Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Let’s get real for a moment.
The night fucks with me. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s the time of the day in which my mind runs rampant, which as a creative is my most valuable resource. It allows me to create, which in turn allows me to pay my bills. Whether it’s writing songs, finding engaging/compelling ways to help people tell their stories, or bringing live events to life in the most efficient and entertaining way possible, 10pm-4am keeps a roof over my head. This is totally cool with me because I’ve always been naturally more nocturnal anyway. The danger with living your life running down a never ending rabbit hole, however, is that the second you let something bad in, shit get’s dark. Real fucking dark.
The very nature of living on the opposite side of the clock as the rest of the world is that you’re alone, and therefore, there’s no one sitting next to you assuring that things are going to be ok. So you do the only thing you know how to do: turn to your friends from the Islay’s (aka: Scotch). And in a weird, fucked up sort of way, you begin to feel assured by your vices. You’re told your whole life that great art comes from struggle, and as soon as you get a taste you begin to realize that it’s way easier to create when your life gets shitty. So you start making poor choices more consistently and becoming numb begins to feel like a superpower. You wave it with a badge of pride, and honestly, it works for a while. Bad shit in your life makes for great storytelling, which at the end of the day is what all creatives do, regardless of their medium. Unfortunately, despite all my best efforts, it’s not sustainable and you inevitably hit a breaking point. No matter how hard you try, you can only run/hide/drink/fuck/smoke/your vice of preference, away your problems, fears, and insecurities for so long. There comes a day when you either face yourself (which sucks major balls) or you begin to solidify yourself as something you never wanted to be. All of a sudden, you realize that being numb isn’t as cool as you thought it was.
Or at least, that’s how it felt for me.
But let’s redirect a bit.
One of the coolest parts of what I do is that I constantly get to meet new people everywhere I go, predominantly teenagers to 20 somethings which is a blast. I love hearing their stories and what they dream about. Unfortunately, there’s a flip side. By being a person that young people feel like they can talk to, I often get the bad with the good. And while I don’t take for granted the fact that they trust me enough to be honest about their life, it totally bums me out. It sucks to see someone that so desperately wants to sell out to a dream in their life that makes their heart feel full, and everyone around constantly breaks them down over it. Parents telling them they need a safer option. Teachers and counselors telling them that they’ll never be successful if they don’t follow the American dream path to “success”. Their own friends question them when they want to pursue something out of the ordinary. Let’s not even get started on frenemies/haters/general assholes just waiting to shit on somebody else because they’re insecure with their own life.
What sucks more is when the constant berating of a kid’s dreams drives them to vices way too young. People don’t like to talk about it, but when no one you care about is supportive in your dreams, it fucks with your soul. I feel like the general adult public doesn’t realize just how common it is, but it breaks my heart every time I meet a teenager that struggles with drinking, drugs, cutting, or contemplating suicide all because they don’t think there’s anyone in the world that believes in them or that their life doesn’t matter.
To the kids out there that feel alone: I’ve spent plenty of time coping with my fair share of vices over the years. Currently, one of my biggest struggles is that I’ve reached a point in my life where my mind is a constant battle of who I am today vs the legacy I want to leave (they’re not the same). Most days I don’t know which side is going to overtake the other. I know what it’s like when your mind refuses to let you sleep at night. I know what it’s like to feel alone, even when there are people that would take a bullet for you. But you HAVE to fight through it. There’s always someone that cares about you, even when you don’t think there is. Find that fucking person. Don’t be scared let them in. They believe in you. They want you to succeed. Fuck, I want you to succeed. Hit me up. Tell me your story. But at the end of the day, we’re all in this life thing together. Let’s start treating each other like it.
To the parents/teachers/people of influence/general adults: I fear you gravely underestimate your sphere of influence in the younger generation. Despite the fact that you may think no one is listening, don’t give up on them. Believe in kids. Give them the benefit of the doubt. They need you whether you like it or not.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Josh Shipp: “Every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story.”
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I’m Vance Fite. I love helping people tell their stories. Whether it’s through songs, writing, or live events. I’m an international pop artist, founded the creative direction consulting company Rhymes With Dance, am the creative director of the podcast production company Force Media, and the host of the online show Whisky With War Vets. You can ask me to work with you, invite me to speak at your event, or just say hey. I’m stoked to hear from you!
Originally published at www.vancefite.com.