Let me tell you a story, In Early 2017 I was going through the worst year of my life. In one year, everything that I knew had fallen apart. What happened?
After my breakup with a long-term girlfriend of 4 years, I moved into a new apartment with a friend of mine. He had convinced me to move in with him after he realized how bad she was for my life. I left her and moved in with him. I had the highest paying job of my life at $30 an hour plus a $100 per file bonus. I was making $6,000 to $8,000 a month plus overtime for close to a doctor’s salary. Life was good, or so I thought. I was at the highest place on the corporate ladder I’ll probably ever be. I was a funder for a mortgage company. This is the second-highest and second-best paying position in the company and was typically performed by people 10 years older than me. I was 27 at the time. I had worked hard to get where I was.
I had so much money but was also terribly addicted to weed, my full potential was choked out by an inability to reconcile the pains of my past. Everyone around me was happy for me, but I was not happy for me. I couldn’t escape the feeling that something was wrong, deep inside of my soul. I never confronted it until I got into a new relationship. Here is where things started to go horribly wrong.
There was a patch on my ceiling of wet soggy discoloration. It was mold and it gave me headaches that I couldn’t explain. Well, now that I know what it was I can explain it. I talked to the leasing company about it. They did some drilling on my roof at about 7 am but did not do anything to fix it. What they did was fix the leak to prevent more water from coming in. This was just to protect their bottom line. They refused to fix my ceiling and hire a mold remediation company.
My headaches turned to thoughts of leaving as I was dating a new woman at the time, a woman I could imagine marrying. Someone who truly understood what good music was. This was a rare find in today’s world as most women I know listen to pop music. I cherished this relationship. We could finally leave if things worked out between us, maybe we could move in together? Let us begin my descent into the darkest and lowest place in my life.
In late 2016 my website was stolen by a company that had used my idea. The concept of a Pyriscent seed and what it means to grow through destruction was a concept only described by me. How do I know this? I had searched the internet for dozens of hours making sure this was the case. When I logged on to discover my website URL had been stolen, I was devastated. I hired a lawyer who had me file a trademark to prove I was making money as a life coach (a side job of mine since 2012) as well as giving guitar lessons. A cease and desist letter was sent but to no avail. They refused to give me back my name without a lengthy court battle. Okay then, if that is how they wanted to play this, they were fighting a man with endless money. Oh, how my arrogance was my downfall.
In January of 2017, after the Trump election, I was laid off. No big deal I thought, I am a funder! Everyone wants to hire me. Wrong. No one wanted funders at that time. You see, the mortgage industry goes through giant ups and downs. Something that I had never experienced, was when the market went down. I was only in the industry for 8 years before suffering this. I had moved to this company at the promise of a higher salary. I moved away from a company I was loyal to for 5 years to get this new position. They begged me to stay, offered to double my salary but I refused. I felt like a fool after being laid off. I could still be working had I not chosen to take the better offer, but my greed destroyed me.
I had plenty of money in the bank and I was searching for a job. My friend who was a real estate investor was letting me borrow his car in exchange for guitar lessons. After I lost my job, he would gloat about how rich he was, giving a high five to his friend saying, “isn’t it great to be CEOS?!”. This was disgusting. He knew full well that I was on unemployment and food stamps and struggling to get by. Him letting me borrow his car was the only thing keeping me afloat, getting to and from job interviews. Him rubbing in my face how many millions he had in the bank all while I was buying dollar menu items was so stomach-churning, so horrifically insensitive that I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally told him that he had changed. We used to skate together, play guitar together when we were both very poor. We used to work regular jobs, he worked at UPS and I had an entry-level position at a mortgage company. Money simply amplifies who you are, he apparently harbored a deep sense of resentment over my musical ability. His jealousy became more apparent as my finances faded away. He used to tell me “You might be great at guitar solos, but I am better at rhythm”. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had taught him much of what he knew about music theory as I did with most of my friends. This jealousy grew into a form of contempt that finally exploded in him treating me like I was gum on the bottom of his shoe. He had invited me to play a show with him but asked me to sell tickets for the show. He had no intention of allowing me to play more than a few solos and no songs at all. He then claimed I strained the friendship when I refused. I don’t even think he realized he was doing it. When I told him how much he had changed he told me to bring the car back. I fought and pleaded but I understood. His jealousy and greed had caused us to grow apart. My anger, justified or not, obviously played a role. It didn’t matter at that point. I now had no job and no car. At least I had my girlfriend, my youtube channel which earned money and my prized guitar.
I still had tens of thousands of dollars in the bank, enough to pay a full year on lease and finance a vehicle. I had no credit, but I was sure I could get a cosigner. I was wrong. A week later my $1600 guitar was stolen. This guitar meant the world to me. My roommate had a habit of leaving the door unlocked and inviting over very unscrupulous characters. He had removed me from the lease when we had disagreements about how to handle the mold. He refused to allow me to use the leasing company to fix issues along with other disagreements. He felt this jeopardized us living there, he was very naive when it came to renting. I wasn’t blameless either, my mounting problems made me tough to deal with.
I decided to start looking for a place with the woman I was dating, we will call her Lotus. Lotus and I got along great and were very close, we would go to El Pollo loco and taco bell to get dollar menu items as she was also not making great money while I was living off of unemployment and savings. At this point, I had lost my job, my website, my best guitar, and my car. Things could not get much worse I thought. I was wrong again. Issues with the band meant that my friend I was living with quit. I no longer had a rhythm guitar player so finding a new one was a new mission. He had missed several rehearsals and still does not talk to me to this day despite us being friends for 20 years. Now I had lost my best friend along with my 2nd best friend (the real estate investor). I had no friends except my new bass player Phil.
Lotus and I finally found a wonderful place right down the road for $1700 a month. This is a ton of money in 2017 but “I’m rich” I thought to myself, I’ll have a job soon. I was still giving guitar lessons and I was still making money on my YouTube channel, even if it was only $45 a month, it at least paid my phone bill and it was going up every year. Plus, Lotus was allowing me to drive her car to get to guitar lessons so I still had a small but steady income in addition to unemployment and my savings. I had my YouTube channel since 2005 and it had grown into a giant audience. My videos would get thousands of views and my 7,000 or so subscribers were a comforting feeling. My hard work was finally starting to grow.
After moving in together, Lotus had changed, she would start to emotionally nag me about my finances and she had every right to. My value had decreased by a lot since she met me. However, I had expected her to be more supportive and helpful. In March of 2017, my YouTube channel was deleted for “repeated terms of service violations”, there were none. I have no idea what triggered the deletion, but it swept my entire google AdSense account. My gaming channel, my political channel, my video blog, everything… was gone. 13 years of work… erased in an instant. I had no backups. I had no way to let my subscribers know. I had no way to see myself playing guitar at 16 through 28. I was beyond devastated. I would wake up crying, go to sleep crying. I would cry throughout the day. I would break down in tears and fall to my knees in random places. I was a complete wreck. Everything I had done musically was erased. All my hard work was set back to zero. Things were about to get so much worse. Lotus was cheating…
In my endless devastation, Lotus had her grandmother die. She had never told me how much her grandmother meant to her but expected me to comfort her. In my mind, when someone’s grandmother dies, it is sad, but most people don’t have a deep relationship with their grandmother. She did but never informed me. She was cheating at this time, but her reasoning was that I didn’t comfort her. She was emotionally unavailable and didn’t make anything known. My decease in value wasn’t an excuse either, we had a lease together. I wanted to marry this woman and here she was cheating on me. It came to a sputtering halt when she received text messages from her lover while the navigation was on in the car. When I saw this, I lost it. She ran out and slept at her lover’s house never to return. I was stuck with a $1700 lease all on my own. No job, no car, no way to get to my guitar lessons, no guitar, no band, no girlfriend, no friends, no website, no record of my music, no connection to my fans, no youtube channel and a horrific weed addiction that I couldn’t seem to get a grasp on.
It was at that point that I did my best to get my finances in order, I was running out of money and very quickly. I took Lotus to court and the judge awarded me ONE MONTHS RENT from Lotus. Why only one month? The judge said that I hadn’t incurred the debt yet and so could not sue for it. I told her that Lotus left and was not coming back, and I was stuck in the lease. After I tried to serve the paperwork at her job when the lease was over, she was gone and had left that job. $10,000 STOLEN and never to return. Beyond devastated, I was now in need of a place to live. Luckily, I had financed a car at that point. Plus I had started a new youtube channel from scratch with my new bass player and my long time drummer.
I went to go stay with my Dad at my grandma’s old house. This was a rat-infested hell hole. Rats, roaches, and pee stains on the carpets from decades of dogs living in the room where I was staying were as depressing as it gets. My room smelled like dog pee so badly that it was difficult to breathe at night. I would get headaches from the ammonia and the environment was soul-crushing. The rats would wake me up every few hours with their scurrying. It was a disgusting and horrifying existence. It was at this point that I decided I needed to get sober. What little money I had left (unemployment had run out) was dwindling quickly. If you look at my early YouTube jam videos where I am alone, you can see this room and all the junk in it. It was the darkest point in my entire life. I was sleeping on an inflatable mattress and my drummer had just quit the band because he refused to rehearse at a place I could afford to drive to. At least I still had Phil.
Each day was a new struggle. How was I going to eat? How was I going to fix the problems with my car? How was I going to stay sober and sane? I struggled with sobriety and fell off the wagon many times. I dated a very toxic woman for a short period during this time. It seemed I hadn’t learned my lesson when it came to women. The problem was me. I wasn’t healed and so dating would only lead to heartbreak and terrible things. When you don’t love yourself, you can’t attract a good person. It was that simple.
It was at this time that I got a call from my Fathers friend to do some computer work. This was mid-2018 and I was very grateful. My new YouTube channel did not make a penny because YouTube changed the rules. You now needed 1,000 subscribers and 11 hours of watch time per day to even be CONSIDERED to be paid. This was horrifically disgusting as people like me helped build that platform. Things were about to start getting better, but I wasn’t aware of it. I took a trip to Yosemite that changed my life that you will be able to see on my blog very soon. The hikes I did were so difficult that it taught me almost everything I needed to know about life.
What were my lessons from the most difficult hike of my life to the top of Yosemite Falls? Without hard work, life is a meaningless void. Without lifting a load, you will be at the bottom of a pit. I had depended on a company that I worked for to provide me happiness and even then, I wasn’t happy. You can NEVER depend on a company to give you happiness. That hike taught me that if I wanted my life to get better, I had to face difficult challenges. Sobriety, getting serious about music as a business, forming a band that was serious, finding new sources of income, were all things I had to face. This hike changed my life. Without it, I’m not sure I would be where I am today.
I was making $100 a week with my new boss. I decided to contact a company about social media work, they declined only to accept a few months later when I called back. My desperation bred a sense of ambition that I had never seen before. I was still struggling with sobriety but doing much better and my stints of sobriety were increasing in length. Guitar lessons were doing well thanks to my new car. It was at this time I bought my twin reverb amp. You can see this on Instagram if you go far back enough. For the first time in my life, I was the owner of a REAL GUITAR AMPLIFIER. The same type of amp that the professionals use. My professional guitar skill finally had professional equipment to back it up. I was also the proud new owner of an American made Stratocaster valued at $3,000. This guitar and amp are pictured below and used in all my youtube videos now. Not only do I have this guitar and amp but I have since built up a collection of several guitars and guitar pedals.
My uncle offered me the opportunity to go live with him, at first, I declined but he mentioned my grandmother’s house was getting sold. I accepted and I live with him to this day. I am now successful on eBay, guitar lessons, working with my father’s friend’s company as well as helping build my aunts fashion company. I am paid very well at those companies and $50 an hour for guitar lessons. I make thousands per week on eBay and I’m close to exceeding my income as a funder all while making my own hours. I have been sober since September 9th, 2019, a date I’ll never forget. My productivity is up and so are my relationships with friends and family. My income is so good that I’m finally starting to pay back the family members I borrowed from, and the tickets I received. My car is $500 away from being paid off and I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. When I checked this URL to see that it was available as I have every single day for 4 years, I cried tears of joy. I recorded a video to show you just how I felt when I found this out. Here it is below this passage. Thank you for your support. If you enjoy my music, this blog, or just anything that I do, please consider supporting me financially. I will NEVER give up making music. I will be a household name in music, that is a fact. It is only a matter of time. Keep checking back to share my journey with me and please leave a comment if you read this. You can donate to me on PayPal at www.paypal.me/PyriscentMusic . Choose any amount that you like and enjoy my music here on youtube: www.youtube.com/PyriscentMusic