When my stomach is hungry.

When my muscles are tired.

When my heart is heavy.

This is when I'm most at peace.

This is when I know I'm taking the big risks, exposing my soul to destruction, facing my fears, living outside of my comfort zone. This is what it takes to become my best self.

That makes me fulfilled. That brings me peace. That makes me happy.

I wasn't always this way. While I've been able to scrape together a living off of my music for several years now, a route with a low success rate, I managed to do so with minimal risk. Sure there was financial risk. Always will be. I took minimal risks with my heart and soul to get here. I saved them from full exposure, hiding in plain sight.

A little over a year ago I was deteriorating. My mental, physical and spiritual health were all dive bombing. I had never been so depressed, sick or unsuccessful. I was maintaining my career as a music producer but exactly that - maintaining. No artistic growth that excited me, no growth in clientele or income. I can see now that my best, truest self was inside fighting to be freed. That was the source of my pain.

It gets worse before it gets better.

After losing all confidence I inevitably was broken up with by my girlfriend of 5 years. The closest relationship I've had to another human. This also meant an impending change to my living situation. Bad luck intervened and a few days later the studio I had worked for my first 4 years in Chicago was shut down. I hit my lowest point. So low that I could recognize there was nowhere to go but up. I woke up early the next morning and my rebirth began. I set out to erase everything about my life and start fresh.

I became awakened to many truths, the one most relevant to this moment being there is no avoiding fear. I had been forced to face some of my biggest fears and here I still stand. I set out to face more of them.

Some fears vanish when you look them in the face. Some fears stare you right back. Both should be addressed constantly but my little prose at the top of this post addresses the latter. The fears that can't be squashed, the ones that can only be tolerated. 

I've always lived with my fears. But they no longer captivate me. I am their captor. 

While pulling their weight is taxing and their mind games are tough to listen to, I steer our course. My fears begrudgingly shuffle their feet behind me, shackled, as I lead them on this journey forcing them to witness me build everything they wish to destroy.