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Do You Think You’re Better Off Alone?

About 18 years ago I first heard this song called “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay. I remember hearing it in a club, in Atlantic City, high af, and you could say it came into my life at a time when I questioned the exact title to the song. At that point I had had enough of living in NJ, not knowing who my friends really were, and I didn’t feel like there was anything left there for me. In some ways, I felt like I was better off alone.  So I chose to be alone, and I left the East coast for good.

I moved to Seattle in July of 2000. I was barely 24 and I wasn’t there more than twenty five minutes when my friend picked me up from the airport, got me stoned, and played a version of Better Off Alone I had never heard before. I remember being driven back to his parents house slightly nauseated from the night before and incredibly inspired knowing that I made the right decision in life because that song found a way to follow me to my new place. I might have thrown up in the toilet downstairs the fist day I moved to Seattle, but I was fucking ready for my next adventure, and for the time being, I was better off alone.

I lived the next 18 months of my life impulsively, purposefully, and spiritually. I came to the point where I fell in love for the first time again, and I experienced all these emotions and drug fueled responses to the idea that maybe, I wasn’t better off alone and perhaps having someone in my life to love and to trust was becoming a better option. I found someone who would listen, and someone who would talk to me, unafraid of becoming too exposed to the hard truth of being honest.

For one reason or another that time didn’t last forever, and as I was packing up my Mitsubishi Eclipse on a warm rainy day in March of 2002, I again thought to myself, I know I made the right decision. Perhaps I AM better off alone, and I knew I was. It was the only way for me to protect my heart and my feelings and not allow them to be broken or distorted again. I got really good at just moving on in life and only relying on myself and being ok being alone.  In some ways I am really proud of that independence, but in other ways, it made me so jaded and lovesick for years that it’s hard to see how it did me any good.

Years would go by and I would move to southern California and I would forget all about this song. I would get so wrapped up in the idea of living in Hollywood and pursuing my dream that I wouldn’t have time to question it, reflect on it, or even think about the fact that maybe I was wrong. Was I better off alone?  I didn’t really care at that point because I was surrounded by other people doing the same thing.

It’s such an empowering and extremely lonely thought at the same time. Am I better off alone? I don’t know. The parameters of deciding whether or not I was have changed so many times in my life. Now it had been 7 years since I heard that song and one drunken night in the summer of 2008 I started listening to electronic music again and thinking back to those times almost a decade ago.  I needed a reason for every action, a cause to fight for, and I questioned everything in life as I  wondered, Am I?

Now it’s 2017, and life has reached it’s point on the circle where it becomes full like the moon. Here I am again  in the living room of  my apartment in North Seattle, questioning the answers and provoking my thoughts yet again.

Am I better off alone?

That’s the question right? For years it has been Yes, then No, then Yes again,  but I can assure you that I have felt nothing but the epitome of aloneness these last few months and it fucking sucks. I’m tired of being alone.  I’m tired of being so far away from my friends and my family. Sure, it’s been wonderful to have experienced all the things in life I have had the chance to experience, but for the first time in 17 years I’m thinking that no, I am NOT better off alone. I want someone to share these experiences with. I desire the familiarity of a place I know like the back of my hand and as much as I love the Pacific Northwest…it ain’t gonna happen here. I’m not better off this way, and finally I know now that it’s time to come home.

I will always love this song, no matter what remix I hear. I will always remember how instrumental the lyrics are for me even though they haven’t changed.  They remind where I’ve been, and where I came from. They remind me to always take stock in the fact that even though I’m independent, I still have the desire and the need to have people around me to love and keep me inspired.

This song gave me the mindset and the strength it took to leave New Jersey in 2000, and the wisdom and knowledge to know that it’s time to return in 2017. I can’t think of a better example of  life coming full circle than that.

Do you think you’re better off alone?

Not anymore.

 

Signum remix:

original mix

dash berlin remix

heavy trance remix

 

 

 

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I Always Get What I Want

They say:

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need.

I’m not a huge Rolling Stones fan, however even though I understand that philosophy, I politely disagree. In some ways, I always get what I want, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

We have this suspended belief in life that it is somehow a selfish act to want something, then go out and get it. Personally I don’t see how this is a bad thing at all, unless you are royally fucking someone over in the process of getting it,  and I don’t mean like making plans and then breaking them to do something else, I mean it’s a bad thing if you pull a 2008 housing market crash to get what you want. Wanting more money isn’t inherently a bad thing, but if the act of getting it hurts someone else in the long run, to me that is inexcusable. It’s not money that is the root of all evil, it’s greed.

I consider myself a honorable friend and a good person. In no way will I deliberately fuck over someone for personal gain. How do I know this? Because I’ve done it in the past and I didn’t like myself afterwards and I promised myself I’d never do it again. I was a shitty person for awhile when I was younger and even though I tried to cover it up or make excuses for those selfish actions, the truth always comes out in the end. Sometimes in an inconvenient way.

I’ve had rifts with my lifelong friends that I never want to go through again, and each day since, I try my hardest to avoid those perils in my life.

I’m honest, but I’m not transparent. I’m supportive, but I’ll always speak my mind if I disagree, and even though part of my job is to bullshit with people, I’m not a liar and I’ll always say what I mean because the world needs to hear it.

I’d like to think I’m a good judge of character, but my experiences this last year living in Seattle has left me with the notion that when it comes to matters of the heart, sometimes I let shitty people into my life, but not anymore. I want people who are honest and who are trustworthy and who understand that it’s not always important to be right, as it is to be fair. And like I said before, I always get what I want.

I have always lived my life for me, and in some ways I have always gotten what I wanted, although it never happen exactly the way I planned, or it’s never precisely what I expected. I think that’s alright as long as I realize that my wants must be genuine, and my actions to get them must be honest and commendable. If that’s the case, then I don’t see anything wrong with the idea of putting yourself first to get anything in life, especially if it helps someone else.

Maybe the Rolling Stones were on to something with that song, but I feel like the lyrics need to be tweaked just a bit to fit into my personal experiences. Perhaps it’s like this….

“You can’t always get what you want, but you will always get what you deserve.”

As someone who has proof of that concept, I like those lyrics a lot better.