For the past few days, I’ve been thinking about the Jason Isbell song ‘Something More Than Free’. If you haven’t heard it, give it a quick listen. In the chorus, he sings, “I don’t think of why I’m here, or where it hurts. I’m just lucky to have the work.” This has been hitting me pretty hard.
I’ve had the opportunity to tour and be a part of the music industry for about 16 years, which feels like a long time at 32 years old. It’s been an amazing ride, with all of the twists and turns that come along with a life constantly in transit. Sleeping in strangers’ houses, watching the sun come up over a horizon line that’s just the dashboard of a Ford E-350 van, changing a blown tire on a county road in Oklahoma, and everything in between.
A familiar phrase I’ve heard over those years is, “What you’re doing is so cool… but when are you going to get a real job?” For the longest time, I thought that I was missing out — that I needed to get a government job, find a trade, or marry someone who had money. Just something, anything, that would make me feel a little more grown up. Ultimately, I wanted to feel like my life was a little closer to normal.
But my life wasn’t meant to be normal.
My good friend and AVVAY co-founder once told me about a high school teacher who said that music was a waste of time — that his life would be better spent pursuing something safer. Now he makes his living creating music and playing for one of the biggest bands in the world.
Now, he’d be the first to tell you that his path from naïve high school student to professional musician and producer wasn’t a straight one. He also has an unreal amount of talent, but I know that he personifies that statement that I shared earlier. He always feels lucky to have the work and he is doing what he is on this earth to do.
Everyone here at AVVAY has felt the same thing. We’re all members of the community that we want to serve. We are the people looking for a place to create, or for a way to make a little bit of extra cash to keep pursuing the dreams that we live for. We know how it feels to think you need to get to a place where you feel normal, or at least a little closer to where everyone else seems to be. We all want to get to the place where our dreams are matched with someone else’s dreams, where together we can push to find a way to bring them to life.
Right now, I’m sitting on a bus, heading home for a few short days before I’m back on the road. I’m tired and my body hurts, but I thank God for the work.
I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I hope you are, too.