Taking **it for granted

I happened upon a webzine today that had a feature wherein a young (23 year old) man moves to NYC to become a rock star and writes about his adventures online. I started reading through the material and his quick ability to get a manager, sign to a independent label, and take off on a tour of the US had me feeling jealous. Then I started reading things that were happening to him that I didn’t want in my life. Example: He goes to a studio with his band, on the record company’s dime, and is greeted by a humorless engineer who is all business and kind of nasty. Things like that I do not want to deal with. (Later on I discovered this was a fictional story, but it makes no difference in the context of my thoughts)
That got me started on thinking about our recent studio sessions, and how nice it was to hang out with Don. While our official relationship was one of business, I felt at home there, and we all felt as though Don was a friend helping us coax the best out of our talents and limited instrumentation. We had a good time, and got a lot of work done in a short amount of time. We also made the most exciting full length record of our lives. This is one of those things I take for granted.
I guess the whole process for our band has been so slow moving that I don’t even really notice the changes. It seems similar to me to watching a flower grow. It isn’t really very interesting to watch in real time. Stop motion photography however brings to life the cycle of change, growth, and maturity that are painfully laborious to note otherwise. Our progress as a band has been like this. When I started with Pzoo, we were not known too well within our home state, and we endeavored to play places like the Court Tavern, Maxwell’s, and other small Jersey venues. We plugged along, writing songs, jamming, and learning how to play together. We had many gigs, met lots of other musicians, and had a great time doing it. At the time I joined the band it would seem like a far-fetched dream to get to record in a bona fide studio with a professional engineer. But this winter we did just that, largely thanks to Jeff’s bankroll, and came out with the first album that we can all feel very proud of, with little intra-band negative commentary. Of course, if given unlimited resources and time, it would be a better record. But given what we had to work with, we have really made something we can all be proud of. Entering the studio was something I took for granted. We searched around for a place to record, checked a few places out, and settled on the one our drummer had been to before, as well as liking the general vibe we got from Don. As we worked on the record, I definitely took it for granted, just being in a studio like that. The Jay Holler from 2 or 3 years ago would have been more ecstatic, more grateful just to be there, recording with my good friends, making the music we love. But as I was there it was just another place my body currently occupied. I mean, I was excited, and I loved being there, but it wasn’t as exciting as I imagined it to be.
That is really part of the whole problem. I’ve noticed that other people’s lives always sound more exciting and exhilarating to me. This is mostly due to my propensity for embellishing or creating details which do not exist. I have an active imagination and I put it to use in glorifying details, so some random guy in NYC seems to have a more exciting life than I do. Part of my over-glorifying includes ignoring the mundane details of daily living. When I think about what it must be like to have a full-fledged legitimate music career, I tend to ignore the daily matters like eating lunch, driving to meetings, dealing with a record company, etc. I romanticize everything that isn’t happening, essentially, instead of enjoying and savoring what is happening to me.
So the 2 to 3 year younger version of me had some idealized dream of what a real recording project in a real studio would be like. When it finally materialized it didn’t seem as exciting as the version already built-up in my head. I guess what I’m trying to say is I need to more thoroughly enjoy the good things in life: My smart, beautiful, understanding, wonderful, caring, sexy, giving wife; our sassy, smart, curious, cute-as-all-get-out daughter; our new daughter currently brewing; all the little techno-gadgets that I love so much (shout outs to my iPod, iBook, siemens phone, not to mention the Moog, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Hammond, Ferrari, etc.); our beautiful home, kind neighbors, great friends, helpful (if tedious) in-laws and so on. I kind of take all of those things for granted, and my mind usually gets stuck on one thought for weeks or months. Right now I’m stuck on learning UNIX, and gaining an understanding of that and other programming languages to eventually get a job in IT. In a few weeks I’m sure I’ll be thinking of some other topic. But really all I need is to stop a moment and bask in the general goodness that life has dealt my way.


Author: jayholler

A technology lover living in California with my wife and two children.

One thought on “Taking **it for granted”

  1. Sometimes I think you’re too hard on yourself critically, but I actually believe that this self-analyzation is pretty accurate.

    You spend so much time waiting for something extraordinary to happen and so little time living.

    You know who I think is really great at doing what you want to do? BillyRueben. He sees something really special every time he turns a corner. For example, everyone regards his wife as this super-creative-art-genius. They do so because he views her as such and shares with everyone how special she is. He seems to see this explosive beauty every time he looks at something. This isn’t a talent he has, it’s just the perscription he put in his glasses, right?

    This reminds me of a time when we first met and you, Andrea and I were sitting around your bedroom with a huge bottle of wine and an appetite for conversation. You were so depressed that night and you said it was because Andrea and I had so much to offer the world and you felt as though you had nothing. I remember being really confused because I thought you were the most beautiful, incredible person I’d ever met and was shoulders deep in a life long crush on you. I couldn’t imagine how someone who was so secure and nonchalantly arrogant could view himself as boring and mundane.

    I’m still confused by this.

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