What can one say about such an influential musician that hasn’t been said many times before? Petty (with and without The Heartbreakers) was not only a brilliant musician and songwriter, but he was transcendental in that he had staying power through 3 generations of fans–tragically passing after completing an extensive 40th anniversary tour. I first really got into Tom Petty in middle school with the laid back grooves of “Last Dance With Mary Jane” and “Free Fallin'” serving as the downtempo segments for the soundtrack to a rather tumultuous time in any kid’s life. Uncle Teej gave me their greatest hits album for Christmas one year, to the chagrin of my dad who scoffed at my listening to “druggie music”. Petty’s music had soul–something I didn’t hear often in popular music of the day–and it made a fitting foil to my musical staples like TMBG, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Chumbawamba (Yeah, I actually know and like more than one Chumbawamba song!).
Like Petty, I found the South too confined–too small for my ambitions, and I moved west. Thirty-seven years after Petty left Gainesville, Florida for Los Angeles, I was crossing the continent with several of Petty’s tracks (“Runnin’ Down a Dream” frequently turned up) offering portions of yet another soundtrack for a transitional period in my life.
Here I am again, thinking of changes to come in my life and career, and I’m brought again to Tom Petty. I look at all the nonsense going on in the world and all the difficulties (great and small) that we all face every day, and there’s one voice ringing clear and true–with all of America’s purple mountains’ majesty and amber waves of grain behind it–reminding me to not back down. Thanks, Tom.
As in years past, we are offering you a Special Bonus Question in which you get to predict what you think will happen in the coming year–not just to you, but to the world around you. For this year’s version of the Special Bonus Question, we have teamed up with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs to give you the opportunity to answer the question as pithily as you like.
Future so bright; gotta wear shades.
When September 2018 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?
This year has really been one of personal revolution. Barbie finished school and started a new enterprise. At the same time, I began to see my “side hustles” as more than just a hobby. This year’s answers have been focused on my new business and entrepreneurship opportunities and next year will hopefully rekindle the hope and optimism that I have in my ability to grow a successful enterprise doing what I enjoy. Next year, I hope to see the pain of working for someone else fade away and the joy of working solely for myself come into focus and I hope that these year’s answers will stand as a testament of my thoughts and feelings going into what I anticipate to be a successful new venture!
Previously 10Q #10 (2016)
What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?
I’m still quite terrified by the prospect of being one paycheque away from financial ruin, but I have taken many long strides into reducing my exposure and cushioning any blows I might come to. I have spent the past year building my savings and starting my own “side hustles” to help expand my skill set and alternative revenue streams should the worst-case ever happen. I’m definitely getting more financially confident, and by 40, I think I’ll be in great shape!
Previously Q10 #9 (2016)
Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2018?
I’m going to continue to explore the science and mechanics of the world around me. As my production work and income increases, I want to look into more ways to share these experiences with the world. I have begun networking like crazy to build relationships with people who share this sort of goal, and over the next 12 months, it will become necessary to continue to investigate avenues to grow.
Previously 10Q #8 (2016)
How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?
Hustle, hustle, hustle! If you want something to be seen, you need to put it in front of as many eyes as possible! Get to the point quickly without too much unnecessary setup. Keep an eye on your time spent working, and set aside enough time for rest and play. Stay social. Keep focused on the end goal, and damn the man!
Previously: 10Q #7 (2016)
Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?
By next year, I would like to have at least half my income replaced with my various entrepreneurial endeavors. I am tired of working for other people and I want to be completely in charge of my life. I am tired of working my life away to make someone else rich, and I want to redirect that energy into taking care of myself and my loved ones as well as helping my fellow human beings. If I can get more than half done, I’ll take it, but my goal is to drop my “day job” to part time!
Previously 10Q #6 (2016)
Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.
Sadly, this year hasn’t quite been as “transcendental” as last year. No big trips to rave about, no major concerts to wax artistically about. I’m just trying to push forward, work hard, and get my payoff, but there are some good things on the horizon!
Previously 10Q #5 (2016)
Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?
Donald Trump won the White House. I have never seen this country more at odds with itself, and I have never see the kind of legitimate turmoil that has been brought about en masse because of it. Politics have become a serious sport and no longer a game ripe for ridicule. Two madmen are starting down each other at high noon with nuclear-tipped pistols, and I’m not sure Trump has the intestinal fortitude that Reagan had when it came to the Great Game with the USSR. Someone is likely flinch, and when he does, all hell will break loose–one way or the other.
Previously 10Q #4 (2016)
Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
Actually, my dad and my stepmother FINALLY made the trek out to California to visit us this year! In fact, they liked it so much that they came back later in the summer and brought my sister as well! It’s great to see my family, and I’m especially proud that I was able to show why I love where I live and why I chose to be here “so far away from home”. I think they finally understand what brought me here and can accept that southern California is now my Home.
Previously 10Q #3 (2016)