Break the Cycle

I'm stuck on a loop, but the loop is my life. Help.

Listen While You Read: My List-By The Killers

In the afterlife things become clearer. We don't have college to be our crutch anymore. We don't have excuses to drink or fuck up. We only have ourselves, and we're tired.

In the afterlife you start to see little cracks in foundations where there used to be plaster. Your eyes get sharper and dial in like a sniper on a bogie, especially in your family. When you’re gone for four long years under the guise of academic detachment, it’s easy to romanticize the home life you once had. It's easy to miss the easy days of high school when you came home to a home cooked meal and a smiling family, even if that wasn't the case. It's easy to regret not appreciating it more.

It’s not until after the curtains are drawn that you really see the malaise behind suburbia, and the ramifications of time gone by. There’s no way to repair something you didn’t break. Only the words unspoken and the time wasted are responsible. As a kid you can blame yourself, you can take things too hard, but you have to move on. You have no choice.

Moving on is not necessarily moving forward. Like a train that goes in a circle at an amusement park, our only chance of moving forward is to jump off.

As the train goes round we pass things we once knew. We drive by our high school. We call up old friends. We remember old relationships. We start to vanish into the past. It just takes one moment to jump off that train, start again, but I haven't yet. We get scared. We get complacent. We have withdrawals from life as we knew it. Last weekend I found myself staring out of a cabin window at the Nelsonville Music Festival in Southeast, Ohio. I recorded and put out a song today because I couldn’t stand the fact that I hadn’t in a while. I can't help but feel like a failure because I've been doing things more for money than for enjoyment. Music for me is like sharing my veins. When I'm up on that stage I'm connecting with people on a deeper level because I'm connecting with myself. I don't do that when I'm on the ground, in the world.

Every person that graced that stage, I got jealous of. No matter what genre or status they got to do something that day that I didn't. They got to entertain. They got to live. I stand alone, unabated and unrecognized in a sea of nobodies. I am the bitter little center that he whole crowd turns on. The hope is that New York City will bring me back to that feeling. I've always dreamed of the city and what opportunities it would bring, but is that a pipe dream? I used to think it was until I bought a one way ticket there. I'm finally getting of the train of the past. Working, living on my own, making my own way? There can't be anything better than that. But what is the bigger problem, us settling or us doubting our abilities? Do we sell ourselves short on artistic endeavors because they’re not practical? Or do we try to do too much, cling on to what made us different? Am I still different? The only way to figure this out is to take a chance and jump into whatever we're doing with both feet. Ever since I was little I've always felt like I'm running out of time. I still feel like I'm running out of time. I feel like I should have made "it" by now. Whatever the hell that means, but honestly that's a rediculous statement, but as time progresses and people who have jogged their whole lives pass me as I run, I can't help but feel a little wronged. Has all of this hard work and seeking of individuality gotten me nowhere? Are my fears irrational?

In the afterlife there are no answers. There is only action. And as I cling on to the train running a circular path around the city of my dreams, I only have one choice: to jump off.

The good ship sails on: Musician, Artist, Writer, Poet, Actress Follow me on Twitter: @TessStevens My Music:
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