The struggle is real and worth it

Broken GlassIf I had grown up playing a guitar, singing and writing songs instead of newspaper stories or blog posts, maybe I could have been more like Andrew Landers.

AndyWe had a chance again over the weekend to watch him perform at Contrary Brewing Co. in Muscatine. Andy, who has been writing and performing for nearly 20 years, and his band, The Mainstreet Struggleville, won the 5th Annual Jammin’ Challenge sponsored last year in Seattle by Seattle Wave Radio and the Hard Rock Cafe. They bested thousands of other entries in the contest.

Andy and his family live in Olympia, Washington, but I first became aware of him nearly a decade ago when they lived in Muscatine. Because of my old job, I heard more than I needed to know (or will share here) about Andy’s leaving Muscatine with his family. He’s a pretty spiritual guy and refers to that time in his life as walking through fire or across glass on his hands and knees. And he writes and sings about it.

Having gone through my own fire — job loss, divorce, loss of friends and other disappointments — I really admire Andy. Watching him now, it’s clear he is doing what he was meant to do. The lesson I take away from his example is that the best path to take in life is to pick up and dust off yourself when you get knocked down, never give up and put your faith in a higher power.

Your reward just may be winning a contest at the Hard Rock Cafe. Or getting a chance to sit on the 35th floor of a downtown Chicago office building, listing to a successful attorney’s story of how Loras College contributed to the success in his life.  Or you just may find the love of your life and the life you always wanted.

This blog came to life in 2012 after I had been downsized out of a job, which felt at the time like the blackest time in my life. Many good things have happened since then, however. Good things that could have never happened without the experience of first going through the bad times. Things that were absolutely unimaginable to me four years ago.

Life is sometimes a struggle. You just have to keep picking up and dusting yourself off to make the struggle worth it.  I’m glad Andrew Landers is out there spreading that message with his music.

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