I Am Who I Am

South Portland Maine – Photo by Dan Erickson

I moved to Maine in 2022. I love it here. Still, the future is uncertain. I’m not just talking about the future of where I might be living in a year. I’m not referring to my status as a writer or a musician. I’m talking about life. Life is uncertain. I’m tired of chasing dreams. I am who I am. That’s what really matters.

I haven’t been writing much lately. Instead, I’ve been focusing on playing the electric guitar. It’s not because I am holding out to become a famous musician, but rather because I love it. I love music. It’s part of who I am.

I’m going to be very candid in this post. It’s been a long time coming. There are some things I need to purge. Maybe some of you can relate, that is, if anybody is really paying attention.

I will no longer let the world and my own ego shape my desires.

When I was a boy, I started writing songs. From the mere age of eight, I wanted to become a famous songwriter. My journey was waylaid when my parents joined a cult when I was 10. That kind of screwed up my head and my course. I spent my 20s floundering while writing a couple hundred songs.

In my 30s, I decided I needed more stability in life and got a college education. I kept writing songs, but it was a side gig. I played some bars and coffee shops along the way. I spent my 40s and 50s being a single dad to my daughter, Annie. Now I’m 60, and although the dream has remained, it’s time to let it go.

That’s right. Fuck it. I’m no longer going to chase dreams. The chance of becoming a famous songwriter at this point in life is near zero.

The same goes for my writing books. I could try to get the story about my childhood in a cult published. That would take all my time, effort, and money, and there would still be no guarantees. I could publish poetry. Maybe, I could get my ambient music in the movies. Or maybe my next blog idea will be the one that makes me a millionaire.

No. No. No. No.

I’m tired of chasing my own tail.

Why do we desire fame, recognition, and success? First, it’s what the world tells us we should do. Second, it’s our own ego telling us we can. I’m done with both.

So what’s next? What’s the point in having this site? Should I just shut it down? Don’t worry, that’s not in my immediate plans. But the site will continue to morph into something different than what it’s been. Something more simple, honest, and sincere.

In August of 2021, I killed off a few other websites I’d been operating. The idea was to downsize. My old sites, Hip Diggs, danerickson.net, and Anderhill Music all went away. The plan was to replace those sites with one, this one. My goal was to make this my “artist” site. I had the idea that I’d be getting out and performing and creating records.

Things didn’t pan out that way. I had to flee Yakima, Washington in an emergency situation. Now, I’m working three jobs to compensate for the fact that I’ll be giving up my full-time teaching position this fall. I might be semi-retired soon. I don’t want to waste my time chasing dreams until I die. I just want to be who I am.

The future is uncertain and it always will be.

Here’s the hard truth. The future is uncertain and it always will be. Would I be opposed to getting books published or becoming well-known as a writer, poet, or musician? Of course not.

Am I going to spend my remaining years chasing those dreams.


Am I going to quit writing and making music?


I am who I am. I love music and writing. I love the creative arts. I love performing and sharing my work. But I’m not going to struggle in vain to be seen and heard. I’m not going to worry about getting more views. I’m done with trying to use SEO. (Even though I said otherwise just a few months ago.) I’m burned out on social media and attempting to build an audience.

I know I’ve said all this shit before. But that little bug keeps nagging at me. Maybe if I just do this, or that…

I said I’d no longer run a site like a blog, but I still do. I said I’d focus only on music, but I don’t. The truth is I can’t just be one thing. I’m not just a songwriter. I’m not just a poet. I’m not just a photographer or a storyteller or a guitarist. I’m all of those things and more.

Where’s this all leading?

So, what’s next? Nothing. First, I’m really done trying to gain attention. I’m fed up with that game. So yes, that means that this website might become a little less of a “blog.” Thank God.

Instead, it’s just going continue to morph into who I am as a creative being. I hope to write less posts like this and do more poetry, narrative, music, and photography. I’m tired of explaining myself.

I am who I am. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.