Distilling Who I Used to Be

As I write this, I’m just tipsy enough to start to sleep comfortably. I’m supposed to be up in 3 hours for what will likely be an almost 24 hour day between a 12 hour shift and a healthy stint at the bar I spend too much money on.

So I’m laying down and thinking about sleeping but I want some music to put me in the mood to sleep. Strangely, radically, I find myself in the mood for the Distillers. As The Hunger and Coral Fang and City of Angels pulse through my ears, I’m shotgunned back almost a decade.

I was an asshole as a teenager but mostly because I was angry. I was angry at my family of fuck-ups. I was angry at fake friends. At how nobody believed in me because I was good at plenty of things but not great at anything and I didn’t have a known clique that I hung out with. But I had my group and that group stood by me.

For about five years, there was one thing that I prided myself on and that was that I just did not give a fuck about myself. I took chances. I didn’t blink at risk. I spat in the face of logic and disbelief because I believed I could do it. I fought for the impossible solely for the sake that everyone else thought I couldn’t make it happen.

Not quite everyone. My aforementioned group was a few folks that railed against conventional thought and really fought to put their lofty goals first. They were like-minded dreamers. That’s why we got along so well.

Then folks started getting married, having kids. I made some mistakes. I fell in love and got burned. People fell away. I almost died. I racked up debt. I started feeling like shit started feeling like a piece of shit.

Now I’m listening to Brody Dalle growl in my ear. I’m remembering elbows in my ribs and music pounding my shoulders while my one goal was to be – not the biggest or the strongest or the smartest guy – the scariest motherfucker there. The guy who didn’t quit. The one who laughed at “it can’t happen” and “you’ll never do it”. When I was the guy who didn’t believe in writer’s block, let alone let it fuck his vibe up.

I’m too focused on the grind these days. Not that it isn’t important, not that I shouldn’t care about my job. But that job isn’t me. The money is nice and it’s essential, but I’m a guy who has lived out of two suitcases for five years. I’ve spent three years following the drifter lifestyle without the freedom the mentality gives.

I need to get back to this: I am who I am, and I do what I do, and it won’t be the best, and it won’t be the smartest, but it’s going to happen no matter how many people will leave, no matter how people will stop believing, no matter how many people will tell me I can’t.

I used to scream at thunder, punch waves, grit my teeth at the odds and believe that no matter how bad it got, I would pull myself up. As I got older and had fewer family, fewer friends and more bills, it’s gotten hard.

But dammit, the challenge is what I loved the most about it. I lost that somewhere along the way. I want it back. I’m getting it back.

Fucking Brody Dalle. Bless ya.