I’ve been thinking a lot about Other Jairuses. (Other Jairii?) If I had made different choices, focused my energy on different things. What would I be doing now. What would I be good at.
Eight years ago I was trying to decide where I should put my creative efforts. In design and visual art, which I had done professionally off and on — In writing and storytelling, where I felt very confident and capable — or in music, where I had been DJing for a while but I had no idea if I had any of the necessary skills to put together a song that anyone might want to listen to.
I asked a lot of people which they thought I should focus on, and almost everyone said writing. It was my ‘strength’. A few people said design. No one said music.
Eight years later and I have a couple of releases out, I’ve done a lot of touring, and I am for sure Jairus The Electronic Musician to a lot more people than I am Jairus The DJ. I haven’t been writing regularly or doing any design that isn’t paid work. I didn’t realize it while it was happening, but I traded those outlets in to make music.
One of the things that happens when you don’t do something for eight years is you stop being really good at it. Or you stop being good at it on demand, at least. I can still write things that I feel good about, but that’s the exception rather than the rule, and oh my god is there anything less interesting than someone writing about how challenging they think writing is.
Eight years later and I feel the hole left in me where I used to tell stories. Eight years later and I remember how good it felt to be up late creating something beautiful in photoshop that wasn’t for anyone but me. Eight years later and I’m not a writer, or an artist, or even really a DJ anymore.
Eight years from now, what I am going to wish I had spent more time doing? What am I going to wish I had gotten better at? What art am I going to wish I felt comfortable making?
That’s what I need to work on today.