I have to admit that the song hit me pretty hard for a silly little parody. As I watched the actors in the video staring dead eyed into the mirror the overwhelming thought that I had was, “That could so easily have been my life.” When I turned 29 I had to look in the mirror and face the fact that I had wasted my youth. My 20’s were almost over and I had not done a damn thing with them. Not only had I not pursued my dreams, I had never even bothered to find out what my dreams were. Like everyone else I had always thought that I had something special inside me, a unique voice that needed to be heard. Something that needed doing that only I could do. But I think that like a lot of people I made the mistake of thinking that if I was destined to do something all I would have to do was just live my life and wait for my destiny to show up and tap me on the shoulder. I thought people could be my destiny and that if I could make the people in my life happy that it would be enough for me. I thought that if I ignored the sad, empty feeling that told me that it wasn’t going to be enough that it would go away eventually.
I would like to say that it was an immediate revelation to me that this was bullshit and that I needed to drastically change my life. The real narrative was not so cut and dry. Nevertheless, slowly but surely I began to make some changes. This was four years ago and at the time Pandora, steampunk, and cons were not in my vocabulary. But I did start running and began to make some friends and got out of the house a little more. It seemed to help shake a part of me loose that had been stuck somewhere. Then I was introduced to steampunk, I started helping put together some cabaret shows, I started getting out more and more, and next thing I know, here I am. Recording the podcast each week, helping to put together events that other people enjoy, getting to know amazing people from all walks of life. It really does feel like I am making something of worth, that I am finding my voice.
It’s not like I’ve found some kind of material success and am going to be able to quit my day job anytime soon. I still go to work every day and feel frustrated that I am wasting my time and my talent in a setting where neither is appreciated. But for the first time I am at peace while I am there because I know that what I do for money is not who I am. I am struggling to find the words to describe how blessed and humble I feel to have had this chance. But I did want to take this chance to thank everyone who is in my life who has inspired this shift. All of you who work crap jobs you hate but come home and find the time and energy to make art, write, make music, prefect a new trick, or just take the time to get to know people and take an interest in their life. All of you who come out to a show and make magic happen instead of sitting on the couch and watching TV. I wouldn’t have this life without you. So thank you.
I have come to realize that there really isn’t such a thing a destiny. If you don’t do something to make your life what you want nothing is going to find you and make it for you. Destiny is what you make of it but once you start taking a few steps toward the life you want you are much more likely to find other opportunities to advance the cause, at least in my experience. I took the first steps and now at 33 I can honestly say that I am happy. I am proud of my life. And best of all, I feel like I am doing a little bit to make other people feel the same way.