no likes and no comments

social media is an outlet, so why do i try and glean every last crumb from its plate? instead of producing, i’m retrieving like a labrador. in this case, however, that dog is 16 years old and has arthritis, so fetch is doing the bones no favors.

it’s quite rewarding to consistently post and then look back and feel proud about the pictures, videos, and their corresponding captions. that is, until i peep at the statistics. then it’s a competition against who i’m following, or even against my older self. from my perspective as a musician, i want instagram to be about showcasing myself for myself to see. forget the followers and the growth. it’s a portfolio, constantly evolving to track progression as a human being in the 21st century. but i hesitate to practice what i preach. instead of uploading content, i’m stuck in the mud of “does this match the brand”, “people don’t interact with sunsets as much as group pictures”, and “the quality is grainy”. for a professional brand, these points would be correctly assumed. but i hate corporate.

the purpose behind my music, along with my mindset toward interaction, is to be encouraging, helpful, and honest. reality isn’t a crystal clear portrait. people don’t bamboozle with their friends from dusk ’till dawn. individuals aren’t static in their expression. so why, D K T, why are you going against the truths of organic exploration to exceed standards meant for grayscale powerpoint slides?

because i’m mistakenly handling social technology as a source of power, when in fact it’s a mechanism of release. i’m plucking feathers of confidence from its scaled skin (it’s not supposed to make sense). the interpersonal online network slithers like a threatened snake if you attempt to skin it alive for the black market goods of self-esteem.

declare opposite day and that serpent morphs into a westeros dragon, launching neural fireworks to new heights. creativity should implode within my soul, crush into neutrons, chemically combust, and blow back with shrapnel across the digital landscape. my account should have an overarching purpose mirroring my own, but be a maze of themes and obsessions, especially since i’m now officially diagnosed as bipolar (check me out). imperfections and nosedives are free to splatter strewn parts of my identity across those perfect square frames. that’s who i am. i’m enamored with the avenues and alleys of possibility. i’m the blood rushing out of our arteries toward thousands of veins in pursuit of renewal. i circulate through activities to keep the fresh rush of oxygen buzzing. to be awake is to depart from routine dreams so an untasted fruit can be devoured, then later remembered in those same REMs.

social media is a capable extension of the pioneer in all of us, but to employ that advantage, i have to marie kondo no likes and no comments. it’s painstakingly crucial i let go of the comparative pressures so i’m able to empower the joy of self-expression. only then will my hypocrisies shape-shift into my principles.


i’m not a bear, so why do i eat like i’m preparing for hibernation

binge eating. oh sweet, sweet binge eating. this opponent i’ve lost to more than any other competitor dueling me for self-control. world war III is not fought on the ground. it is not sailing in the air. it is not spinning through the seas. it is not in the future. no, world war III is happening right now inside our heads as we strategize a war of attrition against our own dark habits. and binge eating is a stronghold yet to be conquered.

if you’re wondering whether i’m getting off course from my music career blog by talking about diet, you’re probably right. but let’s wait and see how this affects the totality of each waking moment colliding to form what is a day on earth. we’ll work this one backwards, since every other health aid, both digitized and organic, starts at the beginning and never gets anywhere.

i awoke at 0400 hours this morning feeling ten feet below subpar. an expanded, rounded gut invaded the abdominal area that is usually relatively flat (this is not a boast because the body image issues associated with it are, honestly, rampant). a cloudy conscious skated to life with an incessant headache cured by a later, extended journey back to slumber. bowels billowed like a sailboat in a hurricane, captain fully aware the night is darkest before the dawn. despite these pitiful complaints weaved into vivid imagery by a writer spoiled out of his spiffy outfits, the guilt is the most extreme inflammation of all.

well-being is a core value, as it should be for any sane individual. my father struggled with nutrition. as a result, i indirectly but also with maximum intention am in a perpetual state of manipulation to break the cycle. tragically, this operates like the Discover cashback program in the first year; for every glimmer of caloric wisdom earned, it is matched with a malicious downturn. the dread is mounted as a symbol of repeated failure and a continual absence of reigns to direct a gallop toward balance.

continuing the toe-then-heel procession, the previous night ended in a food coma. if you’re dreams are difficult to obtain, i’d bet an engorgement of food would tuck you right in. this is where music steps on stage for its debut appearance because productivity becomes an issue. i can’t be writing music if i’m fast asleep. digging deeper, music is an expression requiring all faculties. creating a complex, unique, and accurately representative song demands my best. predictably so, when i’m spiraling like sprayed whipped cream from the disappointment of an irresponsible consumption, it’s difficult to clear my head and get in the zone. music morphs into the course at dinner that i never eat.

stepping to our final landmark, we arrive at ground zero, where i timestamp the origin of a binge. the compulsion glides underneath waiting for a morsel to register before shooting to the surface to enact its rampage. to walk away from available food is nothing short of a miracle of willpower. could it be the desire for a carbohydrated sugar high? what about an emotional trigger that’s been utilized in the past to survive the lows? worst of all, what if i frankly don’t care as much as i believe i do? maybe i’m destined to balloon in size until my heart gives out and the unproportionate platter claims the throne. 

the motives of addiction baffle me, along with millions of others. what a problem to have, binging when others starve. why can’t i internalize my entitlement and change? i swear i’m not a bear, so why do i eat like i’m preparing for hibernation?

in retrospect, this is less about the motives as it is the revolving guilt of addiction. to speak of having too much is to legitimize the fictitious phrase “let them eat cake”. worse than that, it’s to become it.

– D K T

when you’re not invited to the lunch table

it’s inevitable to not be included. think of it like the hiccups. they happen all the time, but they’re especially frustrating in the middle of a meal. the same goes for that in-group desire we procure. people don’t invite us to join them all day long. however, when we want to hop on the gravy train, but it’s recommendation only and we don’t get a referral, now we’re upset.

i’m rapping my nails on a desk with this one because it’s a personal circumstance. to be shunned is to be denied mental stability. sociality is essential for the proper development of almost every human alive. it’d be like posting up outside of a homeless shelter because you don’t have a place to stay, then no one asks you if you’d like to come inside. it’d be like going to a shoe store, picking out shoes, then walking to the register only to be ignored by the cashier.

“hi, this is all i’m getting today”

“. . . . “

“can i get these shoes?”

“next, please.”

if passive rejection had a script, that would be it. our drive to exist is meteorically incomparable to any goal, attainable or unattainable. knock me off my game and i’ll be injured, i guarantee it.

the question here isn’t how to prevent an open palm to the face, nor is it how to flock those peasants to kiss your toes. it’s this: how do i process not being wanted?

not all of us immediately believe in self-worth. maybe at one point in my timeline of homo sapienism i had a trusty reflex of confidence and purpose. doesn’t matter anymore because now i don’t. it’s a job, a challenge, and a maze of reminders to stay afloat in a sea of doubt. this is a strategic war, not a 16th-century-line-up-in-rows-and-take-a-knee-and-load-your-gun-and-on-the-count-of-three-shoot-okay-one-two-three-wait-do-i-fire-on-3-or-after-3-no-you-fire-after-3-what-is-the-word-after-3-it’s-fire-okay-i’m-ready-alright-here-we-go-one-two-three-fire! kind of battle.

a simple solution to the debacle of self-esteem is to champion my own talents. the fact that i write and produce music, work a camera on manual, skate(board), run a 5K under 21:00, and read books ought to fuel screeching boost after a letdown. but what if it doesn’t (it doesn’t)? what if i still hunger for third-party five-star appraisals (i do)?

the bummed-out truth is i’m partially incompatible. actually, put a line through that.

i’m mostly incompatible. there are billions of two-armed, two-legged fleshy bowling pins on our space rock with some fog lathered overtop like chocolate syrup on a soft-serve ice cream cone. how many people do i meet that i’d ask to coffee or lunch? like none, basically. the ratio is worse than the payout per stream for musicians.

what i’m beating around the bush to say is everybody brushing you off probably isn’t for you anyways. did you sense a connection with them? did you really, though? or were they blabbering while you peppered them with softballs like a homerun derby?

when you’re not invited to the lunch table, don’t be bothered by the antagonists of common courtesy. even if they happen to be your soulmate, you’ll dodge a bullet by settling elsewhere.

– D K T

a carefully executed crumble

to slowly fall back into the depths of a hazy slog is a miraculously terrifying experience. it’s when all the energy taken for granted starts to dissolve like spray coming out of a nozzle. it starts strong, then slowly loses steam and succumbs to gravity, a force greater than its own. at the end, there’s a sputtering spout producing only the essentials to survive. even that, after a while, leads the origin well to question if the propulsion for each drip will lead to a fruitful spring. the consensus is no, it won’t.

that’s just one of the infinite possibilities for falling into a depression. i’d say today i’m at the part where a ploy seemingly greater than my own spirit spreads its underground revolt. it’s horrifying, but incredibly compelling and absorbing. each option in the present is underscored by a faint, eerie feeling of doom. like no matter how i rouse, it won’t make an impact or a difference. failure or insignificance. a grater shredding all sharpness into a static, worn, and colorless point that bores into the aorta.

i smile when i feel it though. it’s one of the closer relationships i’ve held in this universe. toxic, yes, but unrivaled in its philosophy and angst. their edge of alienation and self-pity makes me feel special. like i’m the only dying flower in a garden of voluminous tulips. it can be addicting to feel unique in any respect, but especially so in regards to depression.

i’m not going to blame society for this pinpointed attack. however, i will state that the stigmatization fuels the inclusiveness. people are uncomfortable talking about mental health. it is easier to keep a mouth shut. most people don’t reply the desired way.

to add to this examination, surprise has no fact in the matter. we all sense the coming raid. us gloomy ghouls with the fortune of multiple relapses acquire a keen awareness for the shadow of an eclipse.

in a similar manner, what comes next is too predictable for a betting man. dropping out of conversations. cancelling appointments. swatting aside obligations. retreating to a comfortable cave to serve the sentence given by no one but ourselves, since higher powers have no reasonable justification for thwarting the life we credit to them (this is of course arguable).

it’s almost pleasant though, to unintentionally disassociate from the daily mold we break our backs to join. the miniscule pleasantries and deeds of good will — they’re inexplicably exhausting. why do we construct, teach, and pass on a system of language overflowing with packing peanuts only to force us to dig for the intended shipment? are we afraid what’s genuine will be damaged without proper padding and protection?

regardless of macro quarrels, it’s a carefully executed crumble. when crumpling, pain and hurt are part of the process. therefore, prevention is not a priority. i’m unconcerned by the scratches and dents bashed by judgementative heuristics because the blood spilt is relative to my pallor. and i’m fading to blank.

– D K T

what sells, and what survives

if you’re looking to make an impact, there’s a variety of avenues to walk down. the two specific alleys in this post are quick sales versus lasting impressions. i can’t say whether you consider yourself a creator or not. if you do, you’ll have an opinionated response already forming. that’s alright because i have one too.

judgement is a fickle activity; it helps us figure out who we want to be. the trouble comes when we skip the personal reflection and only focus on the emotion. during this post, there’ll be evaluations and opinions. they’re not meant to target anyone’s character. they’re meant to frame how i want to live. by experiencing the negatives of my personality, i find the positives.

i dislike most mainstream music. whenever i browse for new music on apple music (i’ve used spotify and it’s the same), i really struggle to find meaningful music. the alternative music sounds like the 80s. the electronic music pounds a steady bass line meant for drugged-up dance halls. even the folk is commercialized. and last but not least, we have the hip-hop/rap genre. what i wish i could call my home.

the songs sound similar from subpar artists riding waves of previous hits. there’s nothing wrong with auto tune and trap piano. it’s just overused. the lyrics follow suit, assembling the same collection of expressions:

cars. women. money. power. women. money. dominance. power. cars. money.

we get it, okay? but i don’t hear you because i don’t listen.

that’s it for the path to quick sales. create what’s already successful and you’ll become part of the trickle effect, catching the listeners who aren’t yet finished with that style.

the approach i take to writing music matches my approach to searching for it. i’m looking for a spark, for emotion, for resonance, for truth, for humanity.

humanity comes in many forms, which is why i can proudly declare my library is filled with strange assortments of pitches. why can’t there be a genre for the dignified creative expression of humanity? 

when rappers talk about learning from JAY-Z’s 4:44 album, it’s because he created worthwhile content deserving of a student. but more importantly, if the music drives its creative listeners to in turn create their own music, that is a true miracle. why? because we are using music to fuel a circle of life within the industry. we need meaningful pieces of art to inspire us to paint our own. because when we create, we’re alive.

music can be about more than the revenue. why can’t the streaming services see that? why do they have to sacrifice quality to fill queues with the same drab until it’s a lifeless slump of gray grease stuck to the roof of our mouth?

when i write, i consistently challenge myself to do something different. i want you to notice the varicose vein bulging off the otherwise unnoticed body of work. that drive is what i believe people relate to and understand. more so, that drive to innovate is what pushes them to pursue life more fully.

there’s what sells, and what survives. what are you trying to do? 

– D K T

priority is an afterthought

when choosing a new hobby, setting a new goal, or starting a new plan, it’s easy for the first couple of days. there’s a certain amount of intrigue exuding from any unknown to carry us along at the beginning. but when we hit that one week mark, interests drain like a leaking gas tank. soon enough, we’re stranded wondering if this path we chose is even worth it.

what comes next will depend on how you prepared. did you find a connection between who you are, who you want to be, and the project at hand? if you want to start a book and appreciate the literary community, but don’t personally take pride in adding to it, you’re missing a point in the triangle. if you want to relearn an instrument because you played it in the past, but you don’t get excited envisioning an advanced, progressed version of yourself in the future, then you’re missing a point in the triangle.

i am constantly wishing my priorities were different. from learning more about photography to mixing and mastering more professionally, i’m driven by the idea of growth. even more so, i long for an expertise to give me confidence.

but i’m missing the connection to who i already am in the present. what makes me personally want to shoot impactful pictures? how does a mastered edition of my song fit into my values?

these are the types of questions to ask when browsing for a new year’s resolution or a 30-day challenge. in order to answer them, you must not. first, you have to know who you are.

if you’d like, you can join me in a quick exercise. look down at the floor and mentally list out what’s important to you. the first few will fade from your imaginary chalkboard. that’s okay. those are the surface level values. still very important, but if you want to channel priority, dig deeper.

continue and continue until you begin to see a theme in what you hold close.

here’s a sample of what my words looked like.

music. helping others. hard work. caring. helping those who are hurt. valuing people in the present. being true to oneself. not judging others. ensuring no one feels alone. bringing people together. honest. selfless.

do you see the theme? from what i notice, i want to create a safe space where no one feels alone and everyone can be valued for their expression of self (i sort of cheated because i’ve thought about this before so there’s no need to have something so specific).

reading that last sentence back, i would agree it’s a vital part my wellbeing. if i’m putting that mission aside for anything else, i guarantee i’ll feel guilty about it. i challenge you to find your theme. to weave your values into a collection basket you can draw from. if a situation arose where i could candidly show someone their value, i would. people need to be reminded of their worth. i forgot myself all to often to let it happen to someone else.

that’s where music fits into my life. the lyrics, the atmosphere — it’s reminiscent of my pain because i want to be there with my fellow downers. the burden is much lighter when we split the check.

so how will photography and production skills fit in? i’m going to think on it in my own time (but real quick, vibrant photos of people let them see their beauty and magnificence; polished productions show listeners i care about how they receive the messages i send to them).

just as you should excavate and examine your own goals. priority is an afterthought that arises only after meaning has been established.

stake your claim. follow your values and find your mission. if a goal won’t fit, let it go and find one that will. the fulfillment of your core aspirations will take you much further. 

– D K T