I know, right? Lucky me.
This birthday has been strange for me. Last year was different. As I turned twenty-five there was a record ready to be released and I was in love with our new direction. We had plans as a band. Slowly we watched our hard work crumble as the label lost interest, we lost one of our managers, a booking agent, a publishing deal and our A&R person. Now we're in limbo a year later, with very little earthly reward for our hard work. Not that I care much about material things in general, but there's a natural want in a man to make a name for himself, to support and provide for his loved ones, to do something that his peers respect. It's tough to come home empty handed six week tour after six week tour. Talk about leaving it all out on stage. But when those are gone you realize the six week tours are blessings and that life can be much harder without them.
So here I am after twenty six years on this earth wondering what I've done with my life. Have I wasted potential? Have I missed opportunity? Probably, and that is what frustrates me about time. It only moves in one direction, once its gone, its gone. Life is much shorter than it used to be and much more difficult. However, I find myself completely satisfied when I thank God for my blessings.
I have a beautiful wife who happens to be my best friend, and who happens to understand how crazy I am and loves me anyways. She listens to me ramble, laughs when I'm sarcastic and makes compromises without batting an eye. We are truly in love and for that I am thankful. We are poor by societies standards, but we eat three meals a day and good ones at that. We have a place to call home in a neighborhood we love. We have friends who love us in a community of like-minded people. We have hobbies we enjoy together. We both long to be more like Jesus, and we both fall short, but we do it together. I can hardly believe we've been married four years, sometimes I still feel like an obsessed teenager around her.
Gratitude is what makes my life better. The choice is mine; I can think of all the things I have not accomplished in twenty six years, or I can think of what I've been blessed with. I've lived long enough to know that when you live a life aware of your blessings, you are more apt to bless those around you. The small stage I've been given for my art is an incredible blessing, one that most musicians never experience. Sure, it doesn't pay the bills, and sometimes (I'll be honest) it does seem like a waste of time, but whenever I step back I am incredibly grateful to have made it this far. When I take a step even further back to take a look at the grand scheme of things, if even one person is blessed by our music than it makes it all worthwhile. What matters on this earth is not what people think of you or what you accomplish for yourself, but what you do for others.
I am reminded of my own lyrics from a song I wrote six years ago: "I have come to the realization that life is more than what I have accomplished, and life is more than the realization that we have accomplished nothing at all."
Its funny how I keep learning the same lesson over and over. I never would have dreamed this life ten years ago, but here I am living it. I am blessed.