Life is teamwork

When was the last time you expressed gratitude towards another person?

I’m grateful I have a supportive wife, who’s also my number one fan and number one critic. I’m grateful I have a son that’s in his mid-20s and is completely independent.

I also think, where would I be today if Allie never approached me about replacing my former model? Then after Allie did, Roxy did. So, I was in a rut, and suddenly, I have two beautiful young ladies modeling and inspiring me to paint.

And musically, I’m by no means doing this alone. Last month, we finally released Opium Tales Volume I. It took forever. Everything went wrong. I lost musicians. Gained musicians. Musicians got sick. I had a musician get stabbed and miss a recording session. Yes, he’s fine now, but was quite a scare.

My voice is not good. I can sing on time and on key. However, my tonal qualities are terrible.

Thus, I only sing harmony vocals. Instead, you get to hear two lovely ladies sing on the three songs that have vocals. Two are instrumental.

We practically have an army of musicians. You’re hearing three different bass guitar players, tons of string players, me playing all the electric and acoustic guitars, piano, and synthesizers.

We also have a small army of sound engineers. Randy Burk is the lead one. He also plays all the drums and percussion.

You are not alone

Now, this is probably way more than you care about. But that’s not the point.

You have friends with talent. You may even have some talented family members. Have you ever considered working with them?

This may surprise you. I struggle with language. I’m not that good of a reader. I like reading Harry Potter books because that’s about the level I’m at. Yes, seriously.

My math skills are off the charts. But reading? I’m not that good.

All these smart friends of mine tell me “Roman, you need to read such and such book. It’s a classic!”

And I pick it up and struggle through the first ten pages.

I couldn’t finish Les Miserables. I got about twenty pages in before giving up. Yes, there are kids who can read better than I can.

So those lyrics I wrote? Took me forever.

Don’t get me wrong. I do think they’re good. They just took forever for me to write them.

Ask for help

Now, you know what I’m really good at? People. Yes, people.

I’m a people person. Always have been and always will be.

One of the few extroverts left. I strongly think too much phone usage has killed people’s social skills. You see it everywhere. You ride the train and everyone’s on their phone. I remember back in the days when people had these things called “conversations with strangers.” A thing of the past. Unless the stranger is over 60.

Anyways, next release, I won’t be writing any of the words. The vocal lines, yes. But the actual lyrics?

I asked friends for help. And they’ve responded.

People like to help. But, most people are afraid to ask.

The thing is, don’t be one of those assholes who asks for help, then doesn’t appreciate it. You do that and nobody will want to help you.

Appreciation

So, simply show some appreciation. It’s not that hard.

I remember a week ago, I held two doors open for some bitch on the phone and she didn’t even look up. Didn’t acknowledge I was standing there, holding the doors open for her lazy ass. She just kept her eyes glued to the phone. No thanks. No smile. No nod. No nothing.

Now, that’s someone I won’t be inviting over to my next BBQ or cocktail party.

I always show appreciation for those who have helped me. Always. No matter how small it may seem to them.

And yes, I’ve done pretty well in life. But it wasn’t at all without help.

In my late 20s, I didn’t know what a 401k or an IRA or a stock purchase plan was. I just started working at a corporation after doing manual labor, waiting tables, and delivering pizza for years. Suddenly, I realized I needed to make more money because my future wife and I had a surprise baby. As you know, babies cost money.

So, I had to change my path. I went the corporate route. And I didn’t know what to do with my salary.

You may laugh. But seriously, I didn’t know.

Some older guy with a house told me all about 401k’s, IRAs, stock purchase plans, and saving a downpayment for a house. I literally didn’t know any of that.

And I don’t even remember his name. It was so long ago.

Thanks

So give thanks when appropriate. Of course I thanked the guy and offered to buy him dinner. He laughed and said it’s nothing. But you know what? It’s not nothing. My wife and I have now been to Europe three times, the Caribbean three times, and South America. We’re going to do a Panama Canal cruise in January.

It’s not nothing. It literally changed my life.

And if Allie never approached me about replacing my former model, I would never be an artist today. I’d still do my music. But I wouldn’t paint.

I used to do photography and dabble in drawing. That’s it. My former model, bless her heart, had a nervous breakdown and got fat, then of course stopped modeling. I wish her best. I’m really hoping her new boyfriend and her get married and do well. It’s going to be a struggle though.

So thank you Allie. Thank you Roxy. Thank you wife. Thank you Randy. And all the string players, other session musicians, woodwind players, brass players, sound engineers, and my future lyricists. Thank you Sarah and Liel for your lovely vocals.

Life really is a team sport. We need each other.

And thank you reader for reading all this. It’s therapeutic to get it off my chest.

Now it’s your turn. Think of someone in your life that has helped you. And tell them what they did for you and how much you appreciate it.

Roman

Composer. Fantasy Pinup Artist

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