November 4, 2015
I had a moment of clarity Sunday evening (an hour or so after I posted the previous blog entry.) Caloi and I were at Starbucks to hang out / catch up. I messaged him if he wanted to hang because I needed a distraction from the previous night’s meltdown.
After coffee and after a midnight snack at a new burger place in BFHomes, we ended up hanging out at his office. There were no precursors for the clarity. No root cause, aside from recent thoughts about quitting music. It just came out of nowhere. And I’m sure that it wouldn’t have happened had he not been there to distract me from my own thoughts.
It hit me that the reason why I couldn’t see all the good that was happening to me lately, both in my photography and in my life, is that I’ve been clinging to the thought that’s been one of the constants in my head since early this year: that the only time that I was happy, truly happy, was when I was a singer/songwriter late last year.
You’d think that it’s not such a bad thing, right? Wrong. Yeah, I was truly happy in those short months. Happiest I’ve ever been my entire life. But that was the past. That was in a former life. Those months were lived by an old identity, an older version of me. That John isn’t what I am now. Haven’t been since January.
I’m a music photographer now. And all this time, I’ve associated true happiness with a past life. Of course, I didn’t see that life as such, as a past life. I believed that it’s something that I still wanted solely because of how I was in those nights I was singing my songs on stage. Being in front of people, strangers, was never something I thought I’d ease into. It was never something I thought I’d be capable of doing. And I did. It gave me a voice. I’ve been silent all my life and for the first time, I could be heard.
But that’s a past life. That’s a previous version of me. My focus has shifted now. My passions different. There are tons of great things that have happened to me since I held a camera again – great things that should’ve kept me sane but never did. I’ve identified myself with the life I now lead, and I can’t keep thinking that true happiness can only be had through music. It’s a dangerous concept, holding on to things in the past that jeopardizes both your present and future.
And so I’ve decided to let go of music. Not quit, mind you. Let go. Move on.
This is much different from when I walked away from music back in January. I quit back then. I left that life for all the wrong reasons. I left that life with a heavy heart. I left that life even though I didn’t want to.
Now, I’m doing so for good reasons. I’m doing so because I need to. I’m doing so for the sake of my sanity. I need to fully embrace my life now. I need to accept my fate. And I’m alright with it.
I do have one gig lined up on December. Technically my first gig of the year. Also my last. One last gig. It’s at a venue that my past self has always dreamed of playing at. I can’t think of a better way to go out with a bang. The perfect night too bookend a past life.