At tonight’s lesson, I worked on “It Happens All The Time” with my guitar teacher. And it struck me how much my life has changed since writing that song.
I wrote it in 1997, during my days with Anonymous Joe. I was working at Hans Herr Elementary School as a computer aide and the recess guy (best job I ever had, by the way). I was driving my 1996 Geo Tracker (shut up, Dave) and renting a renovated firehouse. I got home every day around 3:30, while Jen didn’t get home until around six, which left me lots of time to practice the guitar and write music (I can’t write songs if anyone else is in the house; it’s a weird thing I have; I have to be able to get through the preliminary horrible versions without fear of humiliation). I would stay up late into the night, watching David Letterman, playing video games, and working on new lyrics.
These days, I’m lucky to get home by six. Jen’s already there; in fact, she’s been there all day. I live in my own home with my wife, my daughter, and my dog. I drive a Saturn VUE, which seems so much more grown-up than the Tracker. I work as a Technology Specialist at Etown, which, sorry to say, is not the best job I ever had. When I get home, instead of having time to play music, I quickly check my email for tech support requests about Frequency, then sit down to dinner with Jen and Gracie. Then, after some reading or maybe watching a Disney movie, we put Grace to bed. Then I spend an hour or so writing code instead of writing songs. I’m rarely alone in the house, so I don’t get to write much music these days (although I did have a few hours to myself on Sunday, during which I worked on a new song called “Break Me”). Plus, I can’t play too loud while Grace and Jen are sleeping. That wouldn’t be cool at all. And I’m no longer in a band.
Don’t think that I’m complaing about my life; I am not. I wouldn’t trade Gracie for the world, and while my job at Etown isn’t the greatest job I’ve ever had, it more than pays the bills, and at least I get to work with some very cool people. And I’m very fond of the VUE, mature as it may be.
But yeah, some days I miss being the guy in the band, when what I did during the day was just my day job, when Jen would get home and I’d say, “Listen to this song I just finished,” when our biggest worry was what out next gig was going to be.