I’m waiting on a video to convert in Final Cut, so I’m WRITING.
No plan as to where this text will go, kinda like I really have NO PLAN as to where I’m gonna go in less than a month after I graduate. Whew. Sweet analogy, eh?
I’ve been in several conversations in the last few weeks of people telling me to “GO! Get OUTTA here,” and I’ve said it a lot to myself as well. It’s like I’ve had a few false-starts in the race of life, and this time when the starting gun fires, I BETTER start to run, or I’ll be stuck wiping the dust off my shoes back at the blocks.
Lemme bring another analogy to you while I’m at it. Anytime a sports program gets a new coach, the fans want success as SOON as they get there. Is this realistic? NO. But we want it. (You hear that, Mark Gottfried?)
With moving and graduation, I have this FEELING that I HAVE to do it immediately after I’m done with school. Now, without a pre-lined up job, is THIS realistic? NOPE. But I’m wanting that immediate personal accomplishment as much as [State] fans are wanting quick wins. Most likely, I’ll free-lance it up this summer, and see where I can go from there…but you never know.
Now, lemme bring up MUSIC that’s helping inspire me to GO WITH IT. There’s this song called “A Dog from Hell (and His Good Advice)” by Damion Suomi & The Minor Prophets. The lyrics are PERFECT for my situation.
One line goes, “If you’re gonna try…go all the way/This could mean losing, again and again/Wives and girlfriends, sleepin’ on a park bench…”
And another (real kicker) goes, “Too often I hear people complain that they’ve done nothing with their lives/and they wait for someone to tell them, “it isn’t SO…” (And the music cuts, waiting for the person to show up. They don’t. Brilliant.)
MAN. The whole song is awesome, and the message is all about GOING OUT AND DOING SOMETHING WITH YOUR LIFE.
I freakin’ love it. Go buy their whole record, because you’ll love it. It’s got an Irish folk sound (kinda Mumford & Sons-ish) and it’s FULL of relatable struggles. Get it.
Anyway, songs like that and conversations like the ones I’ve had are continuing to throw fuel onto the fire that’s under my ass to leave for a while and make it somewhere.
Dunno where yet. Dunno exactly when. But it’s gotta be soon. Or I’ll be that guy waiting for someone to tell me it’s OK that I didn’t do anything.
And that’s not me.
I haven’t posted much about this on my Tumblr, but now that it’s coming together, I’ll be sharing a LOT. Basically, my grad school capstone (thesis) is going to be an “interactive” documentary about local musicians. Here’s the story/tagline:
“Six jobs. Six sounds. These are the stories of six Greensboro, NC musicians who play and write music out of LOVE and PASSION, but support themselves through “real world” day jobs. They go to work to pay the bills. They play music to pay their hearts.”
Everybody has a story, and I thought the stories of the double lives of musicians who work day jobs needed to be shared. There are hundreds out there. Here’s MY “cast”:
Soon to come: News 2 Meteorologist Eric Chilton as “The Weather Man.”
Trailer will be launched tomorrow, April 21. Final version launched and online MAY 16.
Check it out. Eight years ago, when I was a 17-old high school senior, our English teacher, Ms. Daye, had all of us write a letter to our future selves. It could be about anything from our life experiences to high school memories to future goals and expectations. Ms. Daye would keep the letters and mail them to us four years later, adding necessary postage increases to the envelopes if needed.
Well, four years ago in the spring of 2007, I was going through one of the biggest tests of my life. I hadn’t really been myself for a while, and had to get knocked to the bottom to realize where I needed to be. In the middle of this transition, I got a letter in the mail from my 17-year-old self, and it came at the perfect time.
Now, I’m four years have passed since I RECEIVED the letter, and eight since I wrote it, and I wanted to break it back out again. I’m a month away from finishing a graduate program at Elon, and once again, I’m in a transitional period of my life. Nothing is solid right now, I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, and I don’t know where I’m going after May.
I’ve always been one to TALK about jumping and taking risks, but a lot of the time I get to the edge of the metaphorical cliff, spread my wings, and then just stand there shaking with bits of gravel falling over the side. Reading this letter again, though, I realize that I’m coming up on one of my last chances to really MAKE that flight. It’s scary and exciting and even as I’m writing I have that feeling in my chest like I drank too much coffee before bed.
Anyway, I wanted to post the letter I wrote to myself once more, now eight years removed from the ink of my pen and the halls of Grimsley High. I’ve been through SO much since then, but my voice is pretty much the same, and I think you’ll be able to “hear” it in the text. Some of it is written as inside jokes that won’t make sense, but a lot deals with my feelings at the time, and following my heart. Time has passed, and I had big goals, but I still do now, and I’m ready to shoot for ‘em. I was a 17-year-old kid then.
And I’m a 25-year-old kid now. Waiting for what’s next. Enjoy.
Yeah, that’s me. Dang I can’t believe 13 years of school are over and I’m about to go to college. But what really makes it awesome is that it’s the college I’ve always wanted to go to in my heart: NC State. As I look forward now, there’s so much to look back on. There’s been so many friends, changes, and experiences that I’ll always remember, and some I’ll forget.
Geez, I mean, I remember getting my Kindergarten shots. That sucked, but I lucked out getting Ms. Mahoney. She started my great school experience off on a high note. Yeah, there have been times when I’ve wanted to go back to those days, kinda like John Mayer says “I wish I was six again”. But then I remember all the friends, knowledge, and good times I wouldn’t have if I did.
I don’t really hang out with all of my first friends from back then anymore, which is sad. We all kinda went our separate ways, but it’s been great seeing how we’ve all turned out. I’ll always remember those guys.
Ha, and how ‘bout all of my crushes? Wow, not always the best luck, but hey, I’m a nice guy with baby blue eyes, haha. From [blank] to [blank] and [blank] to [blank], haha. Yeah, I’ve learned a lot over the years.
Elementary school was great. I’ll never forget Lindley, and many of my experiences there. The smell in the old auditorium, and the little steps that seemed so big, and my once-fear of fire drills. All my teachers were great, and I had some good times.
Then Kiser, where I was scared as hell at first, but everything only got better. Middle school is harsh on many, but I got lucky. It helped turn me into the person I am today. I was no longer shy, and I really broke out of my shell. Once again, my teachers were great, from Dalton to Callicutt to Whiteheart. Many new friendships were formed, but I hung out with the old guys too. I still can’t believe I ran track, haha, or tried to at least. It was also a great time because I was confirmed and began to know and understand God. I’m grateful for Callicutt’s help as a mentor.
I remember all the middle school dances. Everyone was too afraid to dance, so we just stood around until the “Macarena”, haha. But the 8th grade dance was great. I took Jessica Bartow, and it was my first dance with a date.
Wow, and Science Olympiad. I really was a dork, but it was fun, haha. We got so much better, and I got to know Mr. Whiteheart well. He was the man.
And then high school. Wow. Everything leading up was great, but now virtually meant nothing. Scary. Huge. AMAZING. The last 4 years have been the best of my life, and each one has gone by progressively faster. This place was so big, and I was so little I didn’t know what to expect. I looked at my freshman ID today, and it’s crazy how different I am now. Cheesy grin’s still there, but wow, I was just a kid.
Geez, Freshman year. Ms. Oakley zero period. PE class. Mr. Feeney’s science class. 27-14—the only win I saw over Page. Ham’s EVERY Friday night. B’ball. Dang I wish I’d hung out with all those guys later on. So much snow. The eternal school year. My first Young Life of so many.
And Sophomore year. Another zero period, but with my favorite teacher ever, Jamie O’Sullivan. He was just a kid too, and more of a friend than a teacher. When I think of Zelda for 64, I think of him. Weird, haha. Two sciences. Tough year. Many new friends. I was changing again. LACROSSE-first time, great times. TWIRP with Katie Armstrong—first High School dance for me. 16th b’day, 1992 Ford Explorer. Frontier that summer. The best week ever—saw God in so many wonderful ways. My first ever loss—Grandaddy Caldwell. He was so great, and taught me so much. I miss him.
Junior year. Hard as crap, but I survived Williamson’s ID’s. McNees, another GREAT teacher—FOR SHEEZY. I gotta keep in touch with him. My last year of art, and 4 classes with Chamblee and Cason. Braces off. ARISE #13. Archie Miller’s senior year. Last time at Windy Gap. Peach Bowl. AP Exams. Varsity LAX – 15-7 yeah yeah. Potts, Shirley, and Burns. Water Balloons. Great times, teachers, and lessons. Europe in the summer- Love for soccer returned. Shaggy Hair. Discovery of John Mayer.
And now Senior year. The fastest and best of all 4. I’m finally on top only to be on the bottom next year. So many friendships have developed so well to this point. I’ve had 4 AP’s, but great teachers this year. My classes have been tough, but I’ve made it. Getting hype for EVERY sport has been great, from THUG night to “WHIRLIES” on our chests. John Mayer concert. Arise #15. College acceptances. A new plateau in life. I’m still going up. The big choice: UNC or NC State? In the end, I had to go with my heart. NC State will be great! LAX senior year—better than ever. Loved the team and coaches. It helped me take stuff out on the field. Heart and Hustle. It’ll be a major thing that I’ll miss. TWIRP Court—2nd runner-up, yeah yeah. Mr. Whirlie. Spring Break—new friends I wish I’d hung out with earlier.
No regrets though. Gotta look forward to future good times. Graduation is here and I feel ready but scared at the same time. It’ll all be good with help from God, family, and friends. All I can do now is keep following dreams. Never give up. And say what I gotta say. The world’s waiting for me. Wish me luck.
Grimsley High School
“Everybody’s just a stranger, but that’s the danger in going my own way. I guess it’s the price I have to pay.” – John Mayer
I promise I’ll start writing useful blogs again soon, but I like making fun of my 2006 self. Ohhhh, MySpace. Ohhhh, douchiness.
Like with this photo, for example:
Wow. Sweet timer shot, Drew. You were so skilled in posing in a manner that looked like you were hitting Mayer-esque Gravity-notes without actually making any noise come out of the guitar. And your expression is so focused, you can tell you were trying REALLY hard to “play” the guitar. What a capture. Oh, and nice polo shirt.
Man. This is fun.
PS: Making it black and white was a good call. Gives it an artistic vibe. Cheers, you.
Another 2006 self-shot MySpace-esque photograph. I guess I felt the need to show how disgustingly bad my sunburn was while making a semi-concerned/cute/smiling/ouch-face with my perfect mop-top of hair.
Can’t you just feel my PAIN in this one?
Gross. What a Drewche. Geez, 2006.
First in the series.
Ahh, 2006. Hands down my “coolest” year. I mean, come on. Look at this picture:
Backwards hat. Perfectly placed shaggy hair. I’m WINKING.
The question is, am I winking because I’ve got a joke for yah, or some kind of secret? Or was I just so wrapped up in my own douchery that I thought I was cool? Hmm.
It was the peak of MySpace, and MySpace self-photography. Back in those days, gratuitous pictures of yourself were the way to GO. You’d snap 30 pictures of yourself and post the best ones, even if they were all pretty much the same. I mean, what’s cooler than an album titled, “Me”?
PS: More to come. I’ve got albums of these things.