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COVER FILE: To those who helped me take the weight off

July 12, 2010
>>MP3: The Gaslight Anthem – “The Weight” (The Band cover)
<<FROM: Live solo acoustic session with Q101.1 (unreleased)

There’s no other way to say it; I’m really stoked about my life right now. And this fantastic, sparse version of the campfire sing-a-long classic by The Gaslight Anthem‘s Brian Fallon is what that feels like.

Nearly three years ago, my life took a hard left turn. Into a gutter. Which was jarring, because I was turning the wheel right. I ended up in the last place I could have possibly wanted to be– at home, where I grew up.

I was done with home. Very done. I was about to move to the south. I had connections there who were going to get me a job. I was in love with someone there. I had a whole group of new friends there. I had just gotten back from a month in Europe. And I was driving across the country with my brother before making this leap into this new life.  My life was at full speed. My heart was cranked at max volume. My soul was consuming everything it could. I was writing a book. I was buying Dylan records. Nothing was getting in my way. But then something did. Suddenly, I wasn’t moving south for a girl, for a job, or for anyone. And I had a job in my hometown at the newspaper where my parents met and where I had, literally, grown up. I didn’t want it, any of it. I didn’t want my family or my childhood friends. Or my home. Or a room in my parents’ basement. Or a job at a newspaper at a time when they were rapidly losing industry relevance. It was backwards. But I was 24 and devastated and as lost in life as I had ever been. I needed something. It took about three years, but what I thought would be the death of me is what brought me back to life. And perhaps, better.

It’s now been two months since I’ve left home for a job in Connecticut, for a much bigger newspaper in the same company. I’m making some really great friends here, ones I’m sure I will have for the rest of my life. I’m having a great time with the job and was named to the company’s new ideaLab today, which is kind of exciting.

I couldn’t have done this if I hadn’t done that. I didn’t come here to run away, to escape, to change who I was, or for love. I came here, because I have to make those people back home proud of me. When I strolled back into their town three years ago, they told me to put the weight on them. Three-part harmony, and all. So this song is my toast to those who helped remind me of how important my home and family are to me.

From now on, you put the load right on me.

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