Welcome back, friends! I've taken a little break since Warped Tour's end, but I thought why mess with a good thing? I might as well keep blogging while I have things to talk about (and while I still have people pretending to read my blog!). It's been almost two weeks since I got home from my summer on the road, and I've done a little bit of nothing, and a whole lot of somethings.
Coming home from tour was a little less "awkward" for me this year than it was the first few times I hit the road. I remember coming home from my first summer out on Warped Tour, and feeling the way an ex-boyfriend had described feeling coming home from spending months in Army bootcamp. Now before anyone gets on my tail for comparing tour life to the military, all I mean is that you're tucked away from society for such an extended period of time, little do you realize that you slowly but surely become un-adjusted to normal society. You forget what it's like to have to plan your own day since someone isn't doing it for you. You forget how to sleep in, and you forget how to talk about topics other than what you just experienced. You get immersed and overwhelmed by the world you've been trapped in, so much so that when the "real world" comes back knocking at your door, you're a bit abashed and unsure of how to handle yourself. Coming home this time felt like putting on a pair of old shoes. This was the first time I'd returned from an extended trip away and really, properly had time to just settle back in on my own terms, and I think that helped in more ways than I had imagined. I wasn't moving anytime soon (thankfully), so my space was mine to really, fully settle back into unlike summer's past. I wasn't in school, so I didn't have classes or schedules or pre-req homework to worry about. I didn't even have a job to jump back into immediately, and although that was somewhat terrifying, it meant that I could spend time catching up with folks and settling in at my own pace.
Let's take a second to backtrack to that last thought - I didn't have a job to return home to... um, WAT. This year, unlike Warped 2012, my retail job had changed their policies and cancelled the program I'd used before to work at different stores across the US during my time away. This May when my Warped opportunity presented itself, my managers and I all sat down, trying hard to find some kind of way around my seemingly inevitable decision: stay at work, or quit and do Warped. You all obviously know how that story ended: our efforts were unfortunately shot down by the corporate HR team, and I had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave a job I had loved immensely for four years. As much as I hated the choice I was making, I took it as a sign from the universe that it was my time to "launch" - really try to go and make use of that $80k piece of paper I'd just earned. My managers told me that as soon I was six weeks out from my return I could apply and be re-hired without question, but it appears the universe's plan for me wasn't to be trifled with. I received a phone call from the head of the merchandising team at Red Rocks the day I was supposed to call my old job and start the re-hire process. I was offered a job on their merch team, an old-boys club of sorts who ran the merch for every artist playing the most prestigious venue in the state. I couldn't say no. After a lot of thought and late-night calls with my mom, I said yes to Red Rocks, and called my old job to let them know my return would be delayed.
So here I am, back in Colorado preparing myself to start my first new job in four years, and working at the only venue I've ever dreamed to work. This will be my first week on the team, and if I said I wasn't anxious i'd be lying through my teeth. The Beatles. Jack White. Queens of The Stoneage. Death Cab For Cutie. John Mayer. Paramore. The bands that have played this venue are the top of the top, the big boys, and they expect little ol' me to sling their cotton?!? I've vended some pretty crazy shows in my time, but this is entirely new. This would be me selling to 10,000 people in one night. Of course I won't be in this alone, but the sheer volume of merchandise I'll be helping handle each night terrifies me. I'm so excited to work with the team and learn from them, but it will definitely be a new experience unlike anything i've done before. I'll be working nearly every show from now until October, and hopefully I'll come out of it with stories to share. For now I'm feeling that awkward mix of nervous and excited where you can't tell if the butterflies in your stomach are trying to kill you, or tickle you.
The downtime I've had so far while home has been super relaxing, and exactly what I needed. Time with friends, time with roommates, and time with family. I've gone out, I've gone on a photo safari, and I've slept a ton. I'm ready to get back out there and get back to work, but it's weird thinking I won't be returning to my other job any time soon. I miss my team more than anyone could ever imagine, and I dread being the new kid again, but that's a part of growing up, right? Letting go, closing your eyes, taking a deep breath, and trying something new. You've only got one life, there's no point to all the time you have if you never try new things. So fingers crossed, wish me luck, and hope like mad that these little treats keep lining themselves up. Come October I want to keep going forward, continuing to prove to myself and everyone around me that that crazy piece of paper was worth all the struggle and the strife. Music Business or bust.
I leave you with my new favorite quote, something that to be honest, I really needed to hear right now.
"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" - C.S. Lewis