I don't know where to begin exactly...
That's a phrase that's been constantly circling through my head since all of this started a long long time ago.
Back in the days where I'd spend most of my time alone in my bedroom, usually with a guitar or a blank sheet of paper. Wracking my brain to figure out how to put my feelings into a song or drawing or whatever medium at hand in hopes to immortalize those feelings. Turning them into something tangible, in the case that I would ever want to return to them again...
When you have the tendencies of a perfectionist this can be a very difficult task.
It can drive you mad, and has often led to insanity...
But I digress...
Typically it's best to start from the beginning...
however, I've found that after many new and old beginnings, time and time again, it's hard to put a finger on when the last ending ended and the new beginning began...
It's so easy to get wrapped up in it all, constantly pushing and striving for something that you think is making you better. A better job, a better apartment, a better camera, a better social circle, a better quality of life... With so many factors to think about these days it's easy to get lost or even forget why you're doing it all in the first place.
For instance, I'm finding it hard to believe that my last blog post was two years ago... What?!
What was I doing all this time?
What have I done to progress since then?
What do I have to show for it?
I start bombarding myself with all of these questions.
Was it happiness that made the time go by so fast?
Was I so content in the way that I was living that I just let the time fly by as if I was infatuated in a pleasant day dream?
I wish I had the answers, because in all honesty I just don't know anymore...
I have no doubt that I shared some really great times sprinkled throughout the years, but at the end of the day could I really say I was living my best life?
Was I truly happy?
I can't say with my whole heart that I was...
But to be fair, there was a lot that I didn't know then that I know now...
So, what's the point?
Why am I taking the time to put down these thoughts?
I've been going through a very big shift recently, as many of us have.
We're living in a time where we are exposed to all of these endless possibilities. But from what I've found many of us are still finding it difficult to find the right path or formula to turn these dreams into a reality.
With so many pitfalls and distractions it can be extremely difficult to focus our attention to the real matter at hand. I hardly even want to mention the struggles of increasing rent, inflation, and the state of world affairs...
We're living in an age filled with an enormous amount of information, and at times it can all feel like way too much to handle...
So what's the solution?
Whelp, that's anyone's guess...
I ain't no economist nor a doctor, and I'm certainly not a politician.
But if I know one thing for certain it's that I've always wanted to pursue a life dedicated to self expression, and by no means am I going to let that dream go down without a fight.
So at least I have that much to hold on to.
Well then, what's next?
well, I've found that I like to start projects with a clean slate.
I find it much easier to focus when I have no other distractions or side projects to attend to. This allows me to put all of my efforts into the project at hand, instead of getting sidetracked onto other things that draw away my attention.
Now this is not an easy thing to do.
Life gets in the way as we all know.
But isn't it through the struggle in which we find our inspiration?
Isn't it the struggle that really moves us to overcome the problems in which we face?
I mean, if life was always perfect would it really be worth living?
Those are some philosophical questions that can be discussed in further detail some other time. But the point I'm trying make is that yes, it's going to be difficult.
But many a wise folk have always insisted that the journey is much more fulfilling than the destination itself.
So where does that leave me?
Well, this time feels... different.
After trying, and failing, so many times I guess I can say that I'm starting this go around with much more experience than I've ever had before.
Since my last attempt at becoming a full time artist/freelancer back in 2019 (see my first blog post "Taking the Dive" https://www.davideatin.com/post/taking-the-dive) a lot has changed. I became a full time Social Media Manager for a local meadery, I released my debut album, and to my own surprise I even became a Graphic Designer. All in the span of four years.
At the time these all felt like tiny victories, but looking at the larger picture I'm genuinely shocked with how much had happened in such a small time frame.
Now you may be thinking to yourself "seems like you made it to me"
But that's where my difficulty lies...
Of course there were times where I thought that I made it as well.
But my dilemma was that, sure, I was doing "creative" work full time. But in the end what I was creating wasn't for my own self fulfillment but for the benefit of others. Sure I enjoyed what I did to an extent, but after awhile more and more kept piling up. I also found that in most instances without an increase in pay...
Towards the end I was getting exhausted and was left with little to no time for my own creative pursuits. It just got to be too much.
So what did I do?
For starters, I ended my relationship with my girlfriend, which by far was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
But this opened up some extra time to focus on the projects at hand, and in the end I was able to complete my biggest project to date, which felt great in it's own right.
Was it worth throwing away a 5 year relationship to make it happen?
I guess only time will tell.
The wave of accomplishment mixed with the stresses of the break up led me to hit my vices pretty hard. If I wasn't drinking out of celebration I was drinking to numb my sorrows.
Either way, it's clear that I let the booze get the best of me, and for that there's no one to really to blame other than myself.
A few weeks of heavy drinking turned into a month, which then turned into a couple of months. After a while some of my actions began to raise concerns with my friends and family. Actions such as: stepping back from and then eventually quitting my jobs, drunken phone calls, general paranoia, misdirected anger, etc...
In the end I was heavily encouraged to make a phone call...
So i did.
I was extremely fortunate to had been accepted into a research study conducted at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study was mainly focused on finding relationships between genealogy and alcoholism, amongst other things.
The short of it is that I ended up staying inpatient at the NIH national headquarters for 28 days.
Now there are a lot of details I'd like to mention about this experience, but I'll save them for a post of it's own. Needless to say, there were a lot of takeaways from my time at the hospital, and I remain extremely grateful for all of the insights that I gained. Especially from connecting with the fellow patients, whom I grew close with as we made our way through the program.
Since returning from NIH i'm happy to say that I've maintained sobriety, and I plan on remaining on the wagon for the foreseeable future. It's become very clear to me that sobriety has become a huge benefactor into getting back on track.
I undoubtedly miss some of the aspects of the wild years I onced lived, but I think it's safe to assume that I've had more than my fair share of that lifestyle as far as that is concerned.
So the 28 days to get a clear head and start getting a plan together was exactly what I needed. But regardless, and in all honesty, getting back home was pretty daunting to say the least. I put so much time and effort into putting a plan together while I was away in recovery, and now that I'm back I have to take what I've conceptualized and put it into action... Yuck
I came home to a messy apartment, full of countless reminders of unfinished projects and failed attempts. On top of that, my fridge was empty, and even though I had a headful of ideas, I was really struggling for a while to have the motivation to get the ball rolling again.
Slowly but surely I've been able to get the gears in motion and start knocking out some tasks on my lengthy to-do list. Now it's finally getting to the point where I'm feeling in a position where I can bring my full focus to my personal endeavors again.
So, now that the slate's clean. What's next?
For starters, I plan on staying much more attentive to this personal blog and documenting my process. During my stay at NIH I was greatly encouraged to continue telling my story, and I spent a great deal of my time getting back into a steady writing habit.
In addition to this blog I've also begun putting together a collection of memoirs and other stories of personal accounts that I've witnessed throughout my lifetime.
For those that are interested in what's to come, here is a list of topics that I plan to touch on in the near future:
(Not necessarily in this order)
A Month at NIH
Sobriety out of Spite
Finding My Way Back Home
Making Play Work
The Benefits of Anti-Gatekeeping
Tools to Keep on Track
Spirituality and what the means to me
How Journaling Saved My Life
I plan on continuing my photo and videography projects. Before I truly take the dive into that world I have SO MUCH sorting that needs to happen. Over these past few years I was way too busy accumulating content, while not taking the time to get everything backed up and organized. Such is the nature of the beast. But once I get all of that cleaned up I definitely plan in making photo/video the main brunt of my freelancing as I have done so in the past.
I'd also like to get back into screenprinting and illustration. Again, I spent a lot of time accumulating work, but without taking the time to market or sell it. I'm currently sitting on a lot of prints that need to find homes. Once the weather gets a little less muggy I'd like to be more active in the local market scene. But for now I need to organize and take inventory of what I have before physically making more. In the meantime I plan on getting back into honing in on my drawing skills and getting some designs ready for when it's time to get back into the studio.
Along with all of this organizing and sorting, I also need to make some serious updates to my website. In hopes that that it may serve as a better reflection to what I've been doing more so recently. I'm sure y'all can imagine how exhilarating of a time that is lol.
As always I've got plenty more music to write. I can't believe that my debut album has almost been out for an entire year already... I've got a handful of songs in the works for my next full release, and I'll be posting some singles as they get finalized.
I'm also happy to say that a handful of collabs are on the horizon, so I'm really looking forward to see what comes of those. Stay tuned on that front...
Lastly, I'll most likely be finding some odd jobs to do around town. Idk what quite yet... But that's the fun of it and I'm pretty open to most things. I've begun to do some research into some more permanent positions, but for the time being I'm trying to keep my options open and not jump into anything too quickly. I've always enjoyed helping out in whatever way I can, so if you have something weird that needs to be done feel free to lmk!
Whelp, I guess that's all I really have to say about that.
It's been a long and winding road. But I'm happy to say that the future's looking brighter than ever. There is a ginormous list of friends and family that I have to thank for all of the support given to me over the years. I'm sure you know who you are, but one of these days I'll get a physical list together and give credits where credits are due. Seriously tho, I love y'all so much more than words can tell, and I cannot thank you enough for believing in me.
If you took the time to read through all of this, thank you as well!
I hope that in one way or another this post was able to offer some kind of insight, and I would love to know what encouraged you to bare through all of my nonsense lol.
As always if you'd like to further any of the ideas or themes mentioned in this post I invite you to drop a comment, you are also welcome to reach out to me on any active form of social media.
Until next time:
Stay well, and whatever it is that makes you happy, give it your all.