Riiight, so I just finished Walking from Maine back to Nashville with three other (at the time strangers, but now, great friends). We're called The Walking Guys (Google Us!) and we played 50+ shows. Here's why I went:
For me this tour was a declaration. I let fear rule my life and was quite afraid to admit to my family, peers, and friends that I fully intend to dedicate my life to a career in music. Music is very much a "winner-take-all" industry in which a select few hyper-popular musicians make millions while the vast majority are busting their ass just to pay their bills. The financially ambiguous nature leads others to question a career in music. You get questions like "Oh what's your real job?" or "So how much money have you made from your CD sales?" There is an underlying message "good luck but you'll never 'make-it' kid (whatever the hell 'making it' is supposed to mean... perhaps it's being famous with millions of dollars? I guess I doubt I'll ever make it then). To them, the lack of financial security looks like a large life-gamble to take. The constant pressure of being told "You cannot succeed" is tremendously draining and breeds a pervasive thought to abandon music altogether. This tour provided me with an opportunity to ask and answer a defining question of myself. "If I can walk across the country for four months with three relative strangers, no place to sleep, and still want to play music...? Well then I'll know I've chosen the right field."
Now I know my flirtation with the idea of abandoning my passion was the biggest risk I've ever taken. I have found so much inner-peace in the notion that I will continually build skills in what I love doing most. I am aware of the lifestyle sacrifices that I will have to make but I can bear them much easier than I thought. We (TheWalkingGuys.com) kept saying that the tour was "easy." The anxiety of living a semi-homeless lifestyle never got to us because we were all so excited to be working towards what we love to do.
Little Nietzche bomb... "He who has a why can stand to bear almost any how."