Indeed, today is the day for the digital release of my Manifest Destiny EP on the Night Orchard Recordings label. I have been waiting for this day for over two years since the planning process started, even longer if you count all those years of dreaming about rock stardom. Though I like to think I am much more “realistic” and “practical” in my more-adult views, I am still tantalized by the potential of that groundswell of support or viral buzz that skyrockets a songwriter or a band into popularity. But what happens after that? You’re still the same you that you were before, just maybe with different stuff and people around you. Similarly, in putting so much focus on what this EP release day would mean for me, there is that element in my mind of “Ok, now what?” I’m still the same me. The relative emptiness that I feel, post-manifestation-and-self-hype, feels a bit odd, but not unfamiliar – our lives are filled with finite events that are flanked on each side of the timeline by two utterly different perspectives: anticipation then hindsight. “Oh man, oh man, oh man,” accompanied by giddiness or hand-wringing can evolve into “Oh, that was silly of me,” or “Oh, that was awesome!” Here I am with one foot into hindsight.

So, with what do I fill this emptiness? I remind myself that this a relatively small endpoint in the beginning of my songwriting career. After this digital release comes the physical CD release, followed by getting out there and sharing with people who I am as a musician, followed by more songwriting, recording, releasing another album, and repeat. This surely is an opportunity to also remind myself that the fulfillment for me is in the creative process more so than the end result. I started playing guitar in 8th grade and continued to do so primarily because it was great self-therapy to be able to emote from this whole new realm. It felt good to just learn my favorite songs, then eventually to write my own riffs while trying out vocal melodies. I would like to think that not even rock stardom and wads of money could shake that process-not-product sentiment that runs strong in me now. I like keeping my day job to pay the bills, which leaves free the ability to seize creative inspiration when the opportunity arises, rather than to equate musical output to income and potentially be driven to dilute the art form for sake of monetary sustenance. Now, would my views change with time or offered money? Who knows. For now, within this emptiness, I see a lifetime of continued music-making ahead of me. And that is fulfilling.


About this entry