My Red Butt

Over the years, I’ve grown from local grocery-store clerk, to live-sound engineer operator, and finally to my current job as a recording and post-production engineer for audio books. It’s been a great and fulfilling working career, and I’ve had tons of great people to work with and learn from. Yet, there is one person in this world I still do not approve and hate working with–myself.

I’ve had goals, dreams, aspirations, and I still do. Ever since my mother told I was going to be rich someday, which was then perpetuated by my classmates in high school, and hell, a palm-reader, I still find myself struggling with debt, paying the rent, and staying healthy just like every other middle-class citizen in America.

All of that is trivial compared to my one true goal in life: filling my soul with pride. When it comes to an individual who suffers from addiction problems, they are faced with trying to keep their composure and continue on maintaining their life as well as being functional. I for one discover myself finding it difficult to do the one thing where success can only come to fruition which is putting myself out there with a song, article or story.

In essence, painting a red bulls-eye on my butt for all to shoot at.

I hate criticism. And in this day in age, it’s at its highest levels thanks to social media forums. Everyone who is anyone now has a voice they can put out to the world, and the smallest of pebbles being thrown can create some mighty waves.

But it’s unavoidable. Even Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can “host anything” drew criticism for hosting the Oscars–a performance in which I thought he did a damn good job. Yet, people are prone to “cherry pick” the errors and blow them way out of proportion more than they need to be, casting a shadow over the good performance on one of the highest endeavors with a horrible ugly-looking darkness.

After it all though, he still goes on and brushes it off. But is it because he is used to anticipating the harshness of the crowd, a community that demands a being to take a stab at something only to be given hundreds of knives thrown back at them and hoping to keep on breathing after bleeding out from multiple wounds? Or perhaps has he become a husk to such outside influence, the same influence in which can inspire but then berate in the most bi-polar of ways?

Is this the crowd I truly want to perform a song in front of, put a book out in front of, invest in only to be confronted by the most diminishing of returns–my soul?

Unfortunately, there is no other answer than ‘yes.’ Yes, I will never be fulfilled until I do. Yes, I need the chips to fall as they may, and yes the die must be cast. There is no other option in this life than to say ‘geronimo’ and hope your parachute opens as it should.

Or to relate to my previous metaphor, pray the gun squads are horrible marksmen.

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One thought on “My Red Butt

  1. So I have to ask then, why do you write? If you are only creating for an audience, then yes, your soul will be unsatisfied. The mob is fickle, brother, and will never give you what you want.

    Create for you and you alone. Yes, put yourself out there, but create because your inner muse speaks and shouts to you. Create because you have words that need to come out lest they bind you in apathy. Create because your imagination overflows into all aspects of your life. Create because it’s the way your soul is nourished.

    Criticism will always be there, because small minds are jealous of large talents (like NPH). I read a great article about him once, where he addressed this very thing. He doesn’t listen to the blather of people who don’t know what they are talking about. If he want criticism, he asks for it from his peers, from his mentors, from his trusted friends. You know, the people he respects, who have earned his respect.

    Be like NPH – create because you love to do it, not because you are entertaining the mob. The mob much prefers bloodshed anyway.

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