Surviving The Real “Real World”

Greetings Musikelskere [da. music lovers]!

Well folks, this would probably be considered a coming of age tale. There are those moments in an artist’s life when they face internal conflicts, and there are also moments when those conflicts can only be resolved through tribulation. Sometimes it has to hurt in order to heal.

So, here are a few questions to get us started:
What does it mean to be lost in life as opposed to loosing one’s self to it? Ultimately, what does success mean to you? It is certainly not black and white. Respectfully, a stock broker’s success is likely not the same as the success of an artist. What is fulfillment and where do we find it?”


Well, I have come to learn of late that there is a rather thin line and a subtle difference between being lost in life and loosing yourself. For myself, there have been two main states of being during my life: Lost or Awake. A transition from lost to found or dazed to aware takes will and deliberation to make it happen. Finding one’s direction can be more difficult than one would believe; at least more of a challenge than I expected.

I have often explained to people that before I found music, I was in a lost state and did not have a sense of drive. I have written about that time in my life before. Read From Gags to Pitches for an insight into that experience of awakening. With those lessons in mind, I have come to realize that I had too easily misconstrued the “real world” while pursuing my music degree. I was never naïve to the hardships of the “real world.” However, I never knew how much they could consume my priorities as a musician. Survival as an artistic mind in the so-called “real world,” is less about staying financially afloat than it is about keeping your artistic drive afloat.

dictionary-series-philosophy-truthThere is a wonderful list of real world falsehoods written by University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business professor Charles W. Keene. A few of these consist of:
1)You’re amazing at everything you do
2)You have to be perfect

I have been working at the same restaurant as a server for almost two years since I graduated from Adams State. When I started waiting tables, I told myself that it was a temporary endeavor. Well… that worked out differently then expected. The grind of paychecks, bills, insurance, rent, (you know, survival) had sucked me in so far that I lost sight of my artistic goals. I went months without writing music, and regrettably longer without playing piano, and my naturally productive personality was sacrificed entirely. I hit, what was for myself, rock bottom. I was again in a lost state with no direction. Now, that I have been lost for so long, I have opened my eyes again and remembered who I used to be and what makes me a sane human being and an artist. While I may be considered a successful waiter in the “real world,” the fulfillment as a musician is not there. I have come to realize that success is a subjective concept. Even if I owned my own restaurant I wouldn’t feel successful, because I would not be enriched musically.

I have rediscovered my sense of direction the hard way. I encourage you to never loose sight of your passions. It could be the difference between feeling lost and finding success. In hindsight, I now aim to strive for a true feeling of success in any stage of my life.

Thanks for reading the Musik Modus Mémoires!


  1. Thank you Eliot for sharing all of that. I have always believed in you, and always will. You took those steps to establish your credit. Your future is just beginning. It is all there for you. Just keep one foot ahead. Don’t be afraid to push for what you want. Love you so much, mom

  2. Writing down what is the already existing positive preoccupance of the mind, spirit, and drive DOES create an even more intense striving of those goals—thus, herewith, you have, with the power of the pen (or computer keypad) unleashed more passion, commitment, and positivity in attainment of your musical aspirations. I concur totally also with your Mom’s words. Blessarud, Dad

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