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Are you an old sad-case wanna-be?

I was watching the movie Juno last (yes I mostly spend Friday nights at home watching vids with the wife these days, 9 month old child to look after and all) and the character played by Jason Bateman struck a nerve. He is a married suburban musician about mid-thirties who is frustrated about his career having stalled and consequently can’t commit to having a child and, as his on-screen wife puts it, “growing up”.

Suddenly I had a moment, like “fuck, I am like THAT guy? Am I an old sad-case who still thinks he’s gonna be the next Kurt Cobain?”

Then I relaxed, because the answer is no. My style of music has changed to one that would still suit me when I am an old man and I am in fact totally happy with where we live, our little family life and our modest day-to-day concerns, things like “can we get the baby to sleep through the night if we feed her up before bed” and “just which day IS bin day anyway?”. It’s true that I do miss gigging but I have my CD ready to go out and get gigs again and so very soon I will be back on that horse. And it is true that I often fantasize about getting out on stage in front of huge crowds again like I got to when I was like twenty four (11 years ago!) and that I would happily accept a level of recognition again and in fact do actively court it. BUT it is also true that I am pretty happy with just taking every moment as it comes, and as long as I am free to express myself myself through music and words, without being trapped in some hellish 9-to-5 job all week, then I am cool with however it all turns out. In fact sometimes I think about what it must be like to be like one of my heroes like Nick Cave and I think “Jeez, all those airplanes, all that rushing about, bummer.”

So I am getting my music out there again, doing one thing every day, but sometimes the things I do are pretty small, and truth is if I desperately wanted out of my situation I would be doing a whole lot more than one little thing every day. But I don’t want out of my situation, I am the kind of content that makes teenage kids puke, and that’s cool. I did my time being a wastoid rebel on the run (from myself). Now I just wanna enjoy life and my family, and play some music too.

But if you are unhappy with your life, if you are a stuck-in-a-rut suburban musician who feels like a rat in a cage, then for fuck’s sake – don’t take it out on the people in your life, it’s not their fault that you have an itch. Get up off the couch and go for it. Fact is: if you have even just SOME talent and a LOT of drive, then you can do it. Plenty do. It can be hard, but it is do-able if you keep it real and work like a dog at it.

And your wife/husband/partner/kids will respect you all the more for it too. They may knock you down when you TALK about it, but that’s just a mixture of their own limiting beliefs reflected onto you plus genuine concern for your mental well-being. If you actually go out and start DOING it, they will soon change their tune and probably get behind you and help. If they don’t then they may be the wrong partner for you – the kids you gotta keep though ok?
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