Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Technicolor in a Black and White World

I've got money in my pocket,
I like the color of my hair.
I've got a friend who loves me,
Got a house, I've got a car.
I've got a good mother,
and her voice is what keeps me here.

Cardboard masks of all the people I've been
Thrown out, with all the rusted, tangled
dented God Damned miseries!!
You could say I'm hard to hold,
But if you knew me you'd know,
I've got a good father,
And his strength is what makes me cry.

Feet on ground,
Heart in hand,
Facing forward,
Be yourself.
I've never wanted anything,
No I've, no I've, I've never
wanted anything so bad.

Feet on ground,
Heart in hand,
Facing forward,
Be yourself.

Heart in hand,
Feet on ground,
Facing forward,
Be yourself.
just be yourself.
just be yourself.

Feet on ground,
Heart in hand,
Feet on ground,
Heart in hand....

....... I don't know why out of the 40,000 + songs I own, I have never listened to that song before. I'm most assuredly going to be choreographing to that song very soon.

Honestly the words to this song are perfect and simple in addressing my ownpersonal life. I'm sure all can relate to some degree. I've never been one to care too much about the material things in life. (thought I do love the color of my hair finally) ha! That being said, I think in the end there is that one thing I want so badly that only my God really knows what it is...or even yet, who it is. Now don't think that there is a specific person out there that I am just completely head over heels for, but more that anything the "who" is the person that I'd like to become.

If I were the person I'd want to be, I'd have the companion that would fit me perfectly. I'd have the life that fulfills me, the love that inspires me and the strength to tackle on whatever new challenges arise in times of storm or drought.

If only...

That being said I think it's during these moments in my life where I have so much yet am so little helps me see a bigger picture in it all. Motivating really.
The old masks I've worn are over and done with. I'm trying to be a true me. I really detest saying something like that though. Too many people in this world associate that with such taboos as doing whatever the hell you want and not acknowledging one's Maker. For me, that's a path I have learned to hate and despise. To be myself is me trying to be my purest self; something I long to be. I feel like I've always tried to act a certain way or be seen in a certain light out of fear or attention rather than letting judgements be passed without me being so effected.

I have hid behind masks.

I think we all do sometimes. I do feel though that the best sides of me are true and real. I am more lover than fighter. I try and see the good in most people though I have learned that many people are ugly or at least have ugly intentions, and I've learned to stand up and confront them head on. A delicate balance really. Something I've barely touched the surface with yet I am finally learning it's importance.

You could say I'm hard to hold...

- ah THAT RINGS TOO TRUE!!! It was a phone call during a 1 am stroll through Wal-Mart this morning that helped me realize what makes it so impossible for someone to be with me (outside of the obvious nerd/crazy persona that I sometimes evoke).

I live in a different world.

My schedule, my hours, my moods, my motivations, my desires all come from a more art-friendly world. A world that doesn't mesh very well with the 9-5's and cultural norms we all seem to in-adherently expect to happen to all of us in this life. I was raised, like all of you that I would go to go to school locally till was 18 then higher learning (mission/college however which way one chooses), then you'll get married during that time, continue your career, have babies and by 28 have a pot belly with four munchkins around my lap.

The sick and twisted thing is that life sometimes throws curve balls, and God sometimes has other paths for us to take. And it's hard. We go against society's norms for a higher norm. And even those that feel they have it all and should be happy enough in their own lives, still feel they should persecute those that do not lead such lives as they.

As an entertainer, life is so much more chaotic. Twists and turns everyday. We base our lives on the art and influx of emotions we experience... thus being more "sensitive" people... and the gross part of it all is the fact that we are deprived more of love and opportunities to give our love back in the normal stereotypical world, so much that we end up putting it ALL into our craft, thus creating beauty from our pain, but never feeling satisfied with love because it just doesn't seem to work in the way the world is. Instead of it being reciprocated by a special someone who treats you like you're a part of that normal world, we receive applause, whistles, fan mail, and even the occasional stalker. :)

It may sound like I'm complaining, but in truth, I wouldn't change my life, my faith and my art for the world or normality. I used to think it was a decision to live in a creative bubble... now... I realize it's more about the fact that THAT is what I am.
Sure, I am working on being the best I can be in all ways possible, bit by bit, and step by step... but in the end.... straight to the heart, I am my art. I do this because it is me. Whatever turmoil I may encounter because of it is more than an occupational hazard... it's my calling.


I will write more about him soon. All I will say is that he is prime example and ambassador to all of (to all you "regulars") the world in which i come from. He was different. Felt isolated. Can be the sweetest person to those around him. He only felt whole when immersed in his art. Believed in God and followed in his faith as diligently as he could.... gosh I forgot I was writing about someone other than myself for a second.... again... more to come about him.

So yes, I sometimes feel like I'm technicolor in a black and white world. In fact, my album (which I'm slowly making) is titled just that. A friend told me just today that the phrase suits my point of view of the world perfectly and I really think it does.

I am an underdog.
I am different.
I walk a lonely path.
I am normal in my own way.
I walk to my own drummer.
I am a believer.
I am sad sometimes.
I have found happiness beyond that of what this world can offer.
I am in pain.
I am creating and the rush is more addicting than anything I can imagine.
I am lead by art.
I am lead by heart.
I am lead by God.
I am misunderstood.
I am ridiculed.
I am rumored to be a 1000 things.
I am me.
My hand is on my heart.
My feet on ground.
Facing forward.
I am me.

I am Technicolor in a Black and White world...


  1. This is very insightful, Benji. Thanks for sharing a piece of you with us. My sister and I are as different as night and day. I followed the "school, marriage, babies" course and she became a stage manager. Our lives were crazy in different ways. Eventually she decided that she wanted children and needed to move away from stage managing in order to give them the attention and nurture they deserve. Now she has joined the ranks of "school, marriage, babies" people. However, she is still unique in her expression and being BECAUSE she is inherently an artistic person. Something I am not. I love her for it. There is never a dull moment with her around and life would be boring if we were all the same. Good luck finding and holding onto "you."

  2. I AM NOT A STALKER! haahahahah sorry

    The best thing we can learn in life is that you have to live what is true to you and not what you think your role and path should be for other people. Good to learn that sooner rather than later. It took me 30 years to get to that place.

    There is no normal. We each have to find our own normal. And give ourselves permission to realize that's good enough.

  3. I love reading your blogs. Through your writing we get to know "you" the person. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Benji, I feel I'm experiencing a very similar moment in my life. Your writing, btw is beautiful and cathartic to read. Thanks for your honesty.

    I think in time it will be possible for you to find a balance that will allow you to have the personal life you want and still be the artist that's in you today. But they key to this for the future is discovering and being true to your real self right now.

    Keep in mind I used the word discovering. Don't spend too much time searching, spend most of your time being, living. Relax and enjoy what God will show you through the process.

    My parents got married "later" than most of their friends and I love it when my mom tells me her perspective on it. She says she never settled down. She and my dad just got married and had adventures together. Though they ended up with "9-5s," those jobs were/are only a tiny fraction of their very full lives. They were able to express themselves through the music and art they taught my brother and me about. We took trips almost every single weekend and their 9-5s were simply there just to support a family with a creative and adventerous spirit. Because they never forced us into any mold (though at times we felt that go to college, get married thing), we've been free to explore who we want to be - though that sometimes means a state of confusion and limbo (should I sacrifice that "normal" life or do I even want that "normal" life) as you (and I) probably feel a lot now.

    When you said...
    "The sick and twisted thing is that life sometimes throws curve balls, and God sometimes has other paths for us to take..."

    I'd beg to argue that is more of a beauitful and grace-filled thing that we can't see or understand. That doesnt make it any less difficult. I thank God for those curve balls (that was rarely the case until a year or two ago) for they're really blessings I haven't neccesarily seen the fruits of yet. I was on the "succeed and do well in school and career so you can get a good job and a big house and all this material wealth and then have a family and continue to provide that for them too"... path.

    I'M SO GLAD God changed my outlook. I want the opposite now. I'm so excited to get married when it's right and I'm ready and live in a little house that won't stress my wallet,marriage or make me break my back everytime I have to clean it and spend my energy on things that matter more.

    SO many of my friends are on the more traditional path that you described and I let it concern me for a while but God has shown me that he has a purpose for this time in my life and I don't want to waste my 20s when he's given me this time to express my creativity and spend time with Him. Knowing more people in the art-friendly world has shown me how callous and judgemental those in the "cultural norms" world can be and I'm thankful I was saved from falling into that kind of outlook. God used art (among other things) to bring me to a more open-minded view of the world-as if He told me that not just these "normals" are entitled to the kingdom of God; show my love to everyone.

    Be true to you and everything else will fall in line (as cliche as it sounds).

  5. I love reading your posts, and feeling identified sometimes with them.

    I think that you should do whatever you feel to, and what's true to you. What I'm trying to say it's, you are who you are. You have to find your own "me" and hold onto it, without thinking "who you should be for other people".
    Thanks for sharing, and good luck!

  6. Benji,

    I imagine the solitude that comes along with celebrity is a very alientating feeling.

    I wish you luck on your quest and leave you with a quote:

    "The individual has always has to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself"

  7. Please show us when you do choreograph to Good Mother, I've loved that song for over a decade (God, has it been that long?) and it has brought me to tears many times.

    I'd like to see your interpretation.

  8. I think I live in the same world...Sometimes it feels like no one else understands. Many people don't get it. Maybe because they wish they could live that way? I don't know. But I do know that I don't want to give in to normalcy. It just isn't who I am.
    "I used to think it was a decision to live in a creative bubble... now... I realize it's more about the fact that THAT is what I am."
    I think you can make the decision to walk away because it is easier, but you will probably regret it. It is something that you inherently are, and without it, a piece of you will be missing. I used to feel like I had to apologize for being sensitive and artistic, and different, but it is who I truly AM, and anyone who gets me will accept this.
    "I want to express all my pain in my music. I don't want to stifle it, I want to reach others in pain so they can know they are not alone" -Eric Clapton.

  9. Benji,
    I've read and re-read your post quite often. I strive as well to be my pure self- the person that God wants me to be. Truth is, it's never easy and i often feel too weak to be that person. It's nice to know that i'm not the only one striving for that as well. :)

  10. p.s. thought you might like this quote.

    “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” -- e.e. cummings