Much like the November video blog, this still put a smile on my face. A lot of memories in here, and even more amazing ones that this video never even covered! 2017 was a great year for gear and custom mods, traveling to perform, playing shows, gigging on new projects, making new friends, deepening relationships with long-time friends, and a lot of self-growth. The 4Runner turned 22 years old (Wow! And still going strong!), the DIY fretless roared to life (with a few other basses close to completion that will follow in its footsteps!), the Ashula got a stunning makeover, I got my motorcycle license, there were some great hikes, I found new tools to get back into photography, Lady Bass Gear continued to grow, and I got to play SO many shows with great people. The upstairs home studio evolved and continues to grow into a place where I look forward to working.
I downsized, I cleaned, I traded in what didn’t work to find the things that did. I worked out, dropped a few pounds, repaired a persistent limp, and picked up weights. I got rid of the people and things that no longer deserved my time and attention anymore. And the more I practiced this de-cluttering, the happier I grew. It’s gotten so much easier to say “no”, to stand my ground, and to thin out toxic people without losing any sleep over it. Much like playing music…it just took practice.
And I worked. Incessantly. Obsessively. I’m still a ways from where and who I want to be, but there’s something on the other side of this journey. And every day I dig in, I’m closer to finding it. It may only be something as simple as peeling more layers away and finding more and more authentic versions of the self. As if refining and developing one’s original voice, but doing that process with your whole life. Perhaps. And perhaps, I sense it might be something more. Much more.
Regrets are few; we had one feline who left the household. Beloved Stitch vanished without a trace in the summer, so she gets a long homage as those were some of the last pictures I took of her…the last times I will see her in beautiful living motion. As one student said, she’s either in a better place or she’s found a much better place. I’ll probably never know, though I admit I look out the window and still hope to see her come home to us from time to time. As the year went on, a beautiful polydactyl black cat adopted us after she ran away from home. Cocoa is a sweetheart and has been welcomed by both myself and my extended family of students. Obviously, she’ll never replace my fierce, strikingly striped Bengal beauty. But Cocoa is more than welcome to call the studio home. And Ananda is still here; still very blissful, playful, cute, and adoring, and making cameos throughout this video.
This was the first year in a VERY long time I felt myself really fall in love with life again…the adventure, the journey, the act of creating and building the life that you want for yourself. I’ve been working hard to build better habits…happy to say that lots of little changes over a long period of time have finally started amounting to larger, healthy changes. The work is far from done, but I’m happy to press on.