People, get ready, ’cause here it comes.
Not the kind that keeps your coat closed. It’s the kind at the bottom of the last in a long series of web pages. It says “Place Order” in quaint, serif-ed letters. It will remove $1,320 from my bank account and deposit a box containing 1000 copies of my first album, ‘Victory’, at my front door in exactly 8 business days.
This button is ruining my life.
It’s not the button’s exact existence, but the mere thought of pushing it that is pushing me toward a psychotic episode that may result in large-scale fire (or just large-scale containers of ice-cream).
I decided to start working on this album when I arrived in Alaska, starry-eyed and easily convinced almost two years ago. A lot has changed. I was miserable when I got here. I was bitter, in the midst of having my heart broken by the person who was supposed to be that “high school sweetheart” you end up little and old with, I had little-to-no job experience and I was on my way to my “fall-back school” because my first choice didn’t even wait-list me and my second choice was too expensive.
I moved into my dorm and settled in the first night I was here, and then I just went berzerk. I got three jobs, I kicked ass at school, I fell in love, like, three times a month. I wrote songs for the first time in years. I did whatever I wanted and I LOVED IT. And then, when the hormones and take-out containers settled, I came around to the dream I’d originally set aside for this exciting moment of newfound freedom – making the album I’d always mused about.
Between school, work, (other people’s) kids and wives, bouts of the flu and unfortunate events, I spent the next year putting together, playing bar shows with, and rehearsing a band. We recorded throughout last fall and winter. I spent all spring and summer listening to endless tweaked, adjusted, re-touched edits of each song and consulting with my artist/friend Michaela about the design. I admittedly ebbed and flowed to and away from the project a bit last winter, hence the long timeline, but it stayed everpresent in my mind.
When something as life-altering and important as, say, a pretty disc that contains 11 individual pieces of your raw soul weighs heavy on your mind for two years solid, one becomes accustomed to the constant pressure. The thought of lifting that suddenly and sending it off to Who Knows, USA to be pressed and printed and bar-coded and re-touched and mailed back by a bunch of (albeit credible) strangers is unthinkable. What will happen? Will it be so awful that I’ll just throw them all away and call it a loss? Will I spontaneously combust? Will I just sort of drift away when nobody’s looking when this heavy dream is no longer keeping me here?
That khaki-colored button means whatever happens next is happening NOW. It means that two years of deep thought and hard work interrupted by days of sleepless, anxious procrastination are over. I can’t be cranky about my album anymore or nervous about it or excited about it or stressed about it. It will be done. It will be in a box in the mail and then on my porch and then in my hands and then I will no longer have something keep me from moving forward into the big, messy something that lies ahead for me and these little pieces of my soul.
I have to click on it. I have to do the next thing, and I have to trust that the people around me and voices in my head that have helped me and inspired me and kept me sane will be there, too, just like they’ve been here with me for so long. I know it seems like a short while, but a small lifetime is drawing to a close with the birth of this thing that could change the world. I know that, no matter what “next” turns out to be, it’s going to change mine.
Well, here goes nothing.