Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

How did we get here?

I am a combination of all the experiences of my life up to now. I would not have become the musician, friend, son, brother, uncle, Godfather, teacher, employee, colleague, man that I am now without all the crap, joy, laughter, frustration, pain, and everything else that has made up my unique life. There is no possible way that anyone in this world anywhere has lived the life that I have. There is absolutely no one who is like me. It’s not even close. (Well, maybe there’s someone who might be a little close….ummmmm…..hmmmmm. No. Probably not.)

I don’t think that I compare myself too much to others, but I still do to some degree. Not in a way where I think to myself that I want someone else’s life, but more along the lines of, “I really would like to have that aspect of their life to be an aspect of mine.” That’s not so bad, is it? Isn’t that how people decide that they want to become parents, or just get married, or try a new career or get a specific degree? I think so. Or maybe as a way to attempt to try something new?

Where we come into problems, I think, is when we ONLY look at everyone else for changes that we think we MUST do in order to be “happy”, whatever the hell that means. I’m not sure most people really understand what happiness is. A state of mind? A feeling? A label? An identity? A choice? A goal?

Everyone has to decide what they are looking for in this context, but for me, I’m not sure happiness is what is on the mark. It seems to be closer to contentedness….to being content…to be in a state where you feel content MOST of the time. If I do not sleep enough, I notice that how I feel is restless and not fully rested, so I may not “feel happy”. More accurately, I’m not feeling content with my current sleep schedule or even just with how much body would feel on that particular day. I struggle a lot with my relationship towards money. I think it has more to do with being content on my relation between how much money I make and how much money I spend. And in case you are wondering (if you are one of the 3 people who will ultimately read this blog), this is very much including the money I am currently “spending” on paying off debt that I previously borrowed and have yet to pay off. I often joke that I just paid for a hamburger I ate 3 years ago. Ultimately, I am not content with how my life has gone along those lines.

But I am content with how I’ve been dealing with it in past years. In being able to keep living expenses low. In being able to setup and follow a budget (at least most of the time). In being motivated enough to work extra side hustles in order to just make extra money to go towards paying off this debt as fast as possible, because I’m just so sick of it being there.

Yes, I’d say I’m more just looking to feel content. I’m not totally sure how I got here. It seems like something that I just couldn’t plan. I got here in a manner that was a series of decisions and opened/closed doors, loving people and others who weren’t so loving.

But I am where I am and it seems to me that it’s much more healthy to be thankful for everything, even though my life could have been much different if I made different moves. Yet, that isn’t what happened. I made the decisions and moves that I made and that has made all the difference.