Fuck 2018: A Year in Review

What a fucking year. Two Deaths. A 10+ year career in music halted. The current social and political climate.

I don’t want to dwell on politics and culture for too long ‘cuz it’s the hell we live through every day, but I will say this:

It’s obvious that Trump’s associates did something illegal. We’ll find out about him directly in due time. They weren’t ready for the national spotlight on them. I think they expected to lose the election, and then they’d go back to their business. What is not obvious is if there will be any consequences.

Internet politics is out of control. People react to what is said on the internet in real life, not the other way around. Do you feel influenced?

The Far Left is out of bounds. So is the Far Right. Almost everyone I meet is near the center, reasonable, and leans one way. There is nuance, and that’s what we’re missing. We need to speak up. We can’t have the minority fringe on either side controlling the dialogue. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence.The only way to cure bad ideas is with good ideas through constructive conversations, not silencing individuals and pushing bad ideas further to the edge.

Culturally, we seem to moving backwards and forwards simultaneously. I blame social media. Everyone should unplug from the computer/internet/phone/social media at least two days a week.

No one talks to each other anymore in public. Fight the urge to look at your phone next time you’re waiting in line for coffee. Stop and observe your fellow humans. Is this the future we want?

Outside of all the cultural and political bullshit, the last six months have been a tsunami of experiences that are uniquely common to every person on this planet. But for the first time in my adult life, it all happened to me.

Within 43 days two of my childhood friends died and I was laid off.

On May 11th, TJ died. On June 21st, I was laid off. On June 22nd, Kyle died.

Pick the least important life event there.

I knew the job wouldn’t last and after losing two friends, a job loss is like dropping a penny.  Getting laid off freed me from the clutches of a failing company and the biggest ego in the music industry. You need to frame it as a new opportunity. As you get older, you realize that money and work come and go, just stay focused on your career.

People are here. Then they are not. When someone close to you dies, everything else in your life gets violently thrown into perspective. Most of us have known each other since elementary school. Our lives have changed over the years, but a foundation of friendship has been a constant.

There is my life before I read a text message on May 11, 2018, at 2:09 PM PST, and my life after. It exists in two parts.

We haven’t been the same since. But we’re trying. We’re trying to be there for one another, for each other’s families. Be more present in each moment. I keep telling myself it’s going to get better.

Not everything was bad. And as a generally optimistic person as long as I don’t think too hard about the persistent realities, it feels unnatural to sum up a whole year as shit. But it’s true.

As cliche as it is, I’ve learned once again not to take life for granted.

Keep in touch with your friends and family. Pick up the phone. Send a text. Make plans to be together. Strengthen existing relationships and make new ones. Pursue your passions with the same tenacity you bring to your professional life. Be kind. Be patient. Be open. Take a deep breath.

Do not waste any time. Do what you want to do. Don’t let anything hold you back. Think about how fast time flies. Then think about what you’re doing with each moment.

I don’t have any answers yet. But I’m looking. They say time is the only thing that heals wounds as deep as this. I don’t have enough of it yet to agree.

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