So tonight 2008 officially draws to a close. As I look aback over the last 12 months I have come to realize that this past year has been the most personally transforming, turbulent and thus far the most influential year of my life.
As of January 1, 2008 I was still living in Rapid City, South Dakota, my wife and I had been married for 16 months, my little girl was almost four months old and I was still residing in a small apartment. I was still working as a web designer and Hey Stupid was at the height of its popularity with almost 5,000 readers a day. My band at the time, Renegade Revival was doing really well and we were playing all around the local area and there was talk of us being on a couple of splits and headlining some really huge shows.
In February we moved into a new home and my wife launched her own business. Things were going well all around. A week later I thought the bottom fell out for me when the company I was working for appointed a new CEO and she decided to cut loose my department and about 13 other people placing me out of work. Relying on my ability to persuade people I took a job the same day as a car salesman.
March proved to be a defining month for me. First, it proved to me that I was not only meant for sales, but I absolutely love it. Second, in order to be successful in my new job I was going to have to sacrifice rehearsal time and a few shows with my band. Because success at my job would directly make my family’s life better I decided to with draw from the band quite a bit. This was the first time I had been happy to give up something like that. I realized without question that my family was more important to me than anything and that had a profound impact on me. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was growing up.
April saw the dealership I was working at be bought out by another dealership. I was worried that I would again be out of a job. Instead I was the only salesman they kept on because they were highly impressed with my marketing skills. This is where I would meat two of the men that would guide me to become the person I am now. My wife’s business was also booming.
By May I was making a killing at my job but had to sacrifice Hey Stupid a little. It would be another 4 months until I was able to get back to it.
In June I turned 27. I tried to make one last go of it with my band but unfortunately after a lot of hype it fizzled out and we officially laid the band to rest. I was really sad about this and to be honest I still am. I have never been so glad to be a part of a band.
July bought great fortune for my family. For the first time we were able to actually start saving some money, all of our bills were paid in advance and things were going really well. My wife and I were expecting our second child and we were both very happy. An old friend came to stay with us for a while and things were going great.I also bought a new car.
August continued to be great. We were planing for my little girl’s first birthday, one of my best friends and I started a comedy duo that would prove an immediate hit called 2 Guys From Work. By mid August we were booked almost every weekend through the New Year. I made the single largest pay check I made in my entire life. That one check was almost half of what I had made the entire previous year. Things were looking great.
September started to see a slight decline in the auto sales industry, but I wasn’t worried. I had my comedy to supplement my income and my wife’s business was a huge success. 2GFW put out a c.d. and we were featured on the radio. We had two HUGE shows booked. We were really charged up.
October came crashing down around me like the fall of the Roman Empire. Almost no one bought a car from our dealership the entire month. I cleared a $56 paycheck. My wife and I had to drain our savings account just to try and pay our bills. 2GFW did one of the 2 HUGE shows which was a Halloween show. I was extremely happy with how it turned out and we began talking about an east coast tour with some pretty big names. Unfortunately by the last week of October I realized once again that I would have to make a choice.
November began in stormy waters to say the least. My wife and I were completely broke. The dealership was going through some tough times and our rent was coming due. After a few long discussions and considering all of our options we reluctantly moved back to Pennsylvania. It was the darkest time in m entire life and I fear that I will never fully recover from it. I had to say good bye to two men that had become like fathers to me and two friends that had become like brothers. Even as I write this I am getting choked up.
December was as good as it could be. I have started working as a manager at another dealership, I have been writing and recording a lot of good songs with another old frined of mine and my second little girl is about to be born. As easy as it would be to just give up after the highs and lows of 08 I will press on, adapting as I always do. I hope that 09 brings as many good times and not as many bad ones and I guess that is all I can shoot for.
I hope you all have a great new year.