How To Give Up On Your Dreams | Jacob Aaron Miller

How To Give Up On Your Dreams

Years ago, after my mom passed, I got distracted by things like eating and putting a roof over my head. It could be an easy way to be distracted, but in my case it was also total BS.  The truth is I had given up on my passion for music and creativity years before.

My young mind was inhabited by a bizarre blend of misery and pop dance-ability. I was a 90’s kid inspired by Grunge and Hootie and the Blowfish.  My parents were getting divorced, Kurt Kobain famously killed himself and I was singing about Rent as if it was something I wasn’t supposed to ever have to pay.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was living a somewhat privileged lifestyle at a performing arts high school. I had a wonderful mother, step-father, and supportive friends. Yet, I was living out an imaginary revenge love story. It was nearly identical to The Crow, the graphic novel/movie, in my head. And conveniently all about other people’s grief.

And I could end this post right here. Other people’s grief. Or should I say caring what other people think. As much as I hate to admit it, caring what other people think led me down the path of giving up on my dreams.  I’m also pretty sure this phenomenon may have started in that very performing arts high school.

I remember during my high school lunch period that there was literally a ‘cool kids’ table. Well, they were cool to me. They got all of the good parts in plays and everyone seemed to like them. During this time social cues were not something I was generally aware of.  I mean, I was always giving cues off unconsciously with poor posture and negative self-talk. I might as well have worn a shirt that said, “You are better than me. So, treat me how you want.” 

With perspective and clarity I realized that the ‘cool kids’ were not the problem. Well, they were kind of arrogant and snobbish at times, but I was practically begging them to be. I made them evil in my head to justify my lack of social skills and talent/work ethic.

The truth is those guys and girls were not just talented and cool. They also worked way freaking harder than I ever did! The small roles in plays that I got and the nothing that came after was pretty much what I deserved. I simply didn’t rehearse or prepare like they did.

Ultimately, being in plays and singing songs in the style of whatever “The Sound of Music” is was clearly not me. My imaginary tortured soul wanted raw music with real lyrics to identify with.

Thinking back, it’s kind of comical. I really wish I didn’t take life so seriously. And even though Rent was my favorite of all those musicals, it also is still my least favorite bill to pay.

My creative journey will continue right here. You see, I never really gave up on my dreams. I couldn’t. There is always this nagging feeling. This music in my head. This push to be something more, or maybe something less. Someone open and raw, blurring the lines, someone loved and unloved. Someone who can be themselves and not give a shit. Someone who can find the inspiration from within to just be. I’m writing new chapters in my life right now. We all are and I look forward to connecting with you.

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Jacob Aaron Miller

Over time I've managed to learn a little about a lot. I've had some success at struggling and failing. It also turns out that I've had some real successes, including relationship ones! In the planning stages of launching a course for marketing music.