“Do what you love and everything else will fall into place.” Whether that ‘everything else’ means health, happiness, financial security, relationships, or all of the above, who’s to know? But we like to think that a lot of things have lined up in our favour to make the choice of doing what we love an easy one.
Yes, we were both recently employed by good, supportive companies, doing interesting work alongside great people. As with all jobs there were good days and bad ones, but mostly they were good. Who gets to direct photo shoots in sunny San Diego and who gets to help decide where it is that airplanes will fly? Who gets to work at a place that has grilled cheese parties to curb hangovers from celebrating with their co-workers? Who gets to lose at beer pong tournaments using coworker’s desks as playing surfaces - all in a day’s work? Who gets to proudly display the winning trophy of the annual salsa/guac-off competition proudly at their desk, much to their colleagues’ chagrin? (Jason if you’re reading this, fine it was a tie and we split the trophy, but everyone thought the voting was rigged anyway.)
When you make a big life change you often look for affirmations that tell you you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes you get them, other times you lie awake at night or pace around your apartment fending off panic attacks. But when those affirmations come, you grab ahold of them and use them to fuel you for the rough days to come. It’s booking a gig you never thought you’d get. It’s meeting other bands that are in it for the same reasons and get where you’re coming from. It’s making a record that went beyond your wildest fucking dreams. Those wins and affirmations that you find along your path come in all shapes and sizes. The key is to listen to them and know that they happened for a reason. Without getting too “energetic” and “moon cycle” on you, it feels like the universe is smiling at you, giving you that encouraging ass-pat to “get back in there champ”.
In a recent conversation with the budding Calgary music photographer Allison Seto, the subject of being willing to suffer for your craft, but not actually having to suffer for too long came up and really struck a chord with us. We both feel very lucky that we also have other passions and creative pursuits that happen to generate income while we’re pursing music. For Adam it’s being a freelance art director, designer and letterer, and for Laura it’s teaching yoga and pretending to be a business consultant. And if we didn’t have these passions, you can bet your bottom dollar we’d be hustling every free minute of the day doing whatever it takes to support ourselves.
We’re not trying to downplay any difficulties we’ve had with our respective decisions to pursue a living made from music, but truthfully we were both dealt fortunate hands in life and we’re in a position to take advantage of that. We were born in Canada, have had access to education and good qualities of life (our families are beyond supportive), and we’ve each had many people mentoring, encouraging and supporting us along the way. No matter how you slice it, that’s lucky. So once we realized that Run Deer Run is where we belonged, the choice wasn’t just easy, it was the only one. Sure we’ve given up creature comforts such as vacations, weeknight trips to the pub and being able to regularly purchase cheese, but there is no regret - in fact there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. Right now, staying up until 3 am on a Saturday night writing grants, creating rock n roll spreadsheets and laying out our album liner notes is what we’re happy spending our time on. Just in case any of you thought we were cool (but actually, when you do see us in public catching shows and supporting our friends, please help us keep up the facade that we are indeed cool).
Closing the door to comfort, opening the door to creativity, and doing what makes our souls sing has affirmed that comfort is overrated, and we wouldn’t take anything back. In fact, we can’t wait to keep moving forward. So if you’ve been sitting on a passion and are hesitating - go do it. It might be for only 10 minutes a day at first, but trust us, doing what you love feels good. But above all else, just be yourself. Because that’s what’s really cool.
To quote a long time friend and collaborator Joel Houston: “Doubt is no virtue. Consider the end. Find yer heart.”
Yours with love (and that awkwardly-long hug),