Yeah... I Play Kanye


I always thought I had to do something “normal” with my life, because that’s what you’re always told, right? “Make sure you get your degree”, “Have a backup plan just in case”, stuff like that used to infiltrate my mind, and if I’m being candid, still do from time to time. If I’m being even more candid, those thoughts are bullshit and if I’m strong enough to battle them, you are too.

I’m Jordan, and I’m a few things: I’m an on-air host on Go 95.3 and 96.3 in the Twin Cities, older AND younger brother, an average DJ, and a roommate to a giant cat. Being on the radio is pretty cool, it’s something I didn’t think was possible, even though it’s been an interest of mine since middle school. I love music, cracking jokes, and facilitating discussion, so my current profession suits me well. In order to get a full time job in radio and start a DJ business, I had to take today everyday for six years. I’ve gotten to represent both the hip hop and alternative cultures I love while using my platform to inject as much positivity into the world as possible. I’ve had the privilege of being a light for people that have listened to my show- talking about the value of hard work to middle school classes, listening to a caller vent about life, being open to DMs from people going through hardship, and more. My job is no longer about playing the coolest songs (even though I do, *wink*), it’s about being there for people and making as much of a difference as I can (through a radio show).

In the six years leading up to becoming a full time radio DJ, I was burning at both ends. I was waking up at 4am everyday to intern on 101.3 KDWB’s Dave Ryan in the Morning Show, working an intensive on-campus event planning job, starting a DJing company, and maintaining a B+ GPA in my marketing classes (something had to give, haha). I’d been working hard to ensure that at some point, I’d be able to pay my bills while working in radio, regardless of what position I took.

I graduated from Bethel University in Spring 2015, with a part time job at KDWB where I worked 45 hours a week, only to get paid for 29.75 of them. I was tired, burned out, and getting anxious about insurance. One of my best friends, Nate, got me a job interview at his place of employment, a pretty sweet ad agency. I caved and accepted it, with my “backup” marketing degree in hand, ready to walk away and do something I liked, not loved. The day of the interview, the flame of passion I had for radio and music extinguished as I walked up with my resume in a binder and my corporate casual outfit. I went in and crushed the 90 minute interview. I knew I was going to get the offer and that I had finally landed that elusive full time job, with INSURANCE (!!!), that would solve my career-related insecurities.

I walked out to my car looking like a hipster Don Draper: skinny tie, tight dress pants, an express shirt, you know (I looked good). As I began mentally drafting my two weeks notice to KDWB, I saw my reflection in my car mirror. I saw what I looked like, and locked eyes with myself in disbelief. I didn't recognize who I saw in that mirror. The revelation dawned on me that if I took this job, the years of hard work would be for nothing. Waking up at 4am everyday would've been for nothing. Every success and failure I had up to this point replayed in my mind, it felt like an hour, but in real time, was probably no more than ten seconds.

You know that scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi when Luke sits Rey down on that rock on Ach-To and she feels the balance of the Force? That scene hit me, man. I feel like all of us can feel that exact same thing. Perhaps it's the Holy Spirit, maybe it's the proverbial "energy" of the universe, or some undefinable transcendentalist hybrid of all of that and more, but the point is, if you stop, seek, and listen to whatever it may be, it will lead you in whatever direction you'd like to go. That very well could be too meta for even the most hipsterest hipster, but in that moment, I felt something tell me to keep going. So I did. I didn’t take the job. Four months later, I was working at Go, playing Weezer and Kanye songs.

My point is: take today, because it’s all you have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Do what you love. Seek it. If you really love music, or xcel documents, or social work, or education, work hard at it. It’s not easy, but nothing worth having is (Sometimes the corniest things contain the most truth). Those voices, the ones saying “have a backup plan ready” are just trying to distract you from your happiness and the difference you are capable of making.

Plus, the shirts don't say "take today, if convenient and easy!!" on them.

One love, take today, and no, I can't introduce you to 'Ye.

Jordan


1 comment


  • Jessica Bishop

    Your story in empowering. I worked in the financial industry for 15 years only to find that the sexist, greedy industry was not for me. Kudos to you! I am going to make my own life, however and wherever that may be. Thank you for your inspirational story and God bless you! Best Regards, Jessica xoxo


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