“Tripping on Existence” – Song 2 – Enneagram 6 Songwriter – Analyzing Lyrics – Themes of Belonging and Security

In my 2nd song, we see an official embracing of the “counterphobic” aspect of my Enneagram 6 personality; identifying as a person who faces my fears, instead of running from them. Specifically, I am disassociating myself from the general population of people who I realized I no longer needed to give my time, energy, money, emotions, and attention to.

It was me officially and knowingly beginning my journey of emotional intelligence.

I recorded this song on October 28th, 2019. At that point in my life, both my salary and my wife’s had doubled; as we had both began working at different employers.

We had recently paid off all our debts and moved into a brand-new, bigger house in the perfect neighborhood. For the first time in my marriage and career, we were not in debt.

These events triggered an “existential crisis”, which I am still working through. Since then, I have felt like I suddenly climbed to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid.

Granted, much of my identity will always be wrapped up in “love/belonging”. But ultimately, I have been living in the “self-actualization” phase for a few years now.

The lyrics of “Tripping on Existence” serve as a clear realization of my sudden introduction of my existential crisis- or as some would say, “mid-life crisis”:

“Hi, I don’t care, thanks – I unplugged from existence, at least the version from before – I switched of the breaker – I don’t care if I’m hated, or even worse ignored – I wish I was here – I’ve been gone too long, I’ve begun to disappear – I can’t relate – I’ve seen too much, this is my escape – The best way to explain this: I’m tripping on existence – A dream inside a dream – An alternate dimension – I guess that I should mention – You can borrow my spare key – I am phoning home – But years have passed, now the number’s changed – So what happens next? Expect a reboot, then get born again”

So looking back on this song I wrote nearly 4 years ago, can you see the Enneagram 6? Can you see my longing for security and confirmation of my own existence?

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And now you can listen to the song, below, if you wish:

 

“Maybe It’s a Dream” – Song 1 – Enneagram 6 Songwriter – Analyzing Lyrics – Themes of Belonging and Security

Since 2014, I have written over 60 songs that I have published on my YouTube channel.

This past year, I dove deep into understanding myself better than I ever have before. I became certified as an Enneagram coach, which has ultimately been my own personal equivalent of experimenting with a revealing psychedelic like ayahuasca.

I am officially a Counterphobic Enneagram 6 Wing 7, Sexual/Social Subtype.

Ultimately, here’s the breakdown: I find meaning in life by seeking security through building and maintaining relationships with people; which ultimately makes me feel like I exist. I am constantly looking for what might go wrong with the situation, so that I can either prevent it, or go down with the ship and learn from it. And despite living in constant anxiety, I face my fears head on. I am the loyal skeptic, which is ultimately a paradox: Both an introvert and extrovert; both a pessimist and an optimist.

So in addition to now understanding my fundamental psychological operating system, there is also the fact that when I write a new song, it draws out of me, subconscious thoughts I am often not aware of.

I am excited and curious to start turning my lyrics inside out. Let’s start with the very first song I published on my YouTube channel: “Maybe It’s a Dream.”

I originally wrote it on January 11th, 2014; when I was 33 years old. However, I didn’t actually record it until April 16th, 2018; just 4 days before my 37th birthday. (I’m 41 now.)

In hindsight, I don’t like the way I performed this song. The key is too low and I over-pronounce the words.

But ultimately, through this new series of unpacking the psychology of all the songs I’ve written, one by one, I want to finally focus on the true poetry of my lyrics, as opposed to simply the musical aspect.

Here are the lyrics to “Maybe It’s a Dream”:

I am a skeleton with meat on my bones – I walk around with secrets nobody knows – I am a figment of my own imagination, I bet – It’s all, it’s all, in my head – Seven billion people ride a planet that spins – A thousand miles an hour and I’m just one of them – Another stranger who’s no stranger than all the rest – It’s all, it’s all, in my head – It feels like no one knows me anymore – And I start to think that I’m safer when ignored – My head’s in the clouds but my feet are on the ground – So tell me now, where can I be found? It’s like a dream where I can’t stop falling from the bottom to the top – Maybe it’s a dream where I’m drowning out a sea – I’m coming up for air – But is this even real? My thoughts are captive and I’ve swallowed the key – I’ve locked myself out of the world so it seems – My perspective of reality will die with me – It’s all, it’s all make believe – With these distractions it’s so hard to exist – It’s survival of the mentally fittest – I’m still standing here so I guess I know that this means – It’s all, it’s all in my head 

So looking back on this song I wrote nearly a decade ago, can you see the Enneagram 6? Can you see my longing for security and confirmation of my own existence?

Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

And now you can listen to the song, below, if you wish:

 

Dear Jack: The Special Song I Wrote for You for Your 11th Birthday- “Have a Good Life”

11 years old.

 

Dear Jack,

We had a spend-the-night birthday party for you the weekend of Halloween.

As I watched you interact with the four friends you chose to stay over, I felt like I was literally watching you grow up.

It inspired me to write this song- just for you:

I want you to have a good life/I want yours to be even better than mine/I’ve watched you travel through time/I’ve been beside you, tried to guide you through this ride you take me on/Have a good life, even better than mine

I can always remember when I was your age/Thirty years’ difference though most is the same/ I’ve been where you are, it’s really not that far/Every year of your life I put myself in your place/ So familiar it’s strange, though the backdrop has changed/I’ve been where you are, it’s really not that far

No one can love you the way that I can/I look at you and I see who I am/Half of you is me and will always be/When I move on to the life after this/Remember my love for you all of these years/Half of you is me and will always be

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: The Song Wrote About You- “If She’s a Princess, I’m a King”

4 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Earlier this summer, I challenged myself to write a song about you- specifically, about our relationship as father and daughter.

This past week, I finished writing the song and published it to my YouTube channel.

The concept is this: You are a princess. Since I am your father, that means that I am a king.

Here are the lyrics:

Never thought I’d be the king of anything/Or live in a castle married to a queen/ It never seemed that would be my reality/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Well I’m a king if she’s a princess/A slumber party in an Elsa dress/The proudest ever ballerina, the blondest ever senorita/I’m the beast and she’s the beauty/An interruption to my routine/She’s always happy when she sees me/I am royalty, believe me/If she’s a princess, I’m a king

My midlife crisis came a little soon/An existential view with doom and gloom/I was so confused thinking, “What am I here to do?”/Then I met a girl who changed everything/Those blue eyes are still a mystery/And when she smiles at me, it’s all that I really need

Love,

Daddy

My Wife and I Have Been Performing and Publishing Original Songs I’ve Written… Largely Due to Cancelling Netflix and as a Way to Overcome My Existential Crisis

Earlier this week I revealed the top 5 highlights of my 2019 in review: one of those is that my wife and I have been releasing songs that I have written. While I have published them on YouTube and shared them on Facebook, I have yet to really talk about the how and the why of it.

So here’s the story…

My wife and I both moved to Nashville to pursue music careers; she arrived in 2004 and I showed up in 2005. We met in 2006, starting dating in 2007, and got married in 2008.

Since then, my wife earned her Master’s Degree (2009), we had a son (2010), we become debt-free other than our mortgage (2013), we moved into a brand-new houses in the suburbs (2015), and we had a daughter (2016).

And then, my employer of 12 years shut down my branch, releasing about 40 people at the same time; giving us a 2 weeks’ severance pay and a hand shake.

For the next 6 months, while being a stay-at-home dad, I spent any free time I had on writing songs, and eventually releasing my newest song on YouTube, in 2018.

“Maybe It’s a Dream” is an autobiographical song exploring the concept of how “removed” from the human experience I felt after I started living my life with the knowledge that being offended or disrespected is always my own choice. It was me realizing how much of my time, energy, and emotions had been wasted on letting the free world affect my emotions, when it was my decision every single time.

Shortly after releasing that song, my 6 month stint as a stay-at-home dad/blogger/YouTuber ended when I gained employment at a Fortune 500 company; where I have been employed for more than a year and a half now.

That led to new inspiration for writing songs, as it ushered in my “existential crisis of 2019”.

My salary nearly doubled, putting my wife and me in a situation where we could finally start building our retirement. We are very grateful for all the help with investments, thanks to Charles Schwab.

This caused me to have to re-evaluate my identity, as I found myself at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid; no longer triggered by the fear or anxiety of money, or even my own emotions.

Therefore, I started coming to terms with my existential crisis (some would call it a midlife crisis); as I had basically reached all of my life goals before the age of 40.

My next song, written just a couple of months ago, would be called “Tripping on Existence”; which was my way of sorting out my experience. I found that going through an existential crisis at a younger age put me in a situation where few people I knew could relate; which only intensified my feeling of floating in the universe like Tony Stark in the trailer for Avengers Endgame.

There had been other songs I had written during my 6 months of unemployment, but that didn’t get released due to me getting a job.

One was called “Fort Payne, Alabama”; another autobiographical song addressing the paradox of how my hometown undeniably helped form my identity, yet ultimately prepared me to move away after college and live my own life in the next state over in Tennessee.

So after releasing that year-and-half year old song, I decided I wanted to include my wife on my final leftover song from 2018: “We’re Gonna Leave in the Morning”.

It was a song I written, fantasizing about being able to just “up and go” on a road trip to anywhere; just she and I.

This is a fantasy because we haven’t gone on a fun road trip without the kids, since… we had kids.

I finally got to show off my wife’s singing in one of my songs. I was so proud to share her with the world.

It is truly a song about us; written from my perspective. It is my version of a love song. A love song when you’ve been married for over a decade, have 2 kids, and live in the suburbs.

During the time we were rehearsing that song, I casually wrote a song called “The Meaning of Life”. We decided to record that as well; the song was barely a week old when we published it.

The song was me exploring the irony in that none of us asked to be born, yet it is up to us to determine individually what the meaning of life is, though we have no idea how long our lives will be.

My next couple of songs, which I determined I wanted us to record on that same night; were complete opposites in mood:

The loud and upbeat “(Subtitles) I Dare You Not to Fall in Love with Me” would serve as our very first true duet together; as the autobiographical song explores what was really going through our minds on the night we met: October 5th, 2006.

Meanwhile, the somber and reflective “You Won’t Remember My Name” was written to remind the listener how the default is often to arbitrarily make perceived enemies of the people on the other side of the political fence.

The last song of 2019 that my wife and I recorded is a cover of Patty Griffin’s “Long Ride Home”; imagining the regrets of a man at his wife’s funeral, after they had been married for 40 years.

This one was special because it served as my wife’s first solo of all the songs we performed together. I simply played guitar on this one, as I wanted to only showcase her amazing ability to sing.

I currently have 3 more originals that I have been practicing; likely to be released in January 2020.

There is the somewhat novelty Country tune, “Jeep Wrangler Theme Song”, explaining the micro-culture of Jeep Wrangler owners, along with our Jeep wave.

Another loud and fun song is “I Feel Like You Want Me to Care”, which points out the power (and humor) of refusing to give emotional control to others when they are eager to take it from you.

And lastly, I have an alternative rock power ballad (?) called “Shotgun”, addressing the ridiculously dangerous risk and gamble that two young people make when they choose to marry each other, for better or worse.

My wife and I both moved to Nashville a long time ago to pursue music. Could we have been doing this all along? Maybe.

But I don’t think it could have been this genuine, this mature, or this good.

We had to live more of our lives together first. We needed more life experience first. We needed to get to the point where we were financially set so we psychologically free to create and perform in the way we can now.

Ultimately, the gate opened as a side-effect of us choosing to cancel our Netflix subscription back in May of this year. That was what created the time and space for us to focus on these songs.

Our music is what happens when Netflix is out of the picture. That’s pretty interesting, actually.