Living the dream, lately

Recently I’ve had a unique opportunity sort of fall into my lap. All of a sudden I’m booking a travelling music show about Canada’s Northwest Passage, and planning my next trips to remote Canadian wilderness destinations, and it looks like the sky’s the limit.

I’m living the dream, lately. Well, sort of.

The truth is I’ve spent most of the past three years challenged by a job that is mostly spent NOT travelling on ships, NOT making music, just to get to that incredible source of inspiration. Before that I spent a year poorly paid on contract work, and before that, a year mostly unemployed, and before that, three years in a company run like an asylum, and before that…

The truth is, the sky’s not the limit. The limit is how many phone calls I can make in a day, how many calendars I can get to agree with one another. How many venues I can find that have the space, how many presenters that will take the chance. How far the musicians and the promoters and I are willing to go out on another limb.

The truth is, it’s not so sudden. I played my first gig on stage nearly thirty years ago. I wrote my first songs only a couple of years after that. I made my first tape in 1995. My first CD in 2003.

The truth is, I’m still paying for my most recent CD, which I pressed nearly 4 years ago.

The truth is, when my bandmates and I come home at the end of a gig, we will be lucky if our pennies add up to enough to pay for our mileage, let alone our time, let alone our rehearsal time.

The truth is, this latest burst of creativity and enthusiasm is the first in a long time, and it comes on the heels of me quietly giving up on music once again.

The truth is, I’m stealing some of the energy for the work I’m doing right now from the time I ought to be spending on the novel that has been sitting three-quarters finished for the past three years.

The truth is, I have never been out of debt since I was in my last year of university, and I don’t appear to be getting any closer to living debt free right now. The truth is our house and car are wearing down and we don’t have the time or money to fix them.

The truth is, I will spend somewhere between two and three months of days and nights away from home this year, despite having three kids (two of them really little) and a wife I adore.

All of this sounds terribly negative. It’s not, actually. I’m writing the best material I’ve ever done, and getting the best reaction I’ve ever gotten. I travel widely to places that most people will never see. I spend time with amazing people doing amazing things. More doors are opening for me than ever, and most importantly, I have a real opportunity here to open doors for some others who I really care about.

So don’t get me wrong. When I say I’m living the dream, I mean it.

The truth is, this is what living the dream looks like for me right now. And maybe, just maybe, that’s something like what it takes to make a dream come true.

One comment on “Living the dream, lately

  1. Karen Millyard

    March 3, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Beautiful and so true, for so many of us! Know exactly what mean and am happy for you. Along with love, creative work is the root of life. And you’re living both.

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