Give Up Giving Up
Do you remember being in preschool, staring at the walls? The alphabet wrapped around the room, right below the ceiling. I can recall thinking at one age or another, "when I grow up I'll know this, but right now it's a bit scary."
I think I've always been a bit scared before diving into a new subject or a new phase of life. It all seems so big and unknowable. Where do you start? How long will it take? Is it going to be hard? Will it hurt?
I've had issues remaining dedicated throughout the challenges in my life. I'll get into something, buy a book, start reading it and not finish it. When I was younger I quit soccer, football, piano lessons and guitar lessons. I wanted to drop out of school. I've coldly given up on decent relationships with good partners.
I don't want to do this anymore. I want to give up giving up.
I've made strides, but every once in a while I'm that kid looking up at the alphabet, knowing that i'm just not "there yet." Sometimes I don't feel like an adult, especially in Austin. I was born here, at Seton Hospital on 38th Street. I went to preschool at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church across the street from where I went to High School at Anderson.
All my bad decisions, shameful moments, little victories and comedowns, heartbreaks, heroics and about 99% of my breaths have happened right here in Austin. It can be hard to separate all those versions of myself from the current iteration. Marcus 6.0 or 26.0 or which ever update we're on now. Marcus Brown OS X Vaquero...
I drive for Lyft so all my passengers say, "Wow, you're a unicorn. Thats what we call you. If you're a native. which you are." And I'll say, "I guess we are pretty rare." They ask me if I mind all the people moving here and I say that I like it. I tell them that all of the "don't move here" folks are actually the first I'd blame for destroying any sort of "Keep Austin Weird" vibe. Shouldn't we be welcoming? I'd find it pretty painful if I moved somewhere and was greeted with hisses and public shaming. Austin is just trying to grow up, so lets let it.
I'm trying to grow up too, but can I really grow if I don't ever leave home?
Sometimes I wonder if I'm fooling myself by saying, "just stay a little longer. You've got access to a studio, you can record some more songs. Besides, you should try to make it in Austin, it's your town. The world will always be there for you. Waiting..."
My mother cries immediately if I start talking about leaving. It's not viewed as betrayal, but its close.
I don't think it would be too hard to leave, but I have no idea. My sister, Lainey, left last year. She's in Portland now. Through our phone calls, she's said its not easy being away from the family. Mom, Dad, Peter and Michael, we're still here. My aunt Lucy lives here too, with her husband Mark. They were the first to make it to town.
My family is very close and really wonderful. We all get along so well. We sing and play music and talk about stupid things and act goofy together. It makes some people sick...
I was in a band with my brothers for like 5 years. When I left the project, my parents were not happy with me. My brothers understood. I wonder if they think about leaving too. I love Austin and the home I have here. Its very comfortable, but maybe thats a reason in itself to move on. I mean, Austin will always be here for me, waiting...
I don't think things really become clear until they slap you in the face. And that's painful. We don't have to wait until it becomes obvious what the next move is. But usually we do. I want my next move to be the farthest thing away from giving up on music. I love it too much and I kinda wanna prove it.
I met Jewel, the singer/songwriter, in Colorado at a cafe over the summer. I interrupted her salad and asked her if she would come watch me play a show at the Sheridan Opera House. She was nice. She said she would try. As I was giving her my info I was sort of nervously shaking as I sometimes do, so I made a comment about it. "I'm a bit nervous speaking with you miss Jewel." She assured me that she was glad I came over to speak with her. She told me "nothing ventured, nothing gained."
I think she's right.