Bob Schwenkler

I Quit!

Written by on October 7, 2013

Posted in: Categorized

Superpower

 

Part 1

It’s done, I gave my notice.

But it’s not something that anybody was expecting, I don’t think. After all, I’d been steadily building my life as a Recording Studio Wizard for the past ten years. My CV is pretty enviable: I co-founded a record label, Bicycle Records, where I helped release amazing music by so many incredible musicians. I’ve engineered scores of albums for artists I respect and admire. I taught myself to build and repair my own recording electronics equipment, even designing and marketing a circuit board that I’ve sold to Do It Yourselfers around the world.

And for the past few years I’ve been particularly focused on transforming Dub Narcotic Studio at internationally recognized and respected K Records from a mythological private studio to a publicly available musical haven. You may not have heard of K Records or Dub Narcotic but in the indie music world it’s kind of a big deal. I created this job for myself. I propositioned the owner and general manager of K, got an enthusiastic YES, took a big deep breath and started doing it. ALL of it. The recording, electronics maintenance, booking and billing… All of it. And suddenly, by association alone I had a job that people all across the world would give a lot to be doing.

But still, something was off.

Having a job that would produce envy in imagined foreign music fans, allow me to deeply express my artistry as an audio engineer, and owning really good sounding (read: expensive) audio equipment didn’t make up for a feeling I carried around deep inside of me; a dullness I experienced every time I got home from a 10 hour day in the same room, sitting mostly in the same spot, mostly in front of a computer screen. A lack of fulfillment and excitement and energy.

If someone had asked me years ago what my superpower was I’d have had to think hard about it. I might have come up with something around making great sounding records or being extremely reliable, but nothing that really cut to the core of who I was.

Even if I HAD known I still wouldn’t have made the connection between this superpower and the vague sense of unfulfillment I carried around within me.

It took someone really special to help me uncover my superpower. They weren’t tricked by all the facades I’d put on. This was someone who could stand strong with me even when I was shutting down and withdrawing from myself and the world. Someone who, in living with incredible integrity to themselves, showed me what integrity really meant.


Part 2

Remember how superheroes, as amazing as they are, also often feel left out? They’re set apart from the rest, they don’t have anyone who really gets them and can support them the way they so desperately need… The only way Superman could REALLY be understood was if he took a meteor back to Krypton and rejoined his own kind there.

The people I work with are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but let me just put it this way:  The recording studio isn’t my home world.

Here’s the crux of it all.

Our souls are suffocating behind all the facades and fears we carry around.

We’re out of integrity with our own selves. We’re working, photoshopping, and facebooking ourselves out of our own lives. We’re internally gasping for breath and fighting for our hearts and lives, well-being of the community be damned. For me to be any less than completely my own superhero is to be complicit.

Superheroes step up to support their community, especially when people are suffocating or otherwise in danger of dying…

I haven’t told you my superpower yet.

It’s commitment to honest growth. For me everything else springs forth from this place. This means ongoing and sometimes terrifying examination of my intentions and actions in the world. But the returns are more than worth it: Continually more connection, purpose, and joy.

So like the lonely superhero returning to his people after so long, I’m saying “goodbye recording studio”. I’m off to a new home/community. And guess what? You’re here reading this right now, so maybe we’re built from similar stuff, you and me. We already hold all the potential to live out our lives in a blaze of unabashed glory.

 

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