously a rock, a rocker, an inspiration and a home for me through this whole thing.
So now I’m standing at the end of a great summer, and somewhere along the way Kasey and I surpassed the point of no return. I don’t exactly recall the point when we actually sat down and said “We’re doing this!”. It always seemed so far away, and always seemed like a fantasyland just out of reach of the present. But somehow, we crossed that line and have picked up speed on the way to this trip. We’ve got a wad of cash in the bank, we have gigs booked, and we have a killer van named Clementine.
Hard work has paid off, and I don’t know what lies beyond the horizon… But I’m excited.