Day 7 - comfort & risk
(getting seriously philosophical here)
It's my first night totally alone. I'm sitting on the floor of my tent, with a significant number of rocks under my butt because tonight's locale is an RV park in Yuma, Arizona. I've left California (for now) and it's pretty nice to have a balmy 65 degree breeze as the last light in the sky fades.
I ran out of gas just as I was entering Yuma, having not taken into account the effects of high altitude on fuel consumption. Luckily, I managed to get just inside the city limits before my bike sadly sputtered it's last sput. I was sitting on the roadside in a desolate mood when a salt-and-pepper haired lady named Virginia pulled over on her motorcycle to help me, and in a jiffy she produced a small can of gas and a $10 gift-card to Burgers and Beer. "Can you tell I'm a mom?" "Yuuuup." After filling me in on the finer points of AZ motorcycle law and divulging the merits of steel-toed boots, she waved a cheerful goodbye and took off on her flashy Honda Star 1100. You're awesome Virginia, thank you for making my day.
I've realized by now that the more things that go wrong, and the more successful recoveries you make from them, the less daunting everything else becomes. It's all about expanding your comfort zone: if you tackle one new challenge every day, you begin to realize that nothing is really that hard. Perhaps the greatest danger is not in taking risks, but avoiding them.
Why does somebody do something crazy like motorcycle across a continent, or climb a huge mountain, or create something that challenges the way we think? It could be because of a desire to prove something, or to change something for the better, or perhaps just to feel alive. Whatever the reason, I think it's important never to get stuck in a situation that you don't like. If you're stuck, fight your way out of it like your life depends on it. It does.
The number one thing I worry about is that I don't know what I'm doing with my life. I love making music, and I know that it makes me happier than anything else; but I can't help but feeling insecure about it. I feel like I've been trying my whole life to "get somewhere" with my music, but I've just been spinning my wheels. I know I'm getting better, I know I'm making progress, but I feel I'm still no closer to "finding my voice" or "packaging it up" or any of that bullshit. Maybe I spend too much time worrying about Facebook likes. Maybe all that really matters is to keep making art and never give up.
When I was a kid I wanted to be famous because I thought fame would build me up and make my insecurities powerless. Now I just want to have a core group of listeners that I have a meaningful impact on and treat like my family. I'm still lost in a sense, but this wandering and exploring is beginning to feel like the greatest certainty in my life. The hunger for adventure is my greatest comfort.
So yeah, fuck the system. Be different. Be bold. Question everything. If there's one thing I believe in, it's this.
Shoutout to my great friend Roberto Ahumada for hosting me in LA for 3 days. He is currently gearing up for his documentary about the Super Secret Comedy Show, a super cool underground LA comedy venue. The trailer seriously kicks ass. Check it out here