I took a personality test for the first time in years yesterday. My curiosity wasn’t so much what type of person I AM as much as it was what type of person I’m NOT. The test was horrifyingly spot-on. I was classified-based on my honest answers-as an “INFP.” You can learn what that means and find out your own personality traits at http://www.16personalities.com
But assuming you don’t have time for all that (I’m surprised you’re still reading this now) I’ll share a passage from the personality test results that stood out to me:
"If they are not careful, INFPs can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. INFPs often drift into deep thought, enjoying contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type(s). Left unchecked, INFPs may start to lose touch, withdrawing into "hermit mode", and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world."
I’ve been known to be a little out of touch. I’ve even been accused of being “too cool” to hangout with people I’ve always considered too cool for me. I’m even sure that there are some people who think I’m a total douchebag for not returning their calls / texts / messages. Those people have probably long unfollowed or muted me from their newsfeeds, but I digress…
This hasn’t been an easy year for me. I’ve been through / done some very difficult and not fun things and I’m still struggling with a lot. But it’s getting easier. I’m looking back at some of the relationships I’ve lost and wondering how everything could end so badly. Conversely, as I think of some of the relationships I’ve gained I can’t help but wonder why I deserve them.
The fact is that life, knowledge and love are forged from difficulty and pain. And as long as we’re alive we’ll keep repeating the cycle. The important thing to keep in mind is that with each lesson another piece of our heart is not lost, but rather eternally etched with another story.
"Nothing in life worth having is easy."
About 3 months ago a good friend of mine asked if my band would be willing to play a concert and cover a bunch of Fall Out Boy songs. Last night that show happened. In between those two days - the day we were asked and the day we played - I went through some of the most difficult times I’ve ever faced in my 20’s. Some things that only my closest friends know. Some things that everyone who follows me on twitter know (sorry Internet.)
But last night for about 30 minutes on stage I was on top of the world again. I forgot everything and everyone and all I needed were the lyrics and chords to some of my favorite songs, and the voices of 300 people who shared that love. I am so thankful for my best friends and everyone who’s been through the toughest times with me and stuck by my side. It sounds cliche, but I truly am the luckiest guy in the world. All the bad stuff from 2014 is and always will be canceled out by the greatest of things. Last night reminded me of that. It was great being back, if only for half an hour…
I suffer from anxiety, low level depression and general mood disorder. I have moments where I don’t want to do anything but sleep or stare out a window. I have days where I don’t want to see or talk to anyone. But at the end of those days, I remember that life is a beautiful thing and that this world has more to offer than just a bad day here and there. Even if you feel lonely, or if the people who are supposed to be there most drop you because they don’t understand and can’t deal with the difficulty of your changing disposition here or there, you have to know that there are others who love you. Others who feel what you feel. Others who keep pushing and fighting to get better. The loss of Robin Williams is a massive sign that we need to start taking mental illness more seriously. If you’re not someone who suffers from some type of mental illness, stop assuming people are making excuses and start listening when you have friends or loved ones in need or saying that they “don’t feel like themselves.” It’s a time to listen. Not a time to walk away or take it as a sign of instability.
We will all be loved unconditionally. We all deserve to be loved unconditionally. We all need to love unconditionally. Hopefully the people who need to learn these things most will before they lose someone who could bring them the most joy.
I know I’m supposed to be the optimistic “everything will be ok” guy but It’s getting really hard not to give up and go home.
I’m currently driving a rental car across Kansas after spending an incredible (but short) week with my family at my sister’s place in Colorado. I only get to see them once or twice a year so I always soak it up. This is the first time I’ve driven instead if flying and must admit that although I’m exhausted, I’m grateful for the quiet trip that I can use to reflect and really think. Now, since I don’t assume that a large group of people actively seek out knowledge of my day-to-day well being, I’ll address this directly to you. The person who’s curiosity at *THIS moment somehow brought you to my blog.
It’s easy to passively gather info regarding someone’s psyche or state of mind by glancing at their twitter or Facebook updates. In fact, one may even be tempted to form an opinion of another’s personality or demeanor via this means. I hope to god that’s not the situation in my case; mostly due to the fact that most of my tweets and statuses are poorly developed one-liners begat from my over-active mind. I’ve always thought of myself as a positive guy with nothing but good things to say about the world and people around me. But I guess I’ve failed at conveying that through the microscope that is social media. So, in an effort to rekindle that positive presentation that you may or may not recollect; here’s the update:
In April my band Farewell Fighter announced that we had signed a record deal with a small label. This news was exciting to me not because “we got signed” but because at the time leading up to the deal, we weren’t sure we’d be able to be a band much longer. If you’re a fan/were a fan, you know we’ve been through some shit. A lot of shit. It was getting hard to balance the back breaking work and financial responsibility that comes with being in an unsigned band AND my life essentials. But at the core of what makes me thankful that we didn’t call it quits when we could have - and probably should have - are the new songs. There are some people living in dire need of reassurance that there is a purpose to keep living. And without coming off as “self-serving” I think our new music needs to heard by those who need it most. FF has always been about hope and happiness in the face of adversity. The new songs on our full length record (coming out in early August) capture this in the exact way that I intended from the start. I’m still excited about the future of that band.
In an ironic turn of events, during the process of writing the latest FF record, I wrote some songs that began as concepts for that project but bloomed into something totally different. After we picked the songs for the record I had a whole bunch left over. Since the style was something totally different altogether, I figured I would develop them and explore the new turn my writing had taken. Shortly After I developed a few of the tracks, I met Alison Ariel. We had a mutual friend and I knew she could sing so I asked her to record the vocals to the songs (my voice didn’t exactly fit the new style). Shortly after we began working together, one of our songs was heard by a licensing placement agent who thought we’d be a good fit for a project they were working on with a big client. Before I knew it we were writing an original song for Coca Cola to use in a global partnership they’re launching with Spotify this summer. It transpired so quickly that we didn’t even have a name for the project when we were signing the paperwork. We decided to call the band Bear Scout (http://www.facebook.com/bearscoutofficial) and have some incredible things coming up that I can only imagine that if you’re still reading this you’ll shit when you know.
In short I guess what I’m getting at is that I’m happy and still hard at work achieving my goals, albeit in a slightly different direction than I had originally planned. Then again I guess that’s kind of the beautiful thing about life.
You never know what happens next.
It’s raining. I’m sitting in my apartment alone listening to some songs the world hasn’t heard yet. Songs I poured my heart and soul into. The lyrics have never been so true. I’m feeling something I’ve never felt before. An excitement and a sadness all at the same time. It’s something I can neither explain nor comprehend. The only comparison would be to imagine hugging a lifelong friend one last time before you board an airplane bound for a new life but not knowing if you’ll ever see them again. All I can assume is that something very important is going to happen soon. Whether it be an important thing for me personally, or for someone who has been in my life in the past few years, I know something big is on the horizon. And I can’t wait to know if it’s something good.
I hope it’s something good.