I’m getting old and I can’t deny it. Yet, still I dream of doing great things. Is that crazy?

Life was simpler then.

I feel it more than I can deny it. It is in my bones, my muscles, in the number of things I have accumulated in my house. I think about death. I look back on my life and realize that I have advanced past the age to fulfill a lot of dreams. It’s almost too late. Every time I realize it is my experience that makes me wiser I am confronted with it. I am getting old. Sometimes when I say: I am getting old I wonder if I should correct myself.

Should I be saying: I am old?

Should I just get real and stop pretending that I can make something happen?

I have always believed that age is just a number. But my body is screaming otherwise. Youth and beauty has never been an obsession for me. I never felt particularly beautiful when I was young. I never thought I would miss the boat as I floated through life. But right now I am feeling it. The sense of urgency to do something with my life has always been a screaming voice in my head – one that I have always managed to stifle and put off. There has always been a “some day” in my mind. At age 54, I am confronted with the reality that time is of the essence, but as long as I am breathing, I can still do this!

Chasing the gig. That is the thing that propels me. Chasing the dream. Hoping to get recognized because that leads to the gig. Facing the rejection and telling yourself it’s ok. Staying in show business is about hope. You hope that you will “make it.” You become a believer in destiny and luck because so much of the work you get is based on other people’s taste and preference. You keep creating and producing work and hope someone will pay you to actually perform it because you have to earn a living. And if you have been lucky enough (as I have been in the past) to actually be the flavor of the day, you then face the reality that you will fall out of favor and be left scrambling. That is often a blessing in disguise because you are forced to rebrand, regroup and seek out new creative possibilities – if you aren’t too spiritually drained.

“I will never be rich. I will never be famous.” Those words seem very realistic to me, but I can’t accept them. Being rich and famous is not the goal. I just want to be able to earn my keep and maybe take a trip now and again. I can still sing. I can still write, but sometimes I feel like I am not capable of pulling this off. Am I too late? My friends believe in me. They feel that I have great things in me dying to be released and shown to the world.

What is it in me that has prevented me from closing the deal? Is it fear? Sometimes I think it is just laziness, but I know that when I am involved in a project, I do the work, and I work hard. But I do fuck up. I do drop the ball on occasion. I punish myself and cry over missed opportunities. Maybe I am afraid that I will screw it up? I do know that regardless of what I may have done in the past, I still got it. Actually, I feel more equipped and more confident than I ever was in my youth. All I know is that there is a spark that refuses to die. I can not let my dream die. I have only just begun to speak it out loud. I have a dream and I will no longer let my fears and past fails hold me back. I am one of those late-bloomers, finding my creative and artistic self at middle-age. I wish I had had the sense to go for it 30 years ago, but the one thing I know is this: You must not waste time thinking about things you can not change and the one thing you can not change is the past. I must live in the moment.

I am who I am. Everything I have done has brought me to this day.

I guess the key is to keep at it. I can not give up. What else can I do but keep moving forward? What else can I do but keep putting myself out there, work hard, plan and follow through? The main thing is to be healthy so I can stay alive to do the work I have to do and I can say that I am working on that every time I go to the gym. Interesting. Just putting that sentence down made me feel better than anything else that I have said in this post.

So I say to my fellow artists who may be struggling with this getting-old-what-have-I -done-with-my-life thing:
Build up your strength in body. We are going to need it to get all that other shit done. And don’t let go of the dream! Rebrand, regroup, rehab, re-energize, re-edit, record – do whatever you need to do to follow that dream! Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. And it’s okay to feel sad at times about the whole thing. It’s what we artists do.

I am off to the gym!

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