I woke up this morning to find out that a friend and co-worker of mine had passed away after a long bout with an illness over the last year. Clearly, this wasn’t the way that I had planned to start out my day.
The last month has been a period of reflection and-self evaluation as it is, and part of it has been in relation to my last entry. I well know that there is more to life than working all the time, no matter how numerous, unusual, and whimsical the assignment is. Some are fun, and I enjoy greatly. Others are tedious, yet make good money. Others dangerously teeter on the verge of being a fly by night scam that have no issue attempting to rip you off for the work you do unless you put your foot down. There are times that I bounce from gig to gig more by instinct than schedule.
And that goes socially, as well. I’m either too busy, or too tired, schedules get jumbled, promised outings that still haven’t happened, and some days, making an appearance feels more like an obligation than an invitation. And all of that is wrong. I have always enjoyed making time for my friends, and I feel like I’ve become more of a “cameo” role over the last few months.
But I am only one person, and there are some things that I simply have to take care of.
There’s the old adage of “Life’s too short”. I’ve been constantly reminded of that throughout my life, and that topic was part of my last entry. And so I’ve begun to make plans to change things.
A lot of it has to do with finding what makes one happy, or more realistically, happier. I am by nature a person who will go out of my way to help others, but I’ve decided to revise how I approach that. That doesn’t mean that I am choosing to be less kind, or gracious, or supportive, but it does mean that I am stepping back from dealing with drama, or trying to “fix” other people’s problems to the point that they become one of my own. I want to be a good friend that cares, and will be supportive in the right areas, proud in others, and sympathetic when the time calls for that as well. But I will no longer put myself out for those who do not appreciate the effort, or continually just expect/demand “more”.
I am also planning to make changes in my schedule. This will be harder to accomplish, but I want to reestablish structure in my life that I am able to not be at beck and call any given hour of the day. I am tired of putting aside my own art, film, and writing projects for a repetitive cycle, and while I am going to have to dig my feet in deep to make this happen, it needs to happen.
I am also going to be changing my social media presence. I still plan to update and post my thoughts as usual, but my interactions will be handled differently. If you read my content, I never write about religion, or politics, “hot button” social issues, exclusion of people and their lifestyles, or oppressed or injured children or animals…. I’m not CNN. It’s not my job to force someone’s viewpoint to my own, nor am I obligated to report every plane crash or shooting spree. People need a break sometimes. And as a result, I’ve been deleting and unfollowing a lot of pages that are trying to push some pro-agenda, or “Ghetto Fights 12″ videos. There are things worth fighting for, but not every moment has to be a battle.
And I have things planned for myself. Jen and I went to Le Pamplemousse for her birthday. My second time there, and I can easily call the place one of the best restaurants in this crazy little city. The crowds were surprisingly noisy, but our waiter, Pierre, kept the mood very “Old Vegas”.
“Ah, what a shame. He is not coming tonight”, Pierre mused nostalgically as he looked to the table next to us.
“Oh? Well, who would that be”, I replied, curious to know the identity of who this regrettable omission was.
“This is Frank Sinatra’s table”, he replied, going into a full story of how the secluded wing of the restaurant we were sitting in was built so that Sinatra could have his privacy (and back to the wall), as he enjoyed his meal. It turns out that Pierre was his personal server at the restaurant for about 15 years, and then proceeded to tell us stories of the various faces that have graced the little restaurant over the years. This is why I am not, and never will be, into the “ultra clubs”. You are never going to get stories like this over thousands of dollars worth of “bottle service” (and this is why you wear a flask, folks).
I like stories, especially ones like this, and after a forced “hiatus” for about a year now, I’m getting back into my own adventures over the next couple of weeks. More than work. More than shows. That has been partially inspired by a friend’s own several week outing, the urge for adventure simply becoming too strong, and a need to get back to my “origins”. Nothing to reveal on that just yet (for a later entry, of course), but sometimes we have to remember where we’ve been to know where we’re going.
The hardest part now is waiting for some of those “plans” to turn into “events”, and later into “memories”.
The next few weeks will make up for the slow Summer I’ve had, though I did get into an “all you can eat” chicken wing feast with a few friends of mine earlier in the month, though not as out of control as my last contested event.
In any case, I’ve been reminded far too many times that life is just simply too short. I need to make time for what matters, what I need to find from others, and that I need to focus on the “living” part again. Happier memories of then mixed with with newer experiences from now. I have done my year of “just surviving”. It is time to make my place in this world once more.
I hope you are able to find peace and a respite from the pain now, Joel.