The Contrast

The Contrast
Lift Big, Sing Big, Look Great Doing It.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Letting go of old...stuff.

Just recently I sold my bass guitar my tweed bass case.

I used to be obsessed with playing the bass guitar. I would shirk all of my viola practicing to play a few walking bass lines, a few licks from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and weird improvisations that came out of my own deranged musical brain.

But years went by, new passions came along and suddenly, like Andy's toys from Toy Story, things just got put away in the closet. This awesome musical equipment just sitting on it's laurels. It's beauty fading ever so slightly due to neglect.

It's safe to say that I am not in a financially great place, but when am I ever? It's true I can always use extra money, but the real reason why I sold my bass guitar is because I am not a bass guitar player anymore, and equipment that nice should to go to somebody that needs and wants it. Somebody that will use it for good or for bad.

What good would it do me to have it sit in my closet? I could always point to it, like a trophy of the past, maybe keep it long enough to give it to somebody within my family (A little ol' Yeargain perhaps?) but the years of negligence and lack of musical love would break my heart and it would be reflective of the instrument. Why should I be so selfish? Allowing these things to be prey to the wear and tear of closet life, finding it's only intimacy for when the cat discovers and decides to urinate all over it.

Nah, girl. You ain't goin out like that.

This post is about letting shit go.


We as humans have so much stock. We're taught to be identified by our stuff, our materials. The clothes we wear, the car we drive, the occupation that fills our day.


Obviously, don't go having a split personality disorder, start a gang and blow up buildings. But, also, don't get caught up in earthly bullshit. It changes month to month, and you'll look at yourself in several years and be disgusted (I'm being dramatic) with your choice of hair color, volume, your jean jacket and parachute pants, or you tastefully baggy Jinko Jeans.

But this post isn't about selling your shit and becoming John the Baptist, it's about change.

Losing Sense of Self.


We have attachments with passions and identities. I'm plenty guilty of this. I call myself an opera singer all the time, it's one of the ways I introduce myself on this blog and in my videos. But singing and opera is what I do, it's not who I am. I'm Ol' Yeargain. I lift weights, one could even call me a weight lifter, but it's something I do, that's not who I am. I'm Ol' Yeargain. There are plenty of people who do both of those things and do them better than I ever will, but none of them are me. The conscious has to be separate from the actions. The actions can aid in finding that self, that strength, that self reliance, that inner power, BUT, you are not your daily activities (although people will try to assign that to you.)

We do something for long enough and we associate ourselves with situations and stereotypes. Stereotypes are comforting for both parties. They give you a guideline for how to behave and how people should treat you. I've heard of people who are on the road long enough for their jobs where they don't have consistent social interaction, they all of a sudden start not understanding who they are, because the majority of our lives, our situation and interactions dictate that for us. The minute we don't have that anymore, we are left to ourselves to dictate who we are. That's also why people (mostly kids) will decide to take on different personality traits when they go away from home, they no longer have the peer pressure (something that affects kids more intensely) of their everyday interactions to decide for them who they are going to be.



I know this is getting really cerebral, but hear me out. For me to lose 100lbs, I had to become a different person. I couldn't be the exact same guy that would eat Whataburger at 2am after just slamming a peanut butter, honey and nutella sandwich, it just wasn't going to work. I had to separate myself from that identity. I could no longer tie who I was with the food I ate and the activities I either did or neglected.

 Losing Friends.


I talked about separating from situations. Depending on how you want to change, you may not be able to have your same friends. I was really lucky and fortunate to have a lot of friends that were really understanding of me wanting to change, at least making the effort to adjust our interactions together, or be understanding if I was going to join and not participate (drinking, going out to eat.) However, there are individuals who are not so lucky. They will be subjected to high school like peer pressure to maintain the social norm they are accustomed to, well into the point of shaming and name calling. Shit that pisses Ol' Yeargain off.

People who suffer from severe addiction have to do this frequently. Usually their behaviors are tied in not only with emotional baggage, but their social surroundings. If you're an alcoholic, it's probably best you don't hang down at cheers with Norm, and if you're addicted to meth, you probably shouldn't head over to Jesse's house to see his ridiculous new stereo system.

I miss this show.


To make a big change, you gotta be willing to let some things go. And I don't mean just cupcakes, I'm talking about people. If there is a person that is poisoning your mindset and keeping you from your goals and they aren't willing to bend, you better drop their ass. I've had the majority of my best friends since high school, and a smaller handful of them since I was in elementary school. Thank GOD they weren't keeping me from what I wanted to do, because I would have kicked them to the damn curb. You HAVE to be prepared to make that decision.

Easier said than done, right? Yeah.


Necessary Freedom?


Is all of this necessary? No, it's not. You can go through the rest of your life, content, happy and beyond attached. There's no shame or flaw to it. Millions of people live out their lives on earth clutching onto these identifying land marks, gripping it's earth in their hands. But, if you want change, you have to release the soil and let your body drift in the space it's going to inhabit, forbidding yourself to cling to weeds and stocks that tie you to that land.

Change of mind without action will get you nowhere. If you want to spin your wheels and try to push that rock to the top of that steep hill, then by all means, be my guest, Mr. Sisyphus.

If you know a little about mythology, you might know about Mr. Sisyphus.

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