How did this picture even happen you might ask?
It was a cold, rainy day at Stoke (that’s a soccer joke for you close-minded Americans lol). It was indeed a cold day as I did everything but pack to go home. I mean I was excited to go home, see family, eat my mom’s cooking, and go to Orlando for Christmas, but I desperately needed someone to Wingardium Leviosa my clothes into my suitcase cuz ya boii wanted no part of that traveling Tetris game. (I know you’ve been there…) (and it’s not like I pack that much…unless I’m bringing my mobile studio…I hate packing that…but when you travel with my parents, you have to be ready to go to a five-star steakhouse, eat tacos from a food truck in the slums, go to the beach and walk through a tundra cuz they don’t tell anyone what the plans are but get mad if you didn’t pack accordingly) (I’m not tangential at all).
But anyways, I decided that I couldn’t pack until I had taken a shower, but when I realized I had my CK’s on (I felt pretentious just abbreviating that lol), I was like, “It would be funny to do a pretend Calvin Klein underwear photoshoot.” (I. HATE. PACKING.) (rules of packing: 1. Procrastinate a lot. 2. Realize how much time you’ve wasted and how you’re now going to get stuck in I-35 traffic and pack in 30 minutes). So I pretended to be some Italian dude with pouty eyes or Idris Elba and laughed by myself (introvert life) and thought, “Posting these would be so off-brand.” (look what social media has done to me…off-brand lol). But then I thought about how hard I’ve worked in my life to take care of my body and then oddly enough got super reflective over the past year and the hard work and trials I had to deal with and how I should be proud of all the things I’ve accomplished and endured over the years but especially this year. So as any normal millennial would do, I decided I should blog about it.
2018 was a rough year.
I remember last New Year’s Eve sitting in the cozy confines of my friend’s lake house. Amongst the chatter of a friendly gathering and the smoky aroma riding the coattails of jackets that not long ago shared the night with a small campfire, she asked me what I was excited about for the coming year. I remember telling her how so much of my life felt like it was leading up to this year. I was finally going to get to live what I had set out to do when I made the decision to take a break from medicine: I was going to make music that I was extremely proud of and do all the dirty work to give myself the best chance to succeed musically. As I set out to do, I was going to swing for the fences and see where the ball landed from there.
I had this whole vision of releasing a trilogy of EPs in one year that made up the trailers to the movie plot that would be the basis of my debut concept album. I was ecstatic to be able to make so visions and ideas I had come up with over the past several years finally become a reality.
The sad reality though is that barely a week later, my whole 2018 goals and ambitions got pummeled like a carnival game by an ego-driven collared bro with a clown-sized and deceptively heavy rubber sledgehammer. What once appeared to be a great field of opportunity revealed itself to be more akin to a Vietnam jungle decorated with a plethora of landmines waiting to decimate at any step. The turn of events came completely out of left field. As someone who had excelled in a range of vastly different and more difficult environments, I was shocked at how I had ended up in the situation I found myself in.
One of the hardest parts of it all was that I had this entire grand plan for the year and it all came crumbling down before I could even take a second glance. And the feeling of having no control was terrifying. I could barely sleep or eat and would wake up in the middle of the night stressed out about Excel spreadsheets (boy, did I have a hate-hate relationship with Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint lol). But with the support of my family and friends (shout out to the Squad), I survived against the odds and kept excelling (in more ways than one…see what I did there lol) and working hard and trying to maintain a positive attitude about it all for a solid 10 months.
And since then, I’ve created and started implementing a business strategy for Class Jackson (which has been a lot of fun actually…call me Entrepreneur Jackson lol) (check out the new store here), gotten back in shape, and gotten to take care of a lot of things that I had been neglecting due to a simple lack of time.
So what good came out of this year? I learned to endure amidst a sense of persecution and hopelessness that I hopefully will never have to deal with again. I learned to be even more self-reflective and push my self to grow and get better in my areas of weakness. I proved I can grind and bust my ass and no matter how impossible the task, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I have great friends and a support system. I’m a really good songwriter and made a pop EP that I will forever be proud of. Though there is no promise of an easily life or earthly treasures, even in the storms, God is with me. And despite the rough year, it was the first full year that I wasn’t suicidal since 6th grade (more on that at a later date).
So this year, I’m excited to make the move to LA, do the songwriting internship at this label, finish making these last 2 EPs, take Step 3 and never have to take one of those things again, and continue to be nice, smart, talented, and driven person I can be! (and I’m fine…y’all girls are sleepin’ lol) No one’s knocking my self-esteem this year!
“the feeling of having no control was terrifying”
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