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I am writing this for my own edification. I am not writing this because I think this journey is going to be a glamorous one. Or a successful one. Or a humorous one (but let’s be real, it’s probably going to be laughable).
Today is July 12, 2018. My name is Peter McGuire. I am 30-years-old. I am once divorced, currently engaged. I am a father of a 6-year-old son named Jude. I’ve been working in the food industry for 14 years, and that’s how I make a living. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 11. I have been in four original bands, one cover band, and I am a solo singer-songwriter, and I’ve been a part of countless other bands that have never come to fruition. I have been playing shows since I was 14. For clarification, I do NOT think that makes me cool or special. I’m merely stating blunt facts to help you have a better understanding of who I am—which is no one special. I am an over-the-hill musician (at least as far as musicians go) attempting to start a new band. I’m a dude who felt the need to start writing this shit down.
Now, what is “this shit?”
I guess this is a journal of some sorts, a journal in a world full of very public digital journals. We tweet our every thought. We Instagram our every meal, every workout, every day life. Instead of researching and learning about something that makes us curious, we ask Facebook, and our hundreds of friends, family members, co-workers, that one dude who you used to work with for about a month six years ago, and his friend that you met one time at a party, and your other friend’s dad who sent you a friend request and you didn’t want to be rude and you want to bump up that number of “friends,” and those girls who you’ve never actually met but you’re “friends” with because you were browsing Facebook in the middle of the night and saw their profile picture next to a comment on a mutual “friend’s” post and you thought she was attractive and you were sad and lonely and probably a little bit drunk or stoned, just enough to think sending them a friend request would be a good idea and you could slide into those DM’s and maybe your sad lonely nights could be replaced by sad lonely nights with someone else’s company, and also your JV football coach, and various other acquaintances, can offer you their insights on something you could have just googled.
Anyway, I’m writing this for myself. So one day, I can look back and see how far I have, or haven’t come.
I play music because it’s how I connect with the world. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. It’s just the way I’m wired, I guess. Nobody likes to feel different from their fellow man, but in a way, I think we all do feel different at times. I think we all sometimes feel a disconnect from those around us. I have a difficult time talking to people I don’t know, which can be detrimental to a musician trying to garner a supportive fan base. I think I might sometimes come across as an asshole to people. But I promise you, I’m not. I’ve never intentionally cool-guy’d anyone. I just oftentimes have no clue what to say or how to handle myself with new people, and so I avoid them entirely.
Music has been my greatest coping mechanism for my depression. The lyrics I write are sometimes vague, or cloaked in ambiguity, but for me, they serve a purpose of describing how I felt at a very specific time. I’m not trying to come across as “deep” or intellectual, and I know my lyrics often seem or feel like a half-finished thought. And that’s because they are.
I was born in 1987. The youngest of 3. The only “surprise” child (read as “accident”). My parents and my older brother and sister love me. There has never been a doubt in my mind. Sure, I’ve fucked up and made a lot of mistakes and dumb decisions. They might not like me all the time, but they’ve always loved me. I have always known love, and I consider myself lucky and incredibly grateful for that.
My paternal grandfather was... a dick. He was a strict disciplinarian. My father knew what it meant to be unloved. My grandfather made him feel small, unimportant, and less-than. My father tried, and succeeded, to make sure I never felt that way. But my father’s low self-esteem still managed to find its way into my mental makeup. I don’t blame him. He never did it on purpose. He was a wonderful father, and completely unlike his own. We knew love from the day we were born.
But my dad didn’t talk about feelings. We talked about sports. He taught me how to play baseball and football. He taught me how to swim. He taught me how to throw a shotput and a discus. He taught me true sportsmanship and character, and those were lessons that went beyond the playing field.
Unfortunately, being a good person and being an effective communicator are not the same thing, and as every single romantic relationship I’ve ever had has taught me, I am not an effective communicator. I have trouble expressing my feelings in a way that makes sense. That comes through in my lyrics. They don’t always make sense to the listener. But I’m not writing these lyrics for them. These lyrics are for me, and the only healthy way I know how to express those feelings. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious who and what my lyrics are about, especially to those I’m romantically involved with. But for most people who don’t know me intimately, they might just be thinking “what the fuck is this guy talking about?”
(To be continued)