Now another four years has passed and I rather serendipitously scrolled down to my letter from 2011, which happened to be saved as the first "note" document on my phone (I never scroll down to the bottom!). So here it is, another installment, a letter to my future self.
Part of me wishes that I was writing this to the 2011 version of you, instead of, well, whichever future iteration of Gio Andollo you may be right now. I would assure him that I didn't sell out, but... well, who knows whether he'd believe me? After all, I did work retail for the last sixteen months!
But God, am I glad I quit that job. Hopefully you've adjusted well, too, to my having pulled the plug on GioSafari. I hope you've started some other band, or at least written and recorded a ton of new music under Gio Andollo. And if not, no excuses! Trust me, Gio Andollo of 2023 doesn't want to be reading about how you couldn't make time to write songs and speak into the culture of your day; or wondering about which year it was that we really sold out.
Anyway, the past four years have been as crazy as ever. In the spring of 2012, I went on the road for the last time as GioSafari. It helped inspire some of the songs for our debut full-length album Heliotropism. After finishing that album, I sort of settled down. I wanted to lay down roots in the neighborhood, so I got a job at a local coffee shop, volunteered more at Word Up, even started an Uptown Freegans group.
Towards the end of 2012, I met the most amazing baker at the coffee shop and before we knew it, the two of us were married! (Is she there with you now? Do give her my regards and a big fat smooch!) In fact, our first anniversary is at the end of this month.
The first year of marriage hasn't been easy, and I can only imagine what the two of you have been through since this writing. But I know that you love each other and that you keep God close. So you'll get through anything.
Even kids! (Do you have any of those yet? God help you.)
These days I'm focusing on my Uptown Music Lessons. Perhaps you're still chugging along with those, or else you've moved on. They're fun, but perhaps more trouble than they're worth, eh? Hopefully you've determined that by now, one way or the other! Either way, I'm sure you're still doing your own thing... you seem to have a hard time getting along with "the man" haha.
DD too! We're at the conceptual phase of her baking business, so I certainly hope that you've found the time and energy to prioritize that and help her succeed as an entrepreneur as well.
I still haven't accomplished a few of the major things that I'd hoped to do before moving to Chicago. For example, I'd still love to start an uptown chapter of Food Not Bombs. And I have dreams of creating a medium-sized event space in the neighborhood as well. Who knows whether I'll ever do these things or ever move to Chicago? What I do know is that if I (you) ever move to Chicago, it'll probably be for a much shorter time than originally anticipated. I like living, working, and serving in uptown Manhattan. It's sort of become my home base, my headquarters. I actually have laid down those roots and I totally dig it (pun intended).
Well, I could go on all night, but I think I'll leave you with some wise words from an old friend:
Don't sell your soul, don't lose faith and hope in what really matters, and never worship mammon. Keep spray painting the kingdom of God on the walls of this tunnel called life. Keep shaking the can and drawing inspiration from your Muse - even if the object of this metaphor changes drastically over the years. Occupy life, pray and work for shalom in whichever city you find yourself, and be ever mindful to join God in the renewal of all things.