Life In The Real World, Day 29: “Clearing Out The Haze”

Is it too early for Christmas music?

It’s around ten o’clock on a Friday night and I’m laying out on a paisley living room couch at my parent’s house in the suburbs. My phone is buzzing around here somewhere, but I’m not really concerned about it because I’m at least 28 miles away from anyone who usually calls me. The soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio came up on shuffle and I immediately left it on. It’s always my favorite Christmas album, maybe because it so encapsulates the quiet, buzzing feeling of the holidays (I’m sure I’ll expand on that in the winter). Somehow it works for early October nights too, that first real change in the season when the crickets’ chirps pierce window glass and the sun loses its urge to stay in the sky. I ran in Tyler State Park today and all the leaves were red and falling. It’s strange how quickly things change.

I wrote a couple paragraphs about why I’m back in the ‘burbs on a Friday night, but they were boring. Let’s fast forward…

blahblahracingblahPaulShortblahselfdepricationblahdepomedrolshotblahallergictopoisonivyblahblahMorningShowblahradioblahFCCascertainmentsblahblah

…all these things are practical reasons for me to come home for a bit, but honestly there’s more to it than that. Lately I’ve been keeping myself ridiculously busy in my spare time: writing new music, playing shows around Philadelphia, coaching high school cross country, running 60+ miles a week, keeping up with this blog–not to mention going out whenever I possibly can to explore this beautiful city.

With all of these activities, I can’t help but feel like I’m hobby hunting a little bit–searching for something, anything to fill the time between where I am and where I want to go. I guess that’s all we ever do without a goal in mind, or if our goals are pushed so far into the future that we can’t quite make them out. The latter is where I am at the moment, and it’s definitely hard to tell where I’m going sometimes. You could argue that’s partially what these “Life In The Real World” posts are about: marking time, charting growth or evolution of thought or whatever the hell this ends up being.

But I don’t just want to know (roughly) WHERE I am, I want to know where I want to be. So I’m going to try and define some of my goals for the next six months.

If track has taught me anything, it’s that being up front and honest about your goals is a good thing. Use the pressure of publicly declaring what you want to do to hold yourself accountable, and figure out whether you’re the kind of person who can bear to give up your aspirations.

So here we go:

1. I want to run in the Penn Relays Invitational Mile this spring. I want to be in good enough physical and mental shape to run well and be proud of my performance.

2. I want to record my third album. I want to finish writing enough songs to be satisfied, figure out how to flesh out their arrangements, and lay down some tracks. I want it to sound good. I want to release it for free.

3. I want to play in public (i.e. sell tickets to a show) at least once a month. I want to play well enough that people want to come and see me.

4. I want to find a new job. I want to find a position that actually puts me on the path I want to be on, a real, paid position in the music and entertainment industry.

————

They’re all possible, and now they’re all written down. Let’s see where I am in six months.

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