I said I would start posting at least every other week as of yesterday, but I wound up having more important things to do. It was my wedding anniversary. I've been married to my wife for 11 years and we've been together for 15. We had a really nice day, and what we did is none of your damn business.
Friday night brought me an unexpected pleasure. Dan Navarro called me and responded positively to my request to sit in with him during his sets at the Cafe Carpe. I say "unexpected" because I had sent a text the previous week asking if I could join him, and he didn't get back to me until that day. The man is just that busy. In any case, we had a really great time, and so did the audience. If you were there, thank you.
I want to share a few thoughts about mistakes; specifically, how I think we should let children - and people in general - make them. We seem to learn more from our mistakes than when we do from getting things right. I focus more on my screwups than on things I've done well because they resonate more with me. Humiliations I've endured haven't driven me to therapy or broken me down permanently; they have served as learning experiences. I think that's the way it should be.
For example, I don't play out on my own much anymore because I'm not really a draw. I stopped playing in bars because I got tired of being ignored. I have played mostly solo acoustic music for the last 20 years or so because I got tired of dealing with flakey, idiot musicians - and there are a lot of you. No, I do not place myself in that category. Had I been a successful solo artist, I expect I would have been supremely happy. But, it didn't happen (yet). I learned and made adjustments. I went back to school to get a degree and am almost done. I've still been making music, but it has not been my focus. Keeping a day job and finishing school have received most of my attention. I fully expect to concentrate more on music once school is done, and hopefully, I'll be able to find a more interesting day job while I still try to further my music (cough cough) career. That will involve composing a collection of instrumentals, and making videos for them and some of my other songs. After that, I am seriously toying with the idea of putting together a cover band, which I have discussed within these pages. No, I didn't get any responses that panned out, but I'm just not quite ready to let go of the idea. I think it could work, and work well, with the right people.
My point is this. Life is almost never fair, and usually does not work out the way we'd prefer. If we don't learn from our mistakes, we will make them over and over. I've learned that I may never make a career out of music, but that doesn't mean that I can't do something else to earn a living. Making music will always be a huge part of my life; accepting that it may not go the way I want and making the appropriate adjustments should lead to more long term happiness.
I think we do a disservice to children and people by not letting them make take their own lumps and learn lessons from them, within reason. The role of a parent is to prepare their offspring for life, not shelter them from it. That doesn't mean that you encourage a child to stick his hand in a fire in order to show that it burns. But, you can let the kid get close enough to figure it out. You can't learn to ride a bike from a verbal explanation. There are going to be some bumps and bruises involved; perhaps tears, and maybe even serious injury. Hell, death is a possibility. That doesn't mean the kid should never figure it out; riding a bike should be a huge part of childhood.
None of us are going to get out of life alive. What we do until then matters, and learning to do it as well as possible is important.
Or, you know. We can all just sit on our couches watching TV and eating ice cream. I do it more than I should.