That one time when I opened for my favorite musician...

(scroll down for photos)

A year ago, I got wine drunk and bought a bunch of concert tickets on a whim so I could follow my favorite musician and his band on tour across the country for 10 days. I had no expectations; I was simply hoping to find some inspiration. To the naked ear, it sounds a smidge stalkerish, but I just wanted to learn from the best. Every successful musician, author, actor, entrepreneur, etc., has learned from the paths of people they admire. Besides, what better way to decide if a job is for you than to experience it first-hand? (PS, anyone know where someone can return an expensive college degree he/she earned due to the fear of chasing a riskier career he/she actually wanted five years ago and still wants? Asking for a friend...)

Two weeks ago, all thanks to that road trip, I was honored to open for Eric Hutchinson, the aforementioned musician, at my favorite venue in my hometown. At any given time, you can probably find me staring blankly, trying to process that sentence. It's definitely not my "big break," but it was the single-most pivotal moment for myself as a musically-driven human. Follow ur dreams, kidz.

Here's the quote that has been inspiring me to take risks for the last eight years:

"First do what's necessary, then do what's possible. Suddenly, you're doing the impossible." -St. Francis of Assisi

Now I'm sitting here (staring blankly, processing the gig that happened two weeks ago) asking myself, "what's next?" 

One thing is for certain: I'm chasing the right career.

Here are some photos from the show on August 18th. Photo credit: Rachel Kraft & Devin Graf. 

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No. Big. Deal.

Whenever I'm struggling with something, I try to make a conscious effort to seek out a book to help. If someone wiser & smarter than me has taken the time to provide some tips, there's gotta be something to that.

My current struggle is anxiety, and it's my internal elephant in every room I walk into. For me, anxiety comes in waves. I'll be fine for months until I'm not. There's usually not a reason for it; it just exists. It sucks, but it's there.

Anyway, the book I came across this week is Running Man by Charlie Engle. It's the powerful memoir of a man who used running (marathons, ultra races, adventure races, etc.) as a catalyst to battle addiction.

You could say he dealt with a bit of anxiety himself.

The second-to-last paragraph was monumental for me, and it's the first tool I've found in a long time that actually helps me combat anxiety symptoms as soon as they begin to crawl under my skin:

"I continue to believe that life is all about adaptation. It is not the circumstances that we are dealt that define us. Instead, the fabric of who we are is crafted by how we react, cope, adapt; and now I have a new mantra that I carry with me. It's simple, yet undeniably powerful...When faced with what might seem to be an overwhelming hardship...calm [your] breathing and with each exhale [repeat] these three words, one at a time: 'No. Big. Deal.'

I taped this mantra to my desk, and I intend to keep it in my mind at all times.

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