Ending Life Slowly
The new album from solo metal band Autumns Eyes
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Category Archives: OpEd

What’s In My Ears – March 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve made an updated post about what I’ve been listening to lately, so let’s dive straight into the music thats been saving this twisted brain from embracing full on insanity!



Doing a search for Jesu might become a pain in the ass due to all the Jesus results popping up, but once you find them you’ll be ready to slip into their warm bath of somber soundscapes. The guitars are like a delightful yet depressing blanket of dreary goodness. Unfortunately, I can’t take it in large doses, and this music has to be heard infrequently so as to avoid sinking into a never-ending pit of despair.


Deep Calleth Upon Deep

There’s been a lot of chatter surrounding the new album from Norway’s finest blend of black metal and rock music. I tend to love the lack of production on Satyricon records, as I find it adds unique character to an expanding group of metal bands who obsessively release album after album using the same tired production techniques we have all heard over and over again. Deep Calleth Upon Deep is a breath of fresh, cold, bitter, and blissfully beautiful Norwegian air.

Chelsea Wolfe

16 Psyche

The metal world is currently drowning in a deep love affair for the new Chelsea Wolfe record. Now before someone gets their horns in a bind to disagree with me, take a listen to this track before making any judgement. The guitars are thick enough to satisfy even the most stubborn of doom fans, thanks in part to the wonderful production by Ben Chisholm and the amazing studio provided by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. If you have any semblance of darkness in your heart, this record deserves a listen!


Time Moves Slowly

Did you ever catch the Letterman appearance of Future Islands with that strange head bobbing frontman? If so, chances are you ended up on a similar path such as myself when you became obsessed with finding out who this guy is. My search eventually led me to this band, Badbadnotgood, which interprets hip-hop in a refreshingly genius way that’s easy on the ears yet hard on the soul. Time Moves Slowly features the Future Islands frontman, but dig a bit deeper and find more collaborations with artists like Ghostface Killah, and you’ll see why this band is so bad, in a very good way.

Magic Sword

In The Face Of Evil

I don’t know what it is about Idaho bands and wearing masks, but whatever deals they’re making with demons over there in potato country, they seem to be working. Magic Sword is a one of a kind synth driven retro sounding band who I was first introduced to via the Thor Ragnarok movie trailer. After diving into their catalog, I was pleasantly surprised with enough synth goodness to keep a fan like me satisfied throughout the next wave of 80s inspired music that’s headed our way.

Plugging Back In From an Unplugged Break

After a few years of intense creative labor, releasing a new album, and taking a long break, I’ve decided to ease back into the music world like a beached whale sliding back into the sea. Making an album is a fun experience, but it does tend to fill the brain with an overabundance of perplexity. Taking a few months off and unplugging from the world is just an attempt at giving life some much needed room to breathe. There’s been plenty of great moments wedging themselves into my frigid little world here in Connecticut, many of which are shaping the very foundation of what I do and who I am.

Back when I first started planning the release of Ending Life Slowly, I made a proposal to my girlfriend of twelve years. I proposed many things. I proposed we get married, I proposed that I release a new album, and I proposed they both happen in the same month. How stressful could it be to plan a wedding and an album release at the same time? It’s October after-all, the greatest month ever! Fast forward to November, and witness my cold lifeless body sprawled out on the couch basking in the first five minutes of silence I’ve enjoyed in what seemed like ages.

After the hype died down, December ran its icy fingers down my grumpy face, and slapped me with the biggest surprise Ive ever experienced in my life. I generally hate celebrating my birthday, to the point where everyone knows not to make a big deal about it. My wife, on the other hand, she loves a good surprise. So as I proceed to open the gifts she gave me that night, I find a box. I open the box to reveal a piece of paper that says “Coming, Summer 2018” followed by another sheet of paper that says “The adventure of a lifetime!”…followed by a book.

Coming right off the excitement of seeing the new Star Wars movie, I see that she got me a children’s book about Chewie and the Porgs from The Last Jedi. To say my reaction was one of confused curiosity would be an understatement, but my wife instructed me to open the book. That’s when my face dropped like a log, as I saw a note that said “You’re going to be a great Dad!” along with two concert tickets she made to the viewing of our ultrasound appointment to see our first child together. Needless to say, I was a blubbering mess of tears, smiles, laughter, and the most excitement I had ever felt in my entire life.

Fast forward to today, and we are expecting a healthy baby boy this July, and we could not be more excited. Of course this opened up a whole new chapter in my strange and unusual life. One that Im looking forward to more than anything Ive ever experienced. So where does that leave the music in my life? Does this mean I’m only going to be writing sing-a-long albums about sunshine and rainbows? Absolutely! Im here to announce that Autumns Eyes will no longer focus on the darker side of creativity, and instead will be…okay yeah no thats just gross.

Theres always a bit of malevolence in the air, and for me to avoid making music inspired by said malevolence would be an injustice to all the twisted little black hearts that love to listen. I had some things planned for the second half of the Ending Life Slowly marketing campaign, but upon reflection, they just seemed a bit too stale. A music video was being shot, but it wasn’t anything of value. I owe it to myself and the people who have supported Autumns Eyes, to create something with more depth. Something that stands up to the music, and compliments it, rather than detracts from it.

Studio 2018

There are also some new shirts being created, and going through a new manufacturer this time around. They will be printed by the same company who does the amazingly bad-ass prints for Fright Rags. Artwork for the shirts was created by Sorrow Grips, the same artist who did the stunning cover art for Ending Life Slowly. We worked on this idea together in order to bring fans a truly awesome design that had never been done before on any piece of Autumns Eyes merchandise. Unfortunately it does cost a pretty penny to produce, so once that is ready to go, you can rest assure I’ll be promoting the hell out of it. Not just to recoup the cost, but because Im genuinely thrilled to share this dreadfully beautiful artwork.

Hopefully this selfishly indulgent update hasn’t been too much of a bore, but at least some of you may be able to share in some of the excitement for whats to come. I haven’t lost an ounce of motivation, and the ideas for more musical madness keep piling up in my brain like bones in a graveyard. Now that Ive had time to decompress, I will start diving back into social media as well. So if you’re in search of more details, stay connected to Autumns Eyes on both Twitter and Instagram. As always, thank you all for the support!

How I Came to Love the Band Ghost, After Senselessly Hating Them

A funny thing happens as you get older, in your youth you spend so much time open minded to the world and its endless possibilities. Then you start to age, and your mind slowly narrows towards your own tastes and interests. Your worst fears start to come true once you have the revelation that todays music is garbage, and nothing like the days while growing up. Thankfully I put a stop to that thought process the second it started rearing its ugly head into my brain. The band Ghost is a perfect example of how I was able to actually enjoy something new, just by letting my grumpy guard down.

Years ago there were whisperings of this new band making a lot of noise in the metal community, a band named Ghost. At first I pondered how such a simple band name had never been used before, and then I decided to take a look into who they were. That idea immediately hit a brick wall due to the fact that this band was hiding behind makeup and masks. Suddenly, I was bludgeoned with flashbacks of my experience with Slipknot kicking off a surge of terrible copycat bands wearing masks and makeup in the early 2000s. An era of heavy music that many of us angry metal fans wish never existed. Coupled with the fact that one of the earliest bands I took part in wore makeup on stage, it was easy to see this schtick was triggering some post traumatic irritation.

By this point, I was convinced that this band Ghost did not deserve my time or attention. The fact that they relied on theatrical aesthetics was enough to shun me away for good. Things got even worse when I started reading headlines about the band on every single heavy music website. The icing on the cake was last year when the band actually won a Grammy for best metal performance. After pondering why and how this could be happening, I sent an email to one of my friends who’s musical knowledge is respected at religious levels. I asked him for an explanation, knowing that he would be just as stubborn as me with his response. I was wrong, and this email set off a chain of events that spun me into a whirlwind of obsessive madness.

My friend asked if I had ever heard of a song called Square Hammer, to which I denied, but with subtle curiosity. He told me how the song was beaten to death on rock radio stations, but it was actually a great sounding catchy song. This is when I first decided to actually listen to the band. As if that idea would have crossed my head long ago before deciding to take such an idiotic stance against a band I had never even listened to!

Upon first listen I was annoyed, and I don’t quite understand why. Im guessing it was just my common sense coming to terms with my stubborn little shit attitude. One thing that stuck with me, aside from the catchy keyboard riff in the opening of the song, was the bands sense of humor. Right off the bat I recognized how this band wasn’t taking itself too seriously, much like another band I worship, Type O Negative. It brought back memories of hearing Peter Steele ramble on about hilarious concepts, all the while maintaining an intense sonic delivery. At this point it was time to do some serious digging, and start exploring the bands discography.

The deeper I dug, the more enamored I became with everything this band stood for. Granted, I wasn’t a rabid fan of every song they released, but the ones that stuck with me did so in a way that left an everlasting impact on my ears. Before I knew it I was on a path to loving this band that I previously had shunned for no good reason. How absurd that I could be so selfish and arrogant to deny myself from experiencing something that moved me. This was a huge wake up call to stop seeing the music world with such narrow vision, and be open to anything and everything.

Of course this newfound ideology comes with limitations, as there are always going to be bands which drive my eyes to fall out of their sockets in sheer disgust. Despite the fact that anger and arrogance will always linger inside my musical prowess, I am looking forward to a future where there might just be another band like Ghost to take me by surprise. Everyone is always talking about what the next big thing in music will be, and in this case, it was right in front of me the whole time!

6 Christina Ricci Roles That Made Me Pass Out

As a young boy surrounded by everything from Batman to Freddy Krueger, it was fair to say my taste for the darker side of life was becoming more prominent as the years progressed. While many of my friends continued to lust after supermodel celebrities, I struggled with finding my own crush to swoon over. That is until I first gazed into the gigantic glassy eyes of that creepy little devil we call Christina Ricci. It was, without question, love at first fright.

Over the years I transitioned away from drooling obsession, and became more respectful of her film career. Despite my polite demeanor into adulthood, there were still a few moments where the air was sucked out of my lungs before I even had time to gasp. These are the six moments where Christina Ricci appeared on screen, and I appeared on the floor, passed out from a heart that beat faster than you could reach for the pause button during Black Snake Moan.


I have a soft spot in my black little heart for Werewolves, so what a perfect match it was to find Christina Ricci sharing the screen with a few lovely Lycanthropes.

Christina Ricci - Cursed

Prozac Nation

The last thing I was thinking about when I saw this movie on the shelf was how I’d love to dive into a human study about depression. She’s naked on the f’ing cover for gods sake!

Christina Ricci - Prozac Nation

Buffalo ’66

Despite the fact that director Vincent Gallo treated Miss Ricci like absolute garbage on set, the film went on to become a cult classic amongst independent film lovers.

Christina Ricci - Buffalo '66

Sleepy Hollow

Playing the ever so lovely Katrina Van Tassel, we finally got to see a softer side of Christina Ricci. Proof that she could rock the goth look even back in the cumbersome garb of the late 1700s.

Christina Ricci - Sleepy Hollow


This one took me by surprise, and Im almost positive I spit out my drink several times while watching. Needless to say, Ricci is decked out in her birthday suit for the majority of this picture. Is it wrong that her being dead makes it even more desirable? Probably.

Christina Ricci - After Life

Black Snake Moan

Do I even need to type anything for this one? Are we all pretty much in agreement there?

Christina Ricci - Black Snake Moan

If your pulse is still beating at a healthy rate, and your lungs have yet to collapse, you’re probably wondering why there are only six Ricci roles listed here. Well, there’s clearly more to list, but I’ll leave that up to you. Once you start venturing into the dozens, it starts to crossover into that creepy realm of sleazy internet countdowns.

Old Man Shakes Fist at New Music

I’ll admit it’s difficult to get me excited with new music these days. As I approach the middle of my glorious and confusing thirties, I start to accept the inevitable grumpy attitude that awaits my elder years. It’s certainly not like it used to be, when I was young and a friend could show me a new album and quickly get my juices flowing. Hell, I’d even buy an album for no reason other than it had cool cover artwork!

That’s actually exactly how I got introduced to the band Nevermore. My friend found the CD in a discount bin at a local Caldor department store (yes, it’s ancient history, I know), and we gave it a listen based solely on its cover art. Later on while listening we discovered the track titled Matricide, and had a good laugh over how absurd it was for such a heavy band to be singing about mother Earth.

Even word of mouth was enough to get my ears anxious to hear what could have been the next best thing in my music library. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for today’s music. Now is that because the music has changed, or am I just becoming bored and complacent? Most likely it’s my always increasing inner-curmudgeon to blame. That’s not to say all hope is lost, there are a few bands who’s new material is just enough to get this angry asshole out of bed in the morning.


I’ve always placed more than a bit of curiosity towards this strange looking skull faced fellow who was constantly plaguing the metal news headlines. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I decided to actually give the band a shot. To my friends shock and surprise, I was apparently one of the last people on the planet who had yet to hear the ever so hook-inducing track, Square Hammer. I was indeed hooked after the first listen, and the second, and the two-hundredth. Word has it the band just received a major lineup change before recording their new album, which is said to be much darker than prior releases. I’m always on board for darker music, and such a unique band as this certainly deserves a spot on my playlist.

The Sword

When I’m craving guitar riffs that remind me of a thick piece of chocolate cake suffocating in weed smoke, I reach for The Sword. Granted that’s an odd description, but this is an odd band in my opinion. Somehow they have managed to take the stoner formula, and give it a slick modern edge whilst remaining true to the genres classic dirty sludge roots. It’s been a while since their last record, and I’m sure as shit looking forward to whatever they release next.


Seriously? Yes. When you’re the absolute biggest metal band to rome the Earth, you’re bound to garner absurdly large amounts of both acclaim and disdain. What I love about Metallica is that they seriously don’t give a fuck. Plenty of metal bands pretend not to give a fuck, but these guys seriously don’t give a fuck. They make music on their terms, they released one of the most honest documentaries depicting the life of a band, and they’re still playing better than ever despite all the shit they’ve been through. I wasn’t a fan of anything they did after the black album up until Death Magnetic, but this new album Hardwired to Self Destruct has brought back the same goosebumps I got as a kid listening to Master of Puppets.

Chelsea Wolfe

Females bring something unique to the table when it comes to music. They have a better vocal range, and the ability to shift their appearance like a chameleon in ways that draw both attention and controversy. I’ve always been a big proponent of metal bands giving up the whole Satan worshipping thing, and worship women instead. They can make people after all, and if you’re lucky enough to hear one who’s voice is so hauntingly unique, it’s the closest you’ll come to any form of spiritual enlightenment. This sums up why I’m so massively obsessed with Chelsea Wolfe, her music, her words, her voice, and her band. It’s a perfect storm of horrifically haunting bliss that my ears can never get enough of. She’s currently in the midst of writing a new album, which I’ve heard drool-worthy snippets of via social media. I have a feeling her career is going to age like a fine wine, a wine I will always be willing to get drunk off of, time and time again.


The first song I ever heard Mastodon play was March of the Fire Ants, and ever since, I’ve been obsessed with figuring out what makes this band tick. I’m a huge fan of layering sounds while recording an album, and the guys in Mastodon are nothing short of genius level when it comes to using this technique. Each of their albums follow a theme of some sort. Whether it be fire, water, Earth, or air, this band uses the elements to their aural advantage. Their upcoming release titled Emperor of the Sand is taking everything the band has learned over the years, and using that knowledge to bludgeon us over the head once again with mind numbing songwriting. I can only hope my sanity can endure another Mastadon record, as I have a tendency to go a little bat shit crazy trying to overanalyze their production techniques.


There’s a certain honesty I get with Satyricon that I feel no other band in this genre provides. Sure Dimmu and Cradle are great, but after all these years they seem more like a parlor trick than something genuine. I know that may sound harsh, but when I’m seeking out music that can be used to sooth what little of a soul is left in my body, I need something pure, something honest. Their production is raw in the most brutal sense of the word, and it lends itself perfectly to the bands overall sonic image. Each note lives in its own space, and isn’t drowned out by dozens of keyboards and orchestra layers. The vocals provided by mister Satyr himself are nothing short of amazing, and they are without question my favorite screaming vocal style from any extreme metal band. Lest we also not forget about the bands ace in the hole, their drummer, Frost.

What’s something you notice about metal albums altogether that’s typically the same no matter what band you’re listening to? In most cases, it’s the sound of the drums. Clicky bass drums to be more precise. You won’t find that here, and this is where the bands raw production really shines. The lack of reverb and processing on the drums allows them to breath power and life into the music. Something most metal bands assume they are achieving, only to have their sound eventually drowned in the vast ocean of similar sounding production techniques. After dealing with some pretty intense health scares recently, Satyr has pushed forward with the band, and is continuing to record new material as we speak. Given the amount of trust I place in this band, I have no doubt their new music will be just as good, if not better than the rest of their back catalogue.

As we wrap this up, don’t assume these are the only bands I’ve been paying attention to these days. There are plenty more to list, but alas my article must be narrowed down to a select few for the sake of those with less time to spare. So despite my best efforts at being the grumpy guy who shakes his fist at everything coming out of the music scene today, there are still plenty of artists out there to keep my blood pumping with an optimistic ferocity.

My Top 10 Type O Negative Songs This Fall

For a few years now, whenever October rolls around, my friend Greg and I discuss our top ten Type O Negative songs. The list changes every year, and each song sparks a specific emotion or memory for us. Instead of keeping my list hidden beneath a chain of bickering emails, I decided to share it with everyone out there who has some time to kill. Its also a great place to start if you’re building an autumn inspired playlist. So without further adieu, here are my top ten Type O Negative songs that are sure to set your soul on fire this Fall!

Bloody Kisses (A Death in the Family)

The piano lead in this song makes me feel like Im sitting in my basement room as a teenager, incense lit, drinking coffee, and having nothing to do but figure out what forest Im going to explore that day.

Dead Again

Its a song that carried me into adulthood and reminds me of how lucky I am to still be here after so many seasons abusing my brain cells.

12 Black Rainbows

I remember getting the “least-worst-of” album that Type O was contracted to release, and thinking it was just going to be another crappy radio-friendly “best-of” song collection. This was the first track I skipped to, having not recognized its title, and was blown away from the opening riff onward.


Its a song Peter wrote for his mother, and without getting too sappy or personal, its comforting to hear during a time when my own mother is going through some pretty heavy shit.


I often experience times of desolate reflection during the Fall season, and a song like this is such a perfect compliment for those times when life could poke you with a thousand needles and yet you’d still be numb to the touch.

In Praise of Bacchus

It reminds me of the days when lusting over females came hand in hand with the turning of the leaves. Something about the season brought out the devil in me, and Id always be on the prowl for a female who wanted that devil inside of her.

Green Man

This track is what Id always listen to whilst roaming around the woods with headphones on. The only other sound I could hear was the leaves crunching and swooshing under my feet, and I was completely at peace.

Gravitational Constant

Sparing the longer version of this songs title, I’ll just cut to the chase and say the harmonies here are hauntingly good. This is back when Type O had a lot of unquenched anger. Combine that with a lush overlay of gothic overtones, and you’ve got a match made in hallowed hell.

Who Will Save the Sane?

About halfway through the song it goes into this great vocal melody with a reverse reverb effect bathing Peter’s voice. Its pure pleasure for my ears, and the subtle guitar accents in the background only heighten the level of sonic bliss.

World Coming Down

What can I say about this song that hasn’t already been expressed by numerous years of agonizing self loathing? Its one of those tracks I consider to be so good, it hurts.

Confessions of a Stubborn Music Fan

Many times when Im shooting the shit with my metalhead friends, we often discuss what bands are up to these days. A segment of the conversation often revolves around older metal bands who continue to release new albums, and how much they suck. It used to be easy for me to condemn them so quickly. I didn’t really think twice about why I was saying such harsh words about these bands I was raised on from an early age. The core of my argument was simple, I love their older albums, and the new ones don’t sound like that, so I hate it. Fair enough, right? It wasn’t until I recently started breaking down this argument in my head when it dawned on me that my judgement could potentially be too arrogant and harsh.

I could use Metallica for example sake, but since my musical career has been more influenced by underground bands, I’ll use the Swedish melodic masters, In Flames. Their first few albums were astounding to me at a young age, as Id heard nothing like them at the time. The Jester Race was my first introduction, and I was absolutely hooked right from the very first note. The band inspired everything I did with my own music, from how I screamed into a microphone to how I tuned my guitar. As the years passed by, I released more albums that sounded less like In Flames and more like myself. I was becoming my own artist. At the same time, In Flames was releasing more albums, and coincidentally they too sounded less like In Flames. Strange, isn’t it?

Zoning out in my room during my youth, I didn’t just listen to these early In Flames albums, I absorbed every molecule of them like a sponge. I studied and obsessed over the technique, the production, the lyrics, and everything in between. So needless to say, I was a good representative of their fan base. However, when they moved on from that original sound and started to explore progression as any artist naturally does, I took it personally. I was selfish, and claimed their sound as my own, as if it belonged to me. I was angry that they dared to change what originally inspired me as a musician. As I mentioned earlier, my friends and I would constantly sit around dissing the band for their new approach to heavy metal. Looking back on this time makes me some what ashamed now, as it was such a selfish way to act towards a band I owed so much gratitude towards.

Writing is very therapeutic to me, so as I sit here typing this article Im trying to piece together why I acted like this towards one of my favorite bands. The idea stemmed from a Twitter post I saw earlier today where In Flames released a new song. Upon listening, I was instinctually triggered to respond like I used to in the past, but I stopped myself. I took a step back and decided to reflect on why I was so quick to judge. After jotting down the majority of this article I went back and listened again, and…well, it still sucked. I just couldn’t get into it. However, I did not feel the same enraged jealousy that I did in the past. Perhaps its because Im a fellow musician, and can relate to their motivation towards less repetition and more innovation. Whatever the reason, I can no longer knock these guys for doing what they do.

In Flames have achieved massive success in the metal community, and their legacy will forever be imprinted on other bands and artists for as long as distorted guitars crack through our speakers. They transformed the way we hear heavy music, and inspired countless musicians to create new and exciting records that in turn will inspire people the same way In Flames inspired them. Just because I don’t like their new material or the direction the band is headed in does not in any way shape or form negate their contributions and achievements. If I continued with such a stubborn attitude, how would that reflect on my own musical career? How would I respond if fans started saying I sucked because my new album doesn’t sound like my old one? Thanks to this article, and the ability to vent my thoughts here, I have a new understanding of how to embrace such a divisive topic.

Music, like any form of art, is highly subjective. You’re always going to find people who love what you hate, and hate what you love. There are still going to be hordes of old Metallica fans saying the band sold out with the black album. Just like there are still going to be hordes of new Metallica fans saying they love Death Magnetic more than Master of Puppets. Whether you love it or hate it, the music is going to outlive us all. I used to side with the idea of spreading such vitriol towards these bands in the hopes of stopping them dead in their tracks. The only thing such stubbornness ever stopped, was my ability to recognize the true magnitude behind the bands I have so much respect for.

How I Lost and Found My Creative Motivation

An idea is born within your twisted little head, and suddenly all is well with the world. You’ve cracked the code to the ultimate solution that will cure your creative slump. You begin to set foot on this journey into your newfound world of ideas, only to find the landscape ahead of you is plagued with desolation. You can see your destination far in the distance, but the path to get there is completely abandoned. You’ve entered a void of creative motivation, and are about to dive head first into a pit of bland mediocrity.

This pretty much describes what Ive been going through lately, a complete uninspired mess with motivation nowhere to be found. Despite how hard I try to finish what Ive started, I just cannot find reason or strength to interpret why Im even doing this in the first place. So many questions race across my brain, some of which frighten me. Have I truly lost interest in music, the one thing thats kept me going for as long as I can remember? That would be impossible, wouldn’t it? Well, when you become consumed with such lack of motivation, its easy to accept your fate as nothing short of failure.

Fortunately this uninspired wave has long since washed away from me, and given the opportunity for hindsight to reveal some clarity on what this all means. More importantly, how to deal with it in the future. I struggled with the thought of even writing this article to begin with, but eventually decided it would not only be good therapy for me, but also might have the potential to help someone else out there dealing with similar issues. We can learn a lot from difficult moments in our lives, and taking any kind of benefit from them will transform that negative moment into a positive one.

Feeling What You Have, Not What You Need

When I entered this creative void, the first conclusion I jumped to was that this happened because I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I had no motivation to do the things I used to love doing. I convinced myself that I could no longer feel anything, and was void of all emotion. Meanwhile, the whole time I was actually feeling several emotions, just not positive ones.

Shame, guilt, envy, and failure seemed to circle around my head like vultures plotting out their next meal. I was feeling something after all, but I was giving in to the feelings that were not going to get me anywhere. Negative emotions like that will only hold you back, hence why I was never making any progress. Now that I figured this out, how was I supposed to fix it and move forward?

Look to Your Past to Fix Your Future

Many times when I was in my funk Id reminisce about the past, and how life was so much better back then. I started compiling a list in my head of things that used to bring me happiness. The list from my head soon made its way onto paper, actually a note taking app on my phone to be more specific. I began jotting down albums, movies, foods, and even smells that reminded me of my youth.

For example, one of my favorite memories comes from a time when my friends and I would visit a local book store that was surrounded by trees. We’d sit and read books on the occult while the smell of hazelnut coffee brewed behind us on the table where they served coffee and snacks for guests.

The next day I did just that, I brewed a cup of hazelnut coffee, grabbed a few goofy old books on the occult, and sat outside surrounded by trees. To my shock and surprise, it actually worked! This tiny little idea took me right back to that place from long ago, and suddenly I had a smile on my face again. It was just the small glimmer of hope I needed in order to pursue the rest of my nostalgic list.

I continued on, watching old movies I loved, listening to old albums, cooking the food I grew up eating. Slowly but surely, my sense of purpose started coming back to me. I was finally feeling like myself again. I kind of relate this idea to driving in a sense. You might be driving forward while looking through the windshield, but your rear view mirror is there as a reminder of whats behind you. Does that make sense? In other words, its important not to always dwell on whats behind you, your past in this case, but that doesn’t mean you cant use it as a tool to help you move forward.

Enjoy Even the Smallest Achievements

Now that my motivation had slowly crept back into existence, I still had another challenge to conquer. Ive always had an issue with never feeling accomplished. A day would go by, and Id look back on it thinking “What the hell did I do today? I got nothing done!” and repeatedly beat myself up over not being productive. Stepping back and looking at the situation from afar, I noticed one common factor. Id always take on the weight of the world and expect to fix everything in one day. In order to solve this toxic behavior, I started small.

When it came to sizable tasks that needed to be completed, I made a list of everything that needed to be done. At one point I was working on a very large website that had always been such a heavy weight on my shoulders. It was an overbearing monster of a project that would constantly cause stress and keep my supply of Advil running strong to combat my headaches. After listing one by one, each and every aspect of the website that needed work, I was able to systematically complete it piece by piece, rather than diving into it blindly.

Day one would go by, and Id check off the first three items on the list. Just the feeling of checking something off like that was enough to cure my previous feeling of guilt ridden failure. Should a day come where I sat around watching horror movies all day, Id embrace the fact that I had time to just lounge around and watch a few movies that inspired my creativity. The day might come when I have a family and don’t have the time to do this, so Im going to enjoy it while I still can. Speaking of having a family, is that looking too far into the future? Am I getting ahead of myself here?

Never Get Too Far Ahead of Yourself

The last and most important piece of knowledge I picked up from this experience, was to stop looking so far ahead of myself. Id always look so far into the future and come up with so many ideas which Id then share with the world in a furious rage of excitement. “Im going record ten albums in five years, and then Im going to shoot 20 music videos, and then Im going to direct a horror movie, etc…”. It got to the point where I could never keep up with all the ideas.

Eventually I started seeing people react as if my future proclamations were just the incessant ravings of a confused person crying wolf. By focusing more on the present, and current tasks at hand, I was able to slowly build that trust back. Not just with other people, but myself. I started seeing results from my work, and in turn that motivated me to pursue my goals even further.

So everything is fixed now, right? Not quite. There are always going to be ups and downs in life, and its important for me to remember that everything happens in balance of each other. Good must exist to prevent the bad, and bad must exist to give perspective on the good. At least thats what I believe, take it with a grain of salt of course. As I continue to work ahead on all my creative endeavors, I do so not completely cured, but with a new set of tools that can help me break through the walls that once stopped me in my tracks.