So, there I was—a 30-year-old man staring blankly at a low-grade beginner’s banjo at a Guitar Center in Uptown Houston. Did I know how to play a banjo? No. Did I even consider playing a banjo before I walked into the store? No. In fact, I had wandered into the instrument shop out of mere boredom because my fiancé was shopping for cat food in the next store over. Little did I know, I was about to walk into the first of many quarter-life crises. Each instrument seemed to represent a span of wasted time over the course of my life—time that could have been spent learning something new and bettering myself. “I could get into banjoing,” I murmured as I reached up and felt my thinning hair. “That could be a thing.” Before I knew it, I was awkwardly shoving the instrument into my car’s already crowded backseat. After shutting the door, I stood in the parking lot and marveled at my life choice. To the dismay of my fiancé, I was going to learn how to play banjo. It was going to be a thing.
At first, when learning something new, one thing is clear: you are going to suck. Although, when it comes to musical instruments—especially instruments—your suckiness is on full display for the whole world to hear. Each offbeat note is a firm reminder that you are in fact not awesome. And, that’s okay. I had to find gratification in the small achievements of my novice state, and along with a few beginner picking rolls, I had to learn some humility.
And then, something happened.
Was I given a Bluegrass record deal? No, but before I knew it, this humble feeling began to carry over to my professional life. I wanted to get back to the basics and learn everything I could about branding to further benefit our clients and sate my personal thirst for knowledge. My funky little banjo inspired me to see my job and marketing passions in a whole new light. It allowed me to take a step back, review myself, and acknowledge that I can greatly improve on several areas of my life. I was also able to tap into a childlike sense of wonder that every creative mind cherishes. A place where anything is possible and the future truly seems unwritten. Picasso once said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” This resonated with me like never before and continues to inspire me to reach for a more pure state of mind. This, after all, is why I chose a career in advertising: I wanted to help shape the world and inspire others around me with imaginative and engaging content. Nothing lets me do this better than my creative position at Versa Creative, a Houston marketing agency. Whether it’s through social media, digital marketing, or traditional advertising, I’m confident I’ll continue to create with passion and find beauty in the small, yet significant, things in life. And, as for my Bluegrass career…let’s just say it’s a work in progress.
Copywriter & Branding Specialist