Here's to Good Times and Great Friends!
In the last few weeks, it has become a bit nerve wracking. I occasionally feel like I'm screaming into the Void and hoping that it will somehow manage to shout back. And yet, I've come so far recently, making crucial contacts and building genuine relationships with people in my industry... It's hard to see that progress sometimes, but I recently went back to UMW for my formal commencement ceremony and it really hit home that I have made genuine progress. I've spent so much of my life in Academia, where progress is measurable in grade points and percentages that it's sometimes hard to see forward movement that can't be quantified or accounted for by checking on a transcript.
At UMW, I have made great friends and fantastic memories. I developed skills that, before UMW, I never thought I'd ever want to have. I've run three different types organizations. I've acted as an independent liaison between politically charged fractions of students and administration. I've planned and pulled off massive cultural events and community-wide festivals, and I've personally orchestrated 4 separate events with dozens of caterers even more entertainers and budgets that make my tuition look cheap. I've run a radio station. I've been the technical adviser on two dozen outsourced presentations, and the audio engineering assistant on at least as many concerts. I've played cards with Nate Ruess from fun. and I've shared a bag of Cheetos with Matt & Kim. I've spent time working one on one with the creator of the light-show that completed Krewella's Cochella extravaganza. I've spent an after noon with the Jonas Brothers. I've hung out with a dozen more epic artists; back stage at concerts, on music video sets, and in University Fitness Centers. I went half way around the planet with no one but myself to rely on to make sure I made it back. I have done a hell of a lot.
Since coming home, I've played Dragon Age Inquisition and watched literally everything there is to see on Netflix... It's made me feel like I'm not really doing anything important, you know? Especially in comparison to my undergrad... But that's not true. The way I feel is based on the fact that it seems like the bulk of my day is spent on movies and video games, but it really isn't. I'm email friends in the music world, contacting people on the edges of networks I'm already in and using the relationships I'm building with them, to join new and even more expansive networks. I've learned how to do taxes. I've spent hours on the phone with executives in the industry I adore. I've gone on real business trips and learned how to catch a cab in three different cities. I've learned how to call Triple A for a flat tire. I've figured out how my health insurance works. I've managed to gain an understanding of my student loans and how I can use them to build up my credit score rather than having them stand as a black mark against me. I've perfected the art of the 30-sec perfect first impression, and I've had interviews with some amazing people who have become genuine allies in my quest to join the music industry.
I'm still living off my parents. And my student loans are looming on the horizon, but I'm doing okay. I have a plan, I know where I'm going and I know how to get there. Maybe I'm not sprinting up the ladder of success just yet, but Music has always been an industry of "hurry up and wait". I'll get where I'm going soon enough, and I will definitely be getting there. I'm already well on my way.