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What Should I Do With My Life? The Story of BUDDHABOT
Have you ever felt conflicted about your path in life? Have you ever felt pulled in two directions at once? I have.
Today I’m going to share a story with you from a time in my life when I found myself at a crossroads. Part of me wanted to be a wild, hippie, rock singer – and another part of me wanted to get into computers, technology and web design.
One night during a Colorado tour with my band Rewake – I ate some mushrooms, laid in the grass and had a vision about my life – and the paths that were in front of me.
I called it ‘Buddhabot’ … which represented the two sides of my life coming together.
To get the whole story, watch the video or read the post below.
Here We Go
Hello how are you? Thank you for tuning into MalanDTV my name is Malan Darras, it’s Monday March 28, 9:54 in the morning.
I have some sparkling water and some coffee here for some extra energy so I thought I’d tell a little story about a vision I had one time taking mushrooms and mountains of Colorado and the vision was called Buddhabot.
This story is set probably ten years ago; I’m 41 now I was probably thirty years old at the time which puts let’s say 2003, 2004 or 2005 kind of area. I was living in Tulsa Oklahoma.
I had gotten into computers at this time I hadn’t really started making money online yet but I had figured out how to do web design and that you could get paid for that and so I started doing web design and music. Those became my two paths.
It was an interesting time because for all of my life all I wanted to do was play music all I thought I could do to make a lot of money and be successful, all I thought I could do was play music.
Computers Found Me
I didn’t know I could do anything else… then I found computers and the Internet after getting out of jail (which I talked about in another story it’s called the Johnson County Jail story).
But, after I got out of jail I discovered the internet and learned how to use Photoshop. My little brother Zac was playing around with Photoshop at the time and he showed me the basics and we were both building HTML websites and doing graphic design for fun.
I was older and I needed a job and I found a way to I scored a job with no skills, I just lied my way through the interview found a job with a local internet service provider in a very small town in Oklahoma helping people get online with dial-up modems.
Then I flipped that into becoming their web designer and then I flipped that into becoming their marketing director; (a position I just made up).
Then I took that marketing director title and move to a bigger city Tulsa Oklahoma and found a job working at an interactive marketing firm this is 2003, 2004. CD-roms were big and these guys were doing interactive CD-roms it was brand new and they were doing it for our bands, for businesses, for all kinds of people.
I got hired there as a web designer guy and I think my salary there in the beginning was $24,000 a year. To me that was like a billion dollars a year. That was more money than I had ever made.
I was working for a cool company, I was 27 or so and I was the oldest guy in the place. It was a cool kind of a startup vibe.
Everybody was young, everybody drank and partied and was cool. Then we did a lot of cool creative work.
Web and graphic design started to become a real passion for me – just like music had become earlier in my life and I started splitting my time.
I was designing half the time and I was doing music half the time.
Overtime I fell in love with website so much that I actually liked working on our band’s website more than playing the shows.
I liked putting the show dates on the site, just to see them all in a line I love the look I just fell in love with the design like the listing, but then I had to go play the shows I be like “dammit!
So I started to feel myself being pulled in two directions.
The company that I work for, the guys were like I said really cool, we were all good friends, we were young, we were partying, we were having a great time and they were very cool with me being in a band and needing to go on the road sometimes.
Sometimes for a weekend maybe I’m missing Thursday-Friday. This particular time I needed to go we were going to go on tour in Colorado for several weeks two or three weeks.
Going On Tour
We had signed a deal with national booking agency out of Colorado and we were taking it to the next level at this point. We were going to leave our little local circuit and go hit the road and see if we could do it.
So this first experiment was a 2-3 week tour in Colorado and the guys at my day job were very cool. They said “yeah you take the time, go for it and have a blast”. The CEO and president of the company used to come to our shows and dance on tables and drinking.
They were out there were younger than me, we had a blast they said yeah man just you know stay out trouble have fun when you come back there were lots of work for you to do so I said ok cool.
So me and the band this was Rewake, a band I had for eight or nine years. We went through several lineup changes but at this point we had a really solid lineup of; myself, a guy named Paul Karlskint who goes by the name Paul Benjamin now in Tulsa and is doing really well there, doing a solo band and just amazing guitar player.
We had a bass player Eric who was a jack of all trades. He was like a real blessing for the band; he was our driver… he would drive the van for 20 hours at a time with no sleep. He was crazy like that, he would load in gear more and more than his own gear he’d loading everyone’s gear, he was just very helpful if the van blew up he knew how to fix it. We’d pull over he do a bunch of crazy stuff in the engine it would work again.
He would also carry me when I was too drunk to get in the van and he’d like to take care of me load me in the car and he was just a good guy.
Then we had a drummer Jason. Jason was the newer guy in the band, we have replaced another guy with him and then things really started to take off once Jason came in the group. We signed this national booking deal, we started writing new songs and we were looking to become a real touring band and the Colorado tour was our first shot.
Do It For Your Daddy
So we’re in the van taking off out of town, having a blast. W were just so excited to go on tour.
This had been my dream since I was a kid, just to be able to go on the road play shows and make enough money to survive that was it. To be free, to get to play music every night.
I wanted to play seven nights a week for a 100 bucks a night. I didn’t give a shit as long as we could eat, put gas in the van and play music. That’s all we cared about that’s all I wanted to do we were doing it we had a blast man.
We drove that van to Colorado started playing our shows and these were all kind of hippie jam band type of clubs. Colorado’s got a lot of hippies in it and in my band Rewake we weren’t supposed to be a hippie jam band but no one knew what to do with us.
If we sounded like three bands we probably sounded like a mixture of Sublime, Rusted Root and Jane’s Addiction. It was kind of ska reggae, kind of world music but it had a hard edge and crazy vocals and delay and stuff like Jane’s Addiction.
So no one could figure us out. If you ask me what we sounded like… we didn’t know. It kind of sounded like a UFO was taking off. It was weird.
But what happened was – we played extended length songs so we had such a great guitarist that we figured out that we could do really long shows if we just let Paul solo a lot.
If we had 15 songs we could actually fill 30 songs worth of time because Paul can play solos from the morning tonight without missing a note or repeating any patterns. It was amazing.
We had turned into this really long extended jam band but we weren’t a hippie jam band. I didn’t think so anyway but we started being booked on those shows because that’s just kind of the category we fell into.
We played with all the big Umphrey McGee, we play with Jacob Fred, Jazz Odyssey I can’t remember all the names of the bands but there were a lot of hippie jam bands.
We were booked in these hippie type of clubs which was great because that scene those people are really into music.
They get drunk, they get stoned dance they love the music rarely ever do you get a fight like a metal club or a metal scene, rarely ever do you get a fight, like a fist fight.
So we start playing these shows in Colorado and we’re having fun were drinking in the daytime and exploring Colorado. Then around six o’clock we load into a club somewhere, setup our gear, sound check and then by nine or ten o’clock we’re playing and we go till two in the morning.
It was just a wild marathon, four-hour show with a couple breaks. We were just drinking and having a great time. We were out of town we don’t know anyone, we’re meeting new people, were picking up girls, were having just a blast.
Our drummer picked up a chick the first night of the tour the first show the first night and he kept her. She followed us in her car for 4 or 5 days. That’s just kind of what happens on the road.
I can tell you a thousand stories but I won’t get into a long as we probably all get arrested. But I do remember at one point I crashed.
We were riding these cars down a mountain and I was so drunk I didn’t know how to control my little cart, thankfully the cars were fully covered by insurancepartnership.org/motor-trade-insurance/ and One Sure Insurance. So the thing took off and started going ninety miles an hour.
I was so drunk, I just crashed and I fell out of it and tore my knees up my elbows cuts all over me. This is like day two of the tour and I’m already limping and bleeding… we were like “oh God”.
Anyway we’re probably halfway through the tour playing a show at this outdoor club in… somewhere…
I forget where… it doesn’t matter but we’re playing the show outdoors. It was a beautiful night. We’re taking a set break and someone some guy from the audience that we don’t know comes up and says “hey I’ve got some mushrooms do you guys take mushrooms?”
He’s talking to our drummer and he’s like “hell yeah give me all you got”. Then he brings the guy over to me says “hey man this guy’s got mushrooms!”
Jason and I we were wild men — like we would do drugs, we would drink like crazy. Paul drank but he was pretty much stayed in control and Eric was a hundred percent sober he’s never had a beer or a joint or any drug in his life no alcohol nothing in his entire life.
The Mushroom Man
Jason and I would do just about anything. If you had cocaine we do it, if you had heroin? I don’t know… we were never approached with heroin but I would hate to admit that we probably would have done it. And we would drink a lot.
That was how we bonded. The first night he played with us he said “I reeeeeally love drinking” and I said “you know what I reeeeeally do too”. We became really good friends.
So this guy gave Jason some mushrooms and he brought the guy to me. He showed me what he had given him and we split and we took them. A bunch of mushrooms in the mountains in Colorado.
We finish the show the show – it was great man… a great time. We made little bit of money and they gave us a cabin to stay in, some sort of a cabin or house and Jason and I were tripping on mushrooms.
At this point and we just wander off into the grass and we laid down in the grass. It wasn’t really a cliff but we were near a big drop off that went down to a highway. We just kind of got near the edge of it. It was kind of dangerous.
We laid down and just looked at the stars. We laughed, played with flowers and talked for hours.
At some point he went back inside to find the guys and I just stayed out there in the grass. I was like “I’m just going to live out here, I’m going sleep out here I don’t care I’m never going to leave this”.
While I laid out there on that hill I started just thinking about life and I knew that I had two conflicting paths and I still have these two conflicting paths to this day, this is eleven years ago remember.
The two paths were… as I laid out there in the grass I kind of saw it one part of me was like this unshowered, wild drinking, maniac singer who wanted nothing more than just to live in a van, sleep in cheap hotel rooms, motel rooms, play music and make a little bit of money. Maybe get a record deal one day and make a bunch of money but the real identity was just out of control rock and roll singer making it day by day that was my half of my identity.
Then the other half I had really fallen in love with computers and design and technology. And this totally conflicted the other side, the dirty hippie singer, wild man doesn’t care and lives on the road, sleeps in the streets, doesn’t care and this other guy that was like really into excellent web design technology.
At the time we were doing a lot of flash stuff, I was learning scripting, I was making websites and I just loved the internet. I laid out there in the grass thinking “what am I going do, I need to how do?”
Which one am I going to be?
I think a lot of people have that feeling. You know… maybe you have two things that you’re interested in and everyone says you need to pick one thing and focus on it so I was like what am I going do, which one of these paths am I going to choose?
I started really thinking about it. You know when you’re on mushrooms your brains all over the place you can see the energy of the universe in the air you can you can see what connects us all. Your brain opens up and you can you can see the future, the past you can see all kinds of crazy stuff.
In my brain I saw this vision of Buddhabot.
Buddhabot was a combination of the two things that I was identified with at the time. Buddha was the hippie peaceful guy on mushrooms that just wanted nothing more than to drive around the country in a van and didn’t really care about money I just wanted to have drinks and music and freedom that was the Buddha side.
Then the bot side was this computer nerd, total scripting geek, web design guy who was going down a totally different path than the Buddha side.
So there was Buddha and there was bot. It was like a Buddhist and a robot.
The Buddhist represented the free spirit lifestyle and the robot was the technology nerd that I was becoming. Put them together you get BUDDHABOT.
I laid out there just going “buddhabot, buddhabot” over and over. It just stuck in my head for the whole rest of the tour.
Every night, every day and every day all the shows I was thinking “Buddhabot, I’m a Buddhist robot, I’m a hippie technology, I’m a punk rock computer nerd”. It was just these two sides.
I thought Buddhabot kind of covered both. That’s kind of encapsulates me at this point in my life.
The tour ended. We played for several weeks and had a blast. Then we drove back to Tulsa, everybody went to sleep.
Back to Reality?
Then Monday I was right back to work. I just had this amazing experience drinking and getting high playing music every day and then I went back into a not a corporate environment.. but a day job at 9 to 5 office where we had clients and you know everyone looked nice and took showers.
It was the total opposite. But I took the guys from the company that owned the company to the side I said have this idea called “Buddhabot” and I’d like to use some company time.
I explained to them what it was like to use some of my time here to make it into a website. Like a really crazy flash website that I think is going to draw some attention to us because it’s going be incredible the idea that I have.
They were kind of like “what?”… you know ok they’re usually really cool with me and they knew I was a little strange and I kind of “partied” a little bit on the weekend. But luckily they said “ok cool do it”.
So I built this site called Buddhabot.
We turned it into a portfolio site for our creative agency. Like a separate site from the from the corporate site this was just the creative teams portfolio.
I built it out and the website was it was awesome for the time I thought it had all kinds of cool stuff. It said… when you came to the site it was animated by my voice came on and said “I am Buddhabot” or something like that.
It turned into a pretty cool flash website and it ended up winning some flash awards. lf you guys were around back in the day there were things called like to “FWA awards” and the “flash site of the day” awards. Those were a big deal to me. Those are like the rock stars. It was like having a song on the charge if you’ve got a website listed on one of those awards.
Buddhabot started winning things and I was listed on all kinds of showcases and all kinds of stuff and it turned out to be really cool. And it was kind of like it was based on this vision that I had in the mountains of Colorado high on mushrooms wondering what I’m going do with my life. You know and it turned into like an award-winning flash website.
The site no longer exists Buddhabot is long gone. I think it we actually had the domain buddhabot.com. I don’t even know I’ll have to look. If it’s not registered I’m going to register it before I upload this video. But I’m pretty sure we had the domain name and the company owned it, I didn’t which was fine, saved me four dollars.
The interesting thing is that I still to this day. And now I’m wondering if you are too.
What Should You Do With Your Life?
I wonder if you feel this too.
I still feel it to this day.
I don’t know which path I’m supposed to be going down or that I should be going down.
The technology geek side of me which is the one that most of you guys know me as or the crazy dirty hippie side of me that all my old friends know me as.
Can you be a computer geek and a rock star at the same time? I don’t know I still haven’t quite figured it out. And 100% honesty the blog is helping me with this.
People always ask me if they should start a blog. And I always say “no like you don’t need one there is too many blogs”… But honestly a blog is very helpful.
I’ve been using this blog to kind of try to put the two things together.
Like I had the blog run is a poet. I would upload poems in weird videos and short blog post and no one really paid attention. You know five or ten or fifteen of my old friends would come in and comment or whatever.
Then I started writing about affiliate marketing and thousands of people started coming in and the whole thing blew up.
But now I find myself caught again when I look at my life and my online persona. Which is a version of my real life my real persona. I don’t really fake it with you guys. I’m not trying to be someone I’m not… and you can probably feel it.
But I still feel stuck like am I this crazy free-living hippie guy that I used to be?
Or am I the computer web designer guy that I turned into?
I still don’t know. I know which one gets more reaction on line for me is definitely the computer geek. But the child in me still wants to be that music guy. I mean, that was me for twenty years, so I guess it’s hard to drop that.
And I don’t want to drop it. Music is my blood. Not playing in a band or playing shows for these years has been painful. I’ll be honest with you guys, the affiliate marketing thing has been fun. But not playing music is like having a knife stuck through your heart and it just stays there and the only way to take it out is to record songs and performed them that’s the only way to get that knife out.
But I’m still stuck and maybe you are too.
Maybe you are a family man or a mom or dad and that’s your identity, but you also might be something else. Maybe you’re an artist or writer or fitness enthusiasts and you think in your head “I like being the person that I am… but how can I combine that with this other thing?
This hidden passion that I have that no one really knows about yet. My family knows me as mom or my family knows me as dad but they don’t know me as a fine artist and little do they know I used to paint every day and not painting while I love being a mom and dad while not painting is painful.”
Maybe This Is Common
I’m hoping it’s a common thing – and I want to hear from you guys because I don’t think it’s just me that has that has this kind of a conflicting identity situation going on.
There are lots of people who don’t have it. I know that for sure because when you see someone who’s focused on one thing they just have the one thing they take they make a lot faster progress than those of us that have multiple things, multiple identities or hobbies or talents.
If you find a guy who’s a boxer. Mike Tyson… when he started boxing this guy focused 100 percent of his time on becoming a world champion. And he did it.
He was the youngest world champion ever. He spent every waking hour focused on being a boxer. If he had been focused on being a boxer but also was focusing on being a rapper he probably never would have become a world champion… or a rapper.
That’s the difficult thing.
When you’re splitting her time between things; it takes twice as much time to become great at each one you know. Instead of spending 24 hours a day on boxing he is spending 12 on boxing less just say for example say 12 on rapping and so you have to work twice as many days to become just as good at both things.
So It’s difficult. So I’m posting this as a kind of signal that I’m sending out. I want to hear what you guys have to say.
What do you think?
Am I pulling it off?
Some of you guys that follow me tell me I’m doing fine. They say “yeah you’re exactly what you are saying in your head you’re like a musician weirdo crazy guy but then you’re also this computer nerd that we like to pay attention to both”.
Maybe I’m combining it better than I think I am. But in my brain, this is the kind of thing when I lay down at night this is the kind of thing that messes with my head. Like “why did you write that affiliate marketing post you should be writing music…” and then when I start doing music I’m like “why are you doing that you already tried that it didn’t really work you should focus on this affiliate marketing thing and become an online blogger guy”.
I’ve always been a blogger guy to tell you the truth. I’ve always had a blog.
It may surprise you to know this because I only started writing about online marketing two years ago – but had the blog for like twelve years.
I started the blog 10, 11. 12 years ago always loved blogging. I had a webcam show called MalanDTV before Youtube was even created.
I was doing it on my own website. I had a streaming software that I had to install my own server, I ran the whole thing by myself.
I would do these videos from my house and the local papers and radio station to talk about him it was crazy. Then I found an email once where I emailed my friend and I said “hey I think I’m going move MalanDTV to this new thing called YouTube I think it’s really going to be big”.
And I did move it – but I didn’t stick with it. So imagine if I had stuck with that webcam show “ManlanDTV” from like 2002 or 2004 whenever it was. I probably have a billion subscribers on YouTube now because I would have been one of the pioneers.
But I’m just saying I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been splitting my time a long time between blogging, webcam show, music, dirty hippie guy. It’s very strange.
I mean… how can you be Jim Morrison… I guess the question is can you be Jim Morrison and Bill Gates at the same time?
I don’t know.
I don’t even know if I’m pulling it off. But that’s all the video is about today.
I want to hear if you guys are feeling the same thing or have this same kind of issue. And then I also want to know how you think I’m doing am I pulling it off?
Am I screwing it up?
Is there something I could be doing better?
Is there something I’m doing really well?
Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it there.
That’s it, I hope this has been an interesting video for you has been for me that’s a cool story that I had on my mind for a decade or so that I’ve been wanting to share with you guys.
Be sure to subscribe to YouTube if you want to get updates and then there are links in the description to number one my email list, which is free and number two there’s a link to MadSociety.net – which is an online marketing mastermind and forum that I run right now.
I don’t advertise it or talk about it a lot but it is open. We’re still in beta there are several hundred affiliate in there and some really cool stuff going on. So if you guys are interested in making money online you can go there.
If you want hear some music that I’ve done he can go to malandarras.com/music and it’s listed there there’s some of the more recent stuff and some of the old stuff too.
Anyway That’s it, thanks to everybody for tuning in this has been another long story episode of MalanDTV.
It’s March 28 it’s 10:22 a.m. on way too long but that’s ok because I love you, and…
I will see you in the future.