27 Aug

Today, I begin leaving my “mid-30’s” and start heading into my “late-30’s”. This morning, Holly said, “I remember you being depressed on your 20th birthday…” I said, “Oh really? You mean 16 years ago?” Wow. I’m a whole driving teenager older than 20.

For a lot of my life, I measured my age and my level of success by that age by comparing myself to the late Rich Mullins. He put out his first non-independent record at about age 32. I’ve stopped using that as my measure of success for a number of reasons. 1) I didn’t make it. but, 2) by the time I was 32, I didn’t want to put out a non-independent record if it meant putting it out to feed the Christian bubl-I mean sub-culture. 3) Rich died tragically at 42. Not a good omen.

Even though I’m not rolling in $$ from music royalties, and few of my CDs have ever gone much further than my own hand, I’m still pretty proud of some of my accomplishments in music.

-2005 NAMA award for best singer/songwriter
-Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council for music composition in 2003.
-Gypsy Heart earned me a lot of respect as a songwriter and producer from a (non-christian) community of songwriters/musicians that I look up to and respect immensely.
-I’ve put out a number of other CDs that have spoken to different people at different times and I’ve actually heard back from those connections.
-There are a number of CDs that I’ve produced for other artists that I’m very proud to say that I produced. Not least of which would be my sister’s CD.
-Any boxes containing unsold CDs that I have in my garage are completely paid for. There are plenty of independent musicians that can’t say that.

These are just some of the musical accomplishments that I hold onto in my life. But, I’m even more proud of the fact that in following my musical aspirations I have still:

-built a number of long lasting friendships and relationships in my life. Some of the BEST experiences I’ve had in making records have been because I’ve been able to make records with really outstanding people to hang out with. I don’t have any regrets of promoting myself or my music or putting those desires over relationships with others. I don’t have to regret how I treated people to claw my way up the ladder.
-been faithful to and built a solid relationship with a beautiful, wonderful wife of 14 years. Even in spite of most of that time traveling and working together 24/7, we still have fun and enjoy each other’s friendship and company.
-had a beautiful, healthy, baby girl to raise and love with my wife.
-succeeded in taking on the challenge of actually changing careers and have even survived a whole week in my new position as 7th grade teacher.

It seems natural to me that I should take a birthday as opportunity to look at my life and consider how I feel about what I’ve accomplished so far. This is an abbreviated list, but it still makes me feel pretty good. Now, if about 20-30 lbs. would just go away…

I know that when I was in 7th and 8th grade, I dreamed of being the next Michael W. Smith. I can honestly say, thank heaven that dream didn’t come true. (That’s actually my friend, Mark.)

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Posted by on August 27, 2007 in Uncategorized


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