Most days, I love my life. Sometimes, I pine for those days when I was a carefree musician and if the clouds are grey enough, I even think about how my life would be if I’d stuck with it. Then, life sends me a reality check.
On one particular grey day, I watched a documentary, The Other F Word, featuring some of my punk rock heroes who are now dads. The reality check for me was seeing that getting out while the getting is good – is good. Even the “successful” musicians featured in the The Other F Word weren’t doing that well and their busy touring schedules meant they were basically absentee fathers.
The Wrestler was also one of those films for me. As I watched “The Ram” cling to the glory days while trying to establish some sort of focus and direction in his life, I was reminded of my aging fellow rockers who are still trying to “make it” despite insurmountable odds and countless failed opportunities. The most successful musician in my old gang sings for a fairly popular band and is able to live off of his music, but he lives in his mom’s basement.
Seeing a film is less personal and contains far less awkward relief (T.G.I.Not.Me) than running into someone who is living the life you likely would be if you had chosen differently. This happened to me last summer and after some polite exchanges and superficial catching-up, I left thinking, your crappy life makes me happy.