A Chef, Without the Line
Part 2.5: The unedited thoughts of a chef who struggled with suicide and substance abuse, beginning a new life through music.
Today, I woke up thinking that today was going to be like any other day. I have a daily routine of checking emails lying in bed after I wake up; scrolling through Instagram, reading the news, all while the crusted dry eye boogers rip away from my eye balls.
It’s been cold, rainy, and dreary lately, but today was bright, sunny, and warm as my sights visualized my awakening at seven AM. I pulled my phone off the charger realizing how nice the day was already. As usual, I have social media notifications dinging at my existence, begging me to check them immediately, but today I scrolled right passed them, and started with my emails. I received notifications that my music had made it onto Spotify. I immediately got a grin on my face, and was wide awake. I felt like your dream girl just said yes to a date, and the energy in my chest was explosive.
Just to confirm I wasn’t still asleep, I put my phone down on my chest for a few seconds, and thousands of thoughts raced through my neurological impulses in a matter of seconds; I opened my Spotify app, and searched for my artist name “SKEDDY.” There I was. My album artwork I had created, my songs, me, and everything I have worked for in the last year. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, but I held it in. Have you ever seen the movie That Thing You Do by Tom Hanks? It is by far my favorite movie of all time. At the exact moment of seeing my music on a Radio platform, I felt exactly like the band members of the Wonders from That Thing You Do. Liv Tyler (Faye), and the “Bass Player” (The Bass player Ethan Embry actually has no name in the movie!) hear “That Thing You DO” on the radio, and they began to run, scream at the top of their lungs, knowing they made it, or at least were on the right track to stardom, shocked with amazement and confusion.
Now digital app radio is a lot different from Radio over the FM, but I don’t care. In my writings of my culinary career and lifestyle, I wanted to jump off a cliff every day, running away from my fears and faults, or kill myself with alcohol, bad decisions, drugs, anything that would make my thoughts end; or at least be where I couldn’t feel feelings anymore and would not wake up. In the last year I have busted my ass off to learn how to produce electronic music, and how-to DJ. Its been less than a year since I’ve began this journey, about ten to eleven months. I’ve struggled. I’ve had a little demonic creature in my head degrade my worth, telling me that I wasn’t good enough, nor will I ever amount to anything doing this. I also was my worst enemy, questioning why I stopped cooking to do something where I had no clue or idea what to do, or how to get started. A year ago, not even a week ago, I would not have imagined my music would be on Spotify, iTunes, or Google Play for people to hear, or buy.
I grew up Catholic, but I am far from it. I would probably burst into flames walking in to the next church, while I am doused with holy water. I am not sure what I believe in, where I come from (besides earth lol), what happens after life, etc., but what I can say is I believe in positive energy, and the energy you put out into the universe as hippy as that sounds. Each day when I felt I couldn’t do music, and nothing would happen for me and my dreams, I received that right back. The universe showed me nothing would happen. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to take naps and relax; But when I didn’t, I worked on music, forced myself to mix music, or play with synths and rhythms on my computer; the universe gave me more than I could imagine in return if I just tried.
Every night I look at my vision board right next to my bed and touch it. I make sure to thank what I have, and ask for guidance, knowing I’ll be guided to the right path of what I want in life through my hard work and persistence. I wake up every morning, touch my vision board, and start my day, just as I end it.
This morning, my hard work paid off. All the times I didn’t listen to the voices in my head, the ones promising me they’ll be my best friend, but are never there, kind of like a shitty dad, finally paid off. I’m not famous, but I will be. I am on a slow walk of a journey, knowing I have to look around, learn, and inspire myself, only if I change my ways and myself, as the universe calls my name.
I don’t make music for anyone but myself. The feeling I get in the center of my chest is amazing every time I hear the perfect rise to an amazing drop I create. This is the feeling I know I am on the right path, that music is what I am meant to do, as the energy pulsates out of my rib cage bones.
I remember about October of 2018, I was frustrated with music. I felt anything I did was a waste of time. All the songs I produced, and every time I mixed, it sounded like I flushed a toilet, or put my iPhone in the blender, and turned it on. I got pretty drunk around one PM, passed out on my patio with the sun blistering my thoughts of self-doubt. I drank a whole bottle of rum to drown my pathetic worthless thoughts. I’m not sure what happened next, but it changed my attitude and dedication to making music.
I remember In had another dream about music, but this time I was on a bus of some sort, probably a tour bus as I would imagine sitting with Tim (Avicii). I had been working on this melody within my music software, and I was having difficulties trying to get the right sounds to work together. Tim was sitting to the left of my explaining I was "very close to what I wanted," but as he grabbed the computer mouse to show me a technique, He tweaked two things within the melody, and patted me on the back with a "there, you got it now."
I woke up hours later without a hangover, or even drunk, but it was almost a sign to stop drinking so much. I started to mix music that same day/evening with my Numark Controller, and something happened where it just came easy to me. I’m lost on how to describe this in writing, but it was almost like the universe downloaded the files in my inebriated passed out mind of on “how to mix.” It wasn’t like I became a professional over a few hours, but I began to mix music fluid with little mistakes. I took this as a sign to slow down and focus on the music, almost like a second chance to take music serious, and just practice, be patient, have fun, and not stress over trying to be perfect at such an infant stage of learning music.
I’m mentioning this because if anyone has self-doubt and struggle, it gets better. With a better attitude, and a lot of willpower to ignore all the thoughts and negative voices you might hear. The worst enemy anyone can face is yourself. I am grateful that I’ve been given lots of second chances in my intoxicated states, some of which I know I should have not woken up from. Because the feeling I had this morning, and all day today, is a million times better than listening to voices that don’t exist, listening to people who envy you with hate, or anything that will destroy your positive thinking.
I was once told by Chef Aaron Sanchez in a note he wrote to me after a cooking demonstration I did with him, “Keep at it, you’ll get there.”