“The advantage of emotions is that they lead us astray.” – Oscar Wilde
Instead of paying attention to the road while driving the other day, I was lost in thought. I was mostly thinking about how expensive gas is and if I wanted Mexican or Chinese for dinner. Then I started getting caught up in the “LET’S ANALYZE OUR LIFE TO DEATH” thought tirade. I honestly cannot believe how different my life is now, compared to what I envisioned it would be when I was much younger. How a series of events, happenstance and conscious action lead me to this particular place. I must say, this place looks absolutely nothing like I had envisioned it. When I was growing up, I mapped out a completely different plan. I think we all did. More than likely, I thought I’d be extremely famous doing something that would elicit being extremely famous. I probably thought I’d be madly in love with some gorgeously competent man that was equally as famous for doing something that elicited being extremely famous. I probably thought I’d have over a million dollars saved in the bank and be living in some swank ass New York City apartment, attending exciting social events and traveling abroad 4/7 days a week. This is clearly not the case today, as I am speeding down some road, somewhere in the USA, debating between a quesadilla or chicken with garlic sauce.
I chose the music business because I love music. I started out as a recording artist. I went to Berklee College of Music and started a rock band, I got in a small van with a bunch of smelly dudes and toured the country. I hustled. I played small dive bars for $75 a night. I played the House of Blues for a couple thousand people and played over 60 shows on the Vans Warped Tour. After my band dissolved, I went solo into dance music, established a fan base in the gay nightlife community, got paid and stayed out dancing until 4 a.m. After that, I joined a short lived girl group and did a TASTEFUL (TASTEFUL! TASTEFUL!) nude photo shoot (no regrets!). However, toward the end of all of this experience, I was tired. I had done so much but I was frustrated and unsatisfied with everything, despite my hard work and moderate success. On my 10th year in the business, I have been fortunate enough to spend more time in a recording studio. This has been a very different experience being that I spent most of my music career on a stage. As a result of having very few distractions, I fell in love with writing. I fell in love with the process of making songs. I started wanting to write less for myself and just write for the sake of writing. I started exploring different genres of music and production. I became part of a music production team, (www.facebook.com/thehighlifecollective) and started writing songs and working with other artists. I didn’t ever envision myself working “behind the scenes.” Although this was not in my original plans, I started feeling a higher sense of purpose. I WAS HAPPY. (Or happier, anyways). What I am getting at is, feeling stuck, stagnate and unsatisfied at any point of your life obviously sucks. At 25 years of age, a lot of my friends are getting married, settling into their lives and jobs and homes. Some people I know are still boldly chasing their dreams and others are chasing boys/girls/social opportunities, etc. Regardless of age, we are all just chasing something. Sometimes we chase the right things in the wrong way. or we stay “stuck” because it’s easier. When you think of the word “astray,” in its essence, it seems to have sort of a negative connotation. But I think being led astray is the only real path to truly finding yourself and your true purpose. Sometimes the WAY to finding your WAY takes an adjustment in direction.
KELSEY CHAOS’ 5 WAYS/TIPS/SUGGESTIONS TO GETTING UNSTUCK IN WORK AND LIFE WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING SUCKS AND NOTHING IS WORKING
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO YOUR FRIENDS
All of my Facebook friends are getting engaged. Literally, everyday there’s another announcement. Or someone is announcing a promotion or a cross country move or purchasing a new car and so on and so forth. Then I spiral into, “HOLY SHIT I AM GOING TO BE ALONE WITH CATS FOREVERMORE AND MY PROFESSION DOESN’T PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE AND I DON’T DRIVE A SWEET NEW CAR!” Then I have to take a Xanax, which is bad for you. Basically, we have to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. We are on a unique journey here. Everyone is. Just because you aren’t losing-your-mind in love with your version of Channing Tatum and still driving an Oldsmobile with no air conditioning doesn’t mean you’re doing poorly. Your engaged friends are probably sweating bullets over the wedding costs and your friend with the new car maybe just leased it. It all evens out. Focus on making yourself the best version of you and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Put simply, it cuts into your productive work time. While we are at it, let’s all delete our Facebooks, too. I hate FACEBOOK.
TAKE CALCULATED RISK AND INSPIRED ACTION
The Donald Trump didn’t become a multi-billionaire by sitting at home being afraid of taking a risk. Steve and Steve didn’t stay in that garage in California once they had something great to show the world. They took that shit to the streets. Calculated risk is what I equate to being one very important key to success. I’m starting to realize that it takes an awful lot of “failures” before the great stuff starts happening. The thing about it is, it takes inspired action i.e. WORK. It takes getting yourself out of your day to day, routine comfort zone. You have to push yourself to succeed and no one else is going to do it for you. Get cool with uncertainty, get cool with being super uncomfortable. It means you’re doing something!
STOP LISTENING TO EVERYONE
I happen to be a good listener. I listen to everything everyone tells me and most of the time I take it to heart. Sometimes your friends and family (although they may truly have your best interest in mind) still only speak advice from their particular experience and vantage point. Most people are afraid to change because it’s uncomfortable. Most people don’t like to take risks because it’s scary. It’s great to listen and heed good advice. That said, the popular opinion will not always be inline with your particular journey. At the end of the day the answers are always deep in your gut. Go with that. It will never fail.
REALIZE THERE IS A TIME AND PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND SOMETIMES THAT TIME AND PLACE COMES WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE OF: RIGHT NOW
I lost a lot of “friends” this year when I consciously decided I wanted to take my life in a different direction. You will outgrow some of your relationships when you desire to get “unstuck.” Real connections will likely stick around but the relationships of convenience and habit will most likely fade away. You are just in different places and going different, conflicting directions. What I am learning (the hard way) is that you will either grow together or apart.
The sign of strength is how well you adjust and how gracefully you let go. Sounds like a bunch of bullshit, right? My true belief is that the Universe conspires to bring you the people you need at exactly the perfect time to teach you things. Sometimes they stick around. Sometimes they don’t. You can learn so much from everyone you meet and spend time with. Learn as much as you can.
“MIGHT AS WELL JUMP, GO AHEAD AND JUMP”
There are so many phases of life. Some phases are long, some are temporary, and some end and lead you into different paths and opportunities. Oftentimes, a change in direction when you feel stagnate is the only way to get to a more positive and fulfilling place. I love to listen to people talk about their life experiences. I like to hear about the successes, failures, come-ups and mistakes.
Most of the time, people that know how to adjust to changes never regret having made a change, even if at the time it was hard to see the forest for the trees. Just keep a steady belief that your unique journey will work out!
‘Cuz it will!
ALSO, WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, LISTEN TO VAN HALEN.