January 2018 New Year’s Resolution: DO what makes you happy
I’ve never really believed in this concept. In fact, I’ve never consciously pursued bettering myself until earlier this year. Keyword: consciously.
I’ve been writing for a long time – it’s kind of embarrassing that I’ve never done anything with it. If you were to one day go through my personals, you’d find nothing but journals filled with poetry, stories, lyrics, songs, the occasional diary entry and of course, the obsession with word play and phonological limericks.
One day, one of those dramatic despairing “I need to sit down and write out my emotions” kind of day, I sat and wrote this song. From start to finish. I played the melody on the piano and for the first time in a long time I felt centered. I then heard my inner voice say, “You need to go in to the studio and record this”. I haven’t thought about recording since I was 19. But in the spirit of the “doing what makes you happy” anthem, I called the only audio engineer I know to see if he can help me out. He connected me with his friend, Robbie, who I am now eternally grateful for. That first studio session sparked something inside me that I lost a long time ago. I was hooked.
I started off with two songs: Mirror Thoughts and Without Your Wonders. Ironically, Without Your Wonders is one of the very first songs I ever wrote about a friend who passed away in a motorcycle accident. His parents created the Mark Daniel Flores Music Foundation in his honor which I am happily a part of. Mirror Thoughts however, is one of the newer songs, the one I wrote that day I felt alone and driven with fear.
Let’s be realistic. I am not a professional musician. I am not a professional singer. I know that. In fact, it’s the reason I never pursued music. Because I thought I was never good enough. Musicians around me were so much better. My father believed I had no business picking up a guitar. It’s not lady like. I can’t make a career in music is another thought. I had “friends” around me talking about how shitty I was. They didn’t know I knew, but I knew they talked about me negatively. They were just confirming what I already believed; that I was worthless as a musician. So, I never performed, I never tried. I tinkered with the idea by playing occasionally with Darrell and Daniel, my “bandmates” from Pie Squared 2. But even then, it was not something I wanted. I ignored the positive feedback and accepted the negative as my own.
I was first chair all throughout middle school and freshman year of high school as a violinist. My first instrument was a Cello when I was 8 years old. I then moved on to singing in choir and took some piano lessons. In college, I minored in music for two years before giving it up. I was told by teachers from high school and well into college that I had potential. A college professor from Citrus College was absolutely in love with my writing and couldn’t wait to see what I was going to bring to the world. The signs were right in front of me the entire time. Not of being successful, but of just continuing to do what I was meant to be doing. Instead, I chose to listen to my fear and stayed safely within my comfort zone well throughout my early and mid-twenties.
Back to January 6th, 2018. I was incredibly unprepared during my first session, but too eager to care. Robbie made me feel like I was in the right place. The first musically inclined individual to achieve this. It helped me surrender to myself and be as I am. I was in control my entire life without realizing it. We worked on the tracks two days straight and had the drummer Jose Martinez come in for the beats. I sang the best I could at the time and felt great about it. At the end of it all, I remember driving home flabbergasted. My spirit was alive again and I knew this was a start of something phenomenal.
Here’s what I say to our youth. Quiet your thoughts and listen to your inner voice. It knows you better than yourself or anyone else around you. Absorb positivity from those who wish you well. They truly believe in your success. White noise will always exist. Learn how to channel it through your work as opposed to allowing it to block you mentally. Lastly, careers can be whatever you want it to be. Work towards it a step at a time and remember to be kind to everyone around you along the way. I believe strongly in being kind to others, more so than anything else and deserves a separate post. For now, it’s helpful to know that kindness is essential to happiness and peace. I mean… who wouldn’t want that?
P.S. Below is a photoshoot @ Big Bad Sound LA Studio which has been torn down recently due to relocating to a bigger and better place! You can check them out @ bigbadsoundla.com
Photo Credit for website images and blog post images to this gorgeous human artist: Vasty Ram (check out her website: https://vastyram.com/)
Hair stylist cred goes to Trevor Garcia (insta: trevorwayne_) I’m well overdo to see you for a touch up!
Makeup cred to Desiree Foote. Thank you for the LAST MINUTE appointment and great job cleaning me up nicely!