Sometimes, there are dark days...
St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost things... I've talked to him a million times while searching for things in random moments of displacement... I never thought I'd be praying to him for the sake of my soul.
November 2015, I was coming out of one of those dark times. This one drug out over a year. I moved to Nashville because I wanted to use my talents to make something bigger than myself... something honest. After a year of empty meetings and stale advice designed to cut out anything artistic from my creative tendencies, I started to become jaded. I could feel my identity being torn apart until I fit a certain mold. It was painful, and degrading... and instead of going my own way, I let a darkness fester inside me. It affected how I wrote, how I saw the world, and slowly chipped away my awareness of all the good in my life.
So I went home, lost and unsure of what I should do next. I took time away from music and sat in silence. I woke up early with the frozen prairies of North Dakota and listened to the desolate. Slowly, I started to feel like myself again. The urge to create returned, and I began to do so by looking back at some of the songs I had written that year with my father. After reading a few of the lyric pages, he turned to me and said, "Joel, why is everything you write so sad?" This wasn't an insult by any means... it was out of honest concern. But it hit me hard. I could tell his heart was heavy... because of me.
"I'm sick of writing songs that make my father cry"
That line entered my thoughts, and I started to think about the parts of me I had misplaced... and all the time I wasted chasing the material and other nonsense. I lost my good. I misplaced honest. And I realized how many people could be affected by this way of thinking... and how much good could come from the opposite. So, I prayed to Anthony... To help me find myself, to find my purpose, and to find my second chance. Not just for me this time.
"Help me find my beautiful mind"