Looks like I picked the wrong year to quit drinking, smoking, amphetamines, etc etc etc.  Seriously though, we all know that 2016 has been an incredibly difficult year to say the least.  Not since 9/11, have I seen a country so dismayed and close friends so distraught.   My therapy sessions became less about me, and more about predicaments that others found themselves immersed in.  Of course, all I can ask is "What can I do?"  My questions later ranged from, "How can I fly down to help one friend realize that they need to be alone to break the cycle of co-dependence?" to "What charities can I donate to on a regular basis?"  I'm used to waves of anxiety and depression to where they feel more like the norm.  In fact, when I was in my longest relationship, at my happiest, working at a great job, living in the best home of my life, I couldn't even process what happiness really was.  I had disbelief in it.  There is photographic proof of me deliberately frowning when others around me were smiling, as I was trying to mock happiness.  Several times, when I have received love, I actively would do things to push it away because I didn't believe it was possible.  To this day, I'm still convinced that unhappiness is the norm.  Which might be sad, or comforting. 

At this point, I don't see 2017 becoming something monumentally different.  The biggest blessing is the forthcoming job I have acquired in which I get to shape young minds through the art of digitally recording music.  If there’s one thing I wish for everyone, is that they find a career or hobby that fills them with as much joy as music does for me.  Now I get to utilize my talent, help others, and get paid.  Have no fear!  I won't impart the same feelings of "Unhappiness and existential terror is the norm," because these are different, younger people coming in without cynicism or mistrust.  My mistrust mainly comes in the form of the powers that be, the ones that mysteriously were elected at a vulnerable time.  I'm tired of thinking "Well, maybe it won't be that bad."  I truly think that the direction this country is headed into is very bad.  There are little things we all can do, but I'm still weary of believing that the bigger picture can be altered unless that monster is out of office.  Here's one little thing I'm going to do.

FUCK NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!  I'll forever decide that I have yearly goals and accept the fact that I may not meet them.  My goals include writing more, composing more, reading more, exercising more, eating better, etc.  But I can't say that they will all take place or feel guilty if I don't meet these goals.  However, in regards to the first one, Voices and Visions is not just a podcast I'm hosting where I get to know people better, but it's a blog.  It'll have movie reviews and it'll have rambling declarations like the one you're reading now.  But I'd like to give you one thing to look forward to, that will hopefully make you want to keep coming back to this website if you love music just as much as I do.  I vow to write about my favorite 365 songs - one song a day for the entire year of 2017.  This is in hopes that someday, these songs will be archived and put into a time capsule or shared among family and friends when I leave this crazy planet.  No, seriously, it's just a collection of songs accompanied by a paragraph or so about why they are a favorite of mine.  Completely subjective and arbitrary but important to me as a musician and music teacher.  You'll also be able to download the song yourself to tuck away in a cloud or hard drive.  So there's one thing in 2017 to be very excited about.  Along with great interviews, reviews, podcast write-ups, new songs, and more ramblings from yours truly.  It won’t always be bleak, right?