Saturday, August 26, 2006

What A Difference 15 Years Makes...



I accidentally unearthed this photo while transferring content from one storage box to another this week. This was me on stage at a music event in Dallas in October 1991. The rock and blues band was called The Killer Tomatahs.

I was such a different person then. I was 22, single, free to travel with the band while I lived at home. I was never a cigarette smoker but I played in smoke-filled rooms every week (and nowadays, I can't be anywhere near cigarette smoke or I start coughing profusely). I drank occasionally and smoked pot regularly. We did eventually get enough sense to decide as a group that we needed to perform sober. That was quite an accomplishment for us!

I will admit, this was a time in my life that was creatively and professionally productive for me. I had a lot to prove to myself as a musician. I was the youngest member of a 4- to 6-member band. The majority of my bandmates were near or over 40. But I held my own and made the transition from a rhythm bass player to a lead bass player. I also had my first experience learning to sing backup vocals while playing bass, which I'd never done before.



Skip ahead 15 years. I'm still playing music but with a Christian band with people of different ages and races. I am a Christian now. I don't drink, don't smoke, I'm married, have two kids and a steady job. It's a world of difference, I am happier and I have purpose in my life.

Today's my birthday. I don't mind saying I'm 37 years old. Today is also my wife's birthday. She's five years younger than me. The first time we met, we learned we had the same birthday. It's worth noting that our kids' birthdays are two days apart (they're 10 and 7 years old). We have an interesting little family.

I know that all of our experiences define who we are and shape us for the future. We have highs and we have lows, we have triumphs and we have tragedies. We make mistakes and (hopefully) we learn from them. It's all about growing into who we are and who we're meant to be.

I thank God that I am who I am. I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.

Best Wishes,
Allen

3 comments:

Aurura said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aurura said...

I met you back then, and I very much remember you from back then.

And I'm proud of who you are now.


Aurura

Zen said...

A Belated happy birthday wish from the left coast.