What I thought I wanted

I wrote this in hopes to share the freedom I have found with anyone who may still be trapped in some other person's desire and vision for YOUR life.

We all grow up in different families with all sorts of beliefs, opinions, raising, direction (or lack of some or all).

Somewhere along the way we begin to feel like we know what we "want" in life.

For some it's a successful career, marriage, children, a nice house, vehicles, etc.

For me, from a young age it was all of those.

As I got older I obtained it all too.

Moving on I LOST everything I once had as well (mainly due to my own bad decision making at the time).

I've had so many jobs since I was 15 years old I am not sure I could make a list of them all, BUT I WORKED.

I also played music as a second job ALL of those years.

I tried college a few times (WAS NOT FOR ME AT ALL).  Wasted my family's and my own money as  a result.

I tried marriage a few times as well.  (THREE TIMES TO FAST).  I was still trying to figure out WHO I WAS and learn to LOVE MYSELF so how could I possibly do that for another fully?  *Don't misread that.  I was a good man, a faithful man who believed in family and hard work.  I still do.  I believe a man and woman SHOULD honor and ADORE one another EQUALLY and I do not buy into that "man is the leader of the home and his wife should obey him" bullshit.  I learned several times that the moment one or both drift away OR try to change the other...  it's already over.

My two kids are the best things that came into my life as a result.  One vow I continue to keep is to be there for them, support, love, guide and ENCOURAGE them until they are men (then it's up to them).

I am happy to see my former partners in life moving on and living happier than ever (just as I am now).  That is something to be proud of.  Moving on and letting NO ONE keep you down or hinder you from YOUR journey and dreams.

One thing remained constant over the years:  MY RELENTLESS CHASE OF BEING A FULL TIME ARTIST.  And it happened.

I've had the big house.

I've had the new cars.

I've been a leader and manager of many.

I've performed on huge stages for thousands of people.

I've had more money in the bank than I probably ever will now or in my future.

I've had a 401k (key word "HAD").

I've had success.

I've known worry.  I've known struggle.  I've known loss. 

I've experienced bankruptcy.

ALL OF IT WAS A PART OF MY PERSONAL JOURNEY IN LIFE AND I DO NOT RESENT OR REGRET ANY OF IT, however it two things I never want to know again are DEBT AND BURDEN.

So here I am.

Age 40, living in smallest home I've ever been in and loving it more than any I've had.

I don't own it and I don't want to.

Always wanted a swimming pool (so I bought one at Wal Mart and although I have to air it up every morning it is JUST AS FUN for me and my kids!).

Instead of 15 guitars just hanging on my walls I have sold them ALL and I have THREE that I actually USE to work and make money to survive.

The the only furniture in my home can be sat on. laid on and LIVED on.  There are no "museum pieces" in this place and I am thankful.  The only things I keep in my buddy's storage building are old photos in boxes, some tools, my Harley and our bicycles.

Even my Harley will have it's last day.  I've been preparing for that one!  My plan is that when my oldest son is out of High School and moved on to his choice for adult life (college or whatever he chooses) - I will sell the Harley, buy a camper of some sort and hit "the road" with my sweet lady partner in life.  Together we will write journals and songs.  Perform music and create arts and crafts as a way of life.  THAT... is MY "american dream".

I am pretty sure I will end up with a homestead between Raleigh and Oak Island/Southport NC someday (or somewhere such as that).  In order to continue doing what I was born to do for a career I MUST "go where the music takes me" and I am thankful my lady is COMPLETELY on board with this lifestyle.  We're not even sure if we want to "own" anything.  Here's something to consider:

NOW- am I saying we should not have nice "things"?  No way. 

I believe strongly that YOU DESERVE EVERY GOOD THING IN LIFE THAT YOU YOURSELF HAVE WORKED HARD TO HAVE.

Just don't let work drive you to obtaining more than you can pay for (or handle) as I did in the past.

And as my mother always told me, "learn to live within your means" - (something I did NOT do for too damn long).

NOTHING is worth debt, worry, burden and anxiety.

But what about JOB SECURITY James???

That's a good one.  There is NO SUCH THING as "job security".  Ask the many people that I am sure we all know who worked day and night for YEARS at certain companies and then one day without notice were told to go home.

Anyone who was lucky enough to get in to places like Lowe's Hardware and the like "back in the day" will tell you that although retirement paid off - it was not as "easy" as it was made out to be.  Then ask the ones who lost HALF OR MORE of their retirement earnings in a divorce.  Yeah, what's that about security again?

Security is a frame of mind.  Period.

I feel secure working for myself and plugging away, looking for the next gig, the next custom song write, the next event and service I can offer.

It took OVER a year for me to obtain insurance for my son and I (THAT IS ANOTHER JOURNAL ENTRY ALL TOGETHER), but I finally got it and although it is an outrageous expense and the deductibles are unreasonable... I "have insurance" in case of a severe emergency (and let's face it- I can feel good knowing that the high premium I am paying is providing insurance for someone, somewhere who is fully capable of working, yet chooses not to).  That's something to feel proud of yes?  :)

Sorry for the side street there...

I've ALWAYS had to learn the hard way.  By experience.  Trial and error.

**I wrote this in hopes to share the freedom I have found with anyone who may still be trapped in someone else's desire for YOUR life.

If you have "stuff" that is burdening you, LET IT GO.

If you have bills that will NEVER be paid off, seek a debt relief agency OR file a bankruptcy that will relieve you immediately (YET WILL DESTROY YOU CREDIT SCORE FOR SEVERAL YEARS).  One thing it taught me to do (years later) if I don't have the cash on me or the money in the bank, I DON'T BUY IT.  *And NEVER put un-needed things on credit cards unless you CAN pay it off every single month.  That is a MONSTEROUS machine that I believe was created to choke the life out of us all and keep us "in a certain place".  Credit scores can be rebuilt, but if you never plan to use credit, why does it even matter what some fictional number is?

BE FREE MY FRIENDS.

BE VERY, VERY FREE.

Start today and relieve yourselves of any thing and ANYONE that holds you down and holds you back from being WHO and WHAT you truly are.

Thanks for reading.