Hi, if you’re still here and reading about my life then more power to you I guess. It’s not the most exciting of stories, but I hope other people can relate to it in some way. We all have our unique struggles, and it can help to know we are not alone in them.
Believe it or not, I was a victim of bullying. Surprise surprise. I walked around school with my giant headphones blasting Bach and badmouthing everyone who liked any other type of music. Yeah, I already warned you, I used to be pretentious.
My first girlfriend talked me straight. We were fifteen, and I was explaining the fine points of music composition to her, and she told me, “You know, you don’t have to act like all other music is dirt you know.”
I was surprised, because well, wasn’t it obvious? “They don’t take the same time and energy that classical takes.”
“They do, Jeremy,” she said, trying to be nice. “Just not in the way you relate to it.”
I see what she meant now, but at the time I just thought she was as airheaded as everyone else. She loved my pieces, of course, the small compositions I showed her, but she couldn’t appreciate them fully. The curse of the true artist is to be misunderstood, and I felt that I lived that fully.
The funny thing is if you act like no one can understand you then they probably won’t even try.
I composed feverishly in high school, paying avid attention to my music theory teacher and working on my piano skills day and night. I can admit now that it was manic, and it only got worse as I got older.
My parents supported me fully, but I knew they didn’t get it. I had notebooks full of staff paper spilling out from every corner of my bedroom. Oh, my bedroom was a tornado landing zone, zany classical musician.
I promise I wasn’t trying to fit the stereotype. I just think that a certain type of person dedicates their life to fighting to find the perfect harmonic syntax, and that type of person was just naturally unruly.
When I started college the pressure was on. I was lucky that my parents supported me. They paid for my car, my car insurance, my food, and for my full college experience. I did not go to a cheap college.
I felt that I had to succeed at all costs and that soon was a hard cross to bear. You see, it can be hard to make it as a composer. You can design all the music you want but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a job anywhere, and it doesn’t mean you’ll design the next Hedwig’s Theme.
I started drinking early on in college. Everyone around me did it, and at first, I drank to fit in. I was seen as a bit of an uptight guy, and I wanted to break that mold.
No one understood me when I was sober, but when I was drunk, it seemed like everyone was my best friend.