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Two days after Christmas 2016, I was driving back home on terrifying MN roads with my beloved bearded dragon (John Mayer) wrapped in blankets. Little JM anxiously sat on my lap while my white knuckles strangled the steering wheel.
To tune out my anxieties, I turned up the radio and heard a funny segment, interviewing common people (I'm assuming) who had seen the original Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre in France. The funny part was that every person interviewed had one common opinion about The Mona Lisa: it was underwhelming in size.
"I expected more," they griped.
I get it. You paid a poop-ton of money to experience the painting's wonder, and you had to stand far away, with all the other greedy life forms hoping to have their kettles of deep emotions stirred before the dullness stuck to the bottom of their intrinsic pans. I can empathize.
Thanks to this story, I was inspired to finish my final of 14 original songs for an upcoming live show. I added a verse that eludes to the consequences of circumstantial expectations.
Let me explain. High expectations rarely turn out the way you envision. Having high hopes is okay. Having high hopes + no expectations is best. Having high hopes + high expectations is (usually) a fantastic way to set up yourself for a good cry in the worst way possible.
For example, sometimes you "just need to get away." Maybe do a little soul searching. The problem is that no one in the history of time has discovered themselves by mapping out a plan to find themselves. As a result, when you have high expectations for how an event or trip or action should make you feel, you'll typically wind up feeling different than intended. And that usually feels disappointing.
Returning to the people who visited the Mona Lisa, they felt disappointed because they expected the painting to make them feel awe and wonder. If they would have simply hoped to enjoy themselves and then formed their opinions after viewing ML, they likely would have had drastically different experiences.
So I dumped out this newfound bucket of wisdom into a song verse, and subsequently finished my last song, as stated earlier.
For a brief background, I have been working on this album for a couple years, and kicked it into high gear in October 2016. My goal was to finish it by the time the candle below burned out (which I did...it's flickering for its last breath of life as you read this). This candle will thankfully turn into a bourbon glass after it's dead (continue reading to see why I'm thankful).
And then irony did as irony does. I expected to feel overwhelming joy upon completion of my final song. Instead, I felt empty and instantly started weeping. I'm not kidding. I don't know where the tears ended and the snot started. Can't explain it, but that's what happened, folks.
Dear Mona Lisa,
Thanks for the lesson. I will now try to follow my own advice.
Lacey [I-Wish-There-Were-More] Guck
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Tonight I chatted with a good friend of mine who is having a difficult time adjusting to a new city. It's not a homesickness, but a soul sickness.
If you've ever had a dream that wasn't all it was cracked up to be, then you probably know the feeling I'm talking about. You set a goal and worked really hard to get there. And in the meantime, life happened. So when you finally did reach that goal, you didn't feel how you thought/hoped you'd feel.
But gosh, that's a beautiful revelation, hey?
You just spent days/months/weeks/years walking toward something, which left you no time to worry about the other little things. The little things that influenced why your life today is so different from your life a year ago. Your dream pulled a martyr move: it was a shield for worry bullets. Look behind you...what worries did your dreams take so that you could enjoy your day-to-day LIFE?
Sometimes goals are reached because you're meant to reach them. And sometimes goals are the beautiful beginning of a different direction.
Make something. Anything.
It doesn't have to be the best thing you've ever made. It doesn't even need to be good. It just needs to be something you made. And you need to acknowledge that you made it.
When I get stuck in a rut, I try to see the creative side of daily tasks. Here's some creative things I've done recently, most of which have nothing to do with music:
- wrote songs
- created ads at work
- crocheted ugly mittens that don't fit
- made soup from scratch
- carved a pumpkin
- came up with an idea for coffee drinking. so i wrote it down.
- made my apartment messy
- made my apartment clean
- decorated for Halloween
- built a website
- started this blog
- made my brain listen to new music
- pancakes. creative because I hadn't made them in a while.
- I exercised, which is a creative way to be less flubbery
- conversations with humans
- tried a new wine (s)
Oh, I almost forgot. I dressed up my dragon as Prince for Halloween.
Creative living. Just make something.