Listen on –
I’m so excited this episode is finally able to be released. I recorded this episode in December of 2018, so I’m sure it doesn’t reflect that fact that I’ve gotten better at podcasting since then, but it doesn’t matter to me at all. This episode holds a special place in my heart.
Before I started making episodes that I released, I made a number of beta test episodes to send to people for feedback. I remember this episode was the first one that I was going to try to record, because at the time it just felt like it represented everything I wanted the podcast to be about. It was a good story, it would require me to be vulnerable, and I really hoped it would be able to help people who are going through something like this, or maybe will go through something like this in the future. I wanted to give some encouragement that “bad” things that happen to us sometimes end up being the best things that could happen.
I remember sitting down for the very first time to record an episode. I had told this story to so many people that I figured it would be no problem to just start talking about it and it would just flow out with very little trouble. Well, unfortunately, before I told the story, I had to make an introduction. In that moment, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to say “Hello everyone, and welcome to That’s Not Spit, It’s Condensation. I’m Ryan Beach.. etc.”. I got so frustrated and ended up feeling defeated. I was starting something new from scratch and I remember feeling that maybe podcasting wasn’t something I should try to do. But there is so much about that moment that was important. I was trying. I had an idea, but instead of it just staying an idea, I got the equipment, I set it up, I sat down, and I actually tried. I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t matter. I ended up writing a rough draft of the episode that became “Powerlifting and Music: What They Have In Common”, and sent that away to some friends for critique.
When I realized writing a script for these solo shows could be helpful, I came back to this episode and tried again. I got a rough draft written and recorded the episode and sent that off to some friends for critique. One of the comments I got from that round really helped me to understand where my podcast needed to go. I needed to be vulnerable and to tell my story, good and bad moments alike. It’s not easy to do that, but I made my best attempt to be open and to tell my story, in an effort to connect with as many listeners as possible.
It’s funny to think back to that point, as I’ve made a number of episodes that I’ve been vulnerable in, and it’s been easier and easier every time to get into the deep and uncomfortable parts of tough situations. But I get it now. I want to connect with people and to encourage them, and that’s hard to do when you only talk about good stuff all the time.
The music I chose for this episode came from an audiobook that my friend Brett and his band Empire Springs put together. I was listening to it and I thought “This is really great! I wonder what book he’s narrating”. Well it turns out Brett wrote it, and they wrote the music between the episodes too. I thought it was pretty cool, so here’s the full audiobook. Check it out!
As I said before, I recorded this episode over 6 months ago. In that time, I’ve realized why this episode is so important to me. This experience in my life is essentially my Christian testimony. If religion is something that turns you off, stop reading now I guess.
I felt quite lost at that point in my life. I had a great job and I was engaged, you would think that I would have it all figured out, but things weren’t that amazing. I never saw my fiancee because she lived in Kansas City, and I didn’t really have that many friends in the orchestra in Indianapolis. I felt quite alone, and even became depressed for awhile. Once there became problems in my relationship, I found myself not really knowing who I am or why I was acting the way I was most of the time. After I lost tenure, and in the midst of so much turmoil in my relationship, my friend Blake sent me this video (that video is part 1 of 4. It’s very dated, but it’s amazing). After watching that, I was willing to accept that many of the problems in my relationship were my fault. It led me to understand that I need to take responsibility for my actions and not let myself push my feelings on to others. Not that I’m perfect by any means, but it was a big wake up call. The next day, I remember walking to a restaurant to get lunch and feeling like everything was different. I felt like I was floating, which sounds weird I know. I haven’t felt that feeling ever since that day. Blake then told me about the book “The Power of Now“, by Eckhart Tolle. Reading this book unlocked so much of my Christian background that I never understood. I had gone to church my whole life, but never really “got” it. I just did the stuff people told me to do, and eventually turned away from it in favor of running my life by myself. That worked out ok until it didn’t. I feel losing my job and my engagement ending were two huge wake up calls that God was sending me, and I’ve tried to keep that with me ever since. I’m not perfect, no one is, and that’s not the point. Every day I’m trying to get better, trying to inch closer to the version of myself that God intends for me to be. The work that I started then continued through other relationships, until I met my wife Kathleen. We have a wonderful relationship, one that I am ready for because of the trials that God placed in my life to learn from.
I think, in the end, all trials are in our lives to help us learn. And if we learn, then it can always mean something. I recognize there are extreme situations in which it seems like there is nothing to learn. I don’t have all the answers. I’m 30, but in many ways, I’m just beginning to learn.
I appreciate any of you who stuck around to read this. This is who I am, and it’s how I have the ability to know that although I didn’t get tenure in Indianapolis, it’s ok. That wasn’t my job to have, God didn’t want me to stay there. I’ve made mistakes, and I’m nowhere near perfect, but my goal each day is to do my best to spread God’s love and grace as much as I can. Thanks for listening.
Until next time,