On the isolating but beautifully colourful reality of doing something you love: an open letter to everyone I've lost this summer
I recently realised that adulthood is isolating. Your 20s are lonely. Working in the creative industry gives you an unpredictable schedule and touring is the single act of constantly distancing yourself from those you’re closest to whilst simultaneously trying to connect with a large amount of people you barely know.
The lifestyle doesn’t scare me or drain me. You might take one look at my life and think I’m getting nowhere, that I’m wasted potential, but my life is beautiful to me. I’m never bored and because of that I’m peaceful. I will look back at these days and remember them for all their chaos and colour. The vibrant moments where you’re out of breath and your back hurts so much and the late nights being rocked to sleep in the back of a van after the longest day of your life.
I’m not afraid of hard work, I’m afraid of empty work. Yes I’m still afraid. Thoughts of earning enough money to live independently turn over in my head every day. I’m not lazy and most of all I’m not stupid. I want my life to be filled with desperate struggles and long nights and scraped knees. My job takes me overseas and to meeting brilliant people. You learn to appreciate the little things. Have you ever laid down on a bed for the first time in 5 days after sleeping on floors and couches and cried from happiness? That’s peaceful for me. I’m not reckless. I’m not ignorant. I’ve earned the right to live independently and live differently.
It’s hard for me too
The price I pay for doing something I love is being lonely. I’m not present to others, despite being the most present to myself that I’ve ever been. Finding balance is like tiptoeing along a wire and that wire is moving constantly.
I’m afraid of two things - losing the relationships that mean the most to me and falling out of love with my life. Both are a fear of loss. The more I work and travel, the more I’m isolated from those people that mean the most to me. At the same time, those you tour with become your family and I’m grateful for that. This summer has just been a period of adjusting and becoming okay with unpredictability and learning to find comfort in the chaos.
I won’t stop, and I don’t need to be liberated
I will unashamedly give myself up to this driving force inside me that is somehow giving me some semblance of purpose in this life. I do this for no other reason than I am absolutely in love with it, with the parts that are beautiful but also the moments where my feet are sore and my back hurts and my head hasn’t stopped pounding for days. Don’t try to liberate me, because I’ve already done that for myself. I love waking up in new cities, I love watching hundreds of miles of trees blur past the van window, and I love the feeling of becoming comfortable with situations that I know would have made me uncomfortable in the past.
I’m sorry that things might feel like they’ve changed. I’m not as present, but I still think about you and I still care about you. If you’re not there when I’m back around and in reality, I understand. I’ll be here for you always when I can.