We left off our last blog post on the brink of despair, but by some miracle, my rent got paid. I’m in the negative at this point but at least I have housing for the next month.
I was able to put off some of my student loans for a couple of months and I ended up canceling my health insurance. That should make next month's minimum easier to achieve without selling everything I own. I’m also expecting a couple of refunds (my health insurance payment and some retirement money) which will be helpful. I’ve got a couple of part-time jobs going and an interview next week. My parents were able and willing to get their hands on our neighbor’s old used car for me so that will be huge.
I’m scared I will find myself in the position I was in before my previous job, spreading myself too thin and working too many hours for low pay and eventually, burning out. However, I’m working in a lot more chill/enjoyable environments this time around so I’m hoping it will work out better, at least until I can get financially stabilized and finish my EP.
I’m more grateful than ever that I decided to postpone it till March. It buys me more time to get my shit together, something I desperately need and know I can do if I just stay focused.
I recently wrote a song called “Ignore my Problems and go on Vacation” and that’s something I’ve been privileged enough to do a lot lately.
This past week was one of those occasions. I went on a family vacation that had been in the works for a year. It couldn't have come at a better time. I got to put all my worries on pause for the week and start and finish my days with a walk on the beach. Lord knows I don’t have the resources to make this happen for myself, so I feel very blessed to have people around me that want to take me places anyway. At the end of the day, when you have very little, being a good vibe is your only form of currency. Somehow I’m someone people want to be around and bring places, even if it costs them. I’m extremely grateful to them for that. It means a lot. It’s made these times bearable, and I look forward to the opportunity I’m able to pay it forward.
If you chose to try to make it in something like music, it’s vital to have good people around you. It’s impossible to be truly self-made. You can only sacrifice so much on your own. At some point, you’ll have nothing left to give up. If you’re not already born into wealth, you’re going to need help, whether it be financially, or morally. Don’t be too proud to accept this help. Try not to depend on it but be willing to accept it when you can because it can make all the difference.
Anyway, it’s back to reality tomorrow. I feel very rejuvenated (with a nice tan to show for it) and it should be enough of a boost to get through the next couple of months and finish things up for my EP. I’m going to be working a combination of jobs, which will be challenging and probably frustrating but I’m confident in my ability to adapt. I can’t say I’m excited about it but I know what needs to be done. I’ll do what I have to do for as long as I’m able and buy myself the time I need to figure the rest out.
I’m feeling really overwhelmed. I'm feeling the burnout creeping up again and I really haven’t even scratched the surface of the number of hours I'm actually going to have to work if I want to be able to pay all of my bills.
I just feel sad. It feels like there’s nothing I can do to avoid living like this. The jobs that pay well start too early for my brain to function and have too restricting schedules.
I feel like I’m being a baby. I literally just got back from Hawaii, I’ve had such an easy life compared to so many out there, and I still can’t seem to handle it. It’s not that I don’t want to just buckle down and handle it, it’s just that I can’t. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know how to rectify that.
Over this weekend I’m going to hopefully be wrapping up recording vocals for my EP. It feels like a chore. I just want to be done so I can have one less thing on my list.
I did work a Preds game (Nashville's Hockey team) which was fun. The sports atmosphere tapped into the athlete I used to be and gave me a bit of a “go-getter” boost in energy, if only for a moment. They ended up winning too which was a plus.
I got some refunds and some retirement savings coming my way this week so I’ll be able to make rent. That’s a huge relief because I wouldn’t have made enough this month otherwise. I really need to get my shit together for December because I’m running out of safety nets once again.
This past week has been a net positive.
I’m still living with a base level of stress about how I’m going stay afloat financially, but the difference is I’ve actually done a lot of music things recently, which has been really good for morale.
First, I wrapped vocals on my EP. This is a huge hurdle I’ve finally overcome. For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m making progress on this, and what we were working on came easily and sounds great. For the first time in a long time, it felt exciting instead of like a chore.
Secondly, I was invited to a musician's party where I got an opportunity to perform. Last time I attended one of these I was unable to sing because I didn’t have a guitar player with me. I felt really shitty about it. This time I did get to play and that really lifted my spirits and felt like progress.
Lastly, I took a trip to Memphis and visited Graceland, Elvis’s home and museum. In my last post, I talked about the idea of being one of the people who never made it, one of the many musician stories never told. It’s really good for morale to go see someone who did live out your dream and become a huge icon. One of the facts that stuck with me was that Elvis has billions of hits on YouTube. Think about how crazy that is for a second. He has billions of hits on a platform that didn't exist during his lifetime. He's transcended so much and his legacy is so strong that he has hits in ways he couldn't have even imagined.
It was really fun to see all of the iconic bedazzled outfits, golden records, and awards. I made sure to pose with one of his Grammys. I recommend all artists do this stuff every now and then to boost morale. My morale feels boosted. It's much more fun to be a dreamer. It's exciting and energizing to allow myself to think about people touring my childhood home one day, and what inconceivable platforms might play my music or performances.
Today we visited Sun Records, where big names Like Elvis and Johnny Cash got their start. As a structure, like the Bluebird, there wasn't much to it. The tour was short two floors, but there was a rich history within these walls.
I always love learning about an icon's origin stories, it makes it a lot easier to believe that any nobody (like myself) can become a star with some talent, dumb luck, and the right people around them willing to give them a chance.
I wonder what those soon-to-be stars would think if their future self came back and told them that in the year 2022, their studio would be giving tours because of them. That’s the exciting part about being in this industry. At any point, you could be making history and not know it.
What's cool about hearing these stories is learning how these icons were just as doubtful, scared, and prone to failure as I am. Elvis wouldn't have been Elvis if a woman/producer named Marion Keisker hadn't loved his voice and consistently insisted that Sam Phillips give the kid a chance.
When Elvis did get his chance to audition for Sam, he was basically blowing it. Only as the studio musicians were packing up to leave and he started anxiously playing a different song, did Sam see something special in him. All these little moments had to fall into place to make it happen, but only because he took the initiative.
They had some Xs on the studio floor to mark where Elvis had once stood. I made sure to stand there before I left.
Well, I just got an email saying that my job at the Flower Shop is no more. That was short-lived. I really liked it there too.
Why do I even bother trying to work anymore?! Even when I put my best foot forward it doesn’t matter. I’m so beyond sick of it.
I need my music to take off already. Or win the lottery at this point. I can’t even be mad because I lack the energy to be anymore. It’s comical at this point.
I’m starting this month stressed about rent again. I've been expecting a check in the mail but it hasn’t arrived yet. I’m hoping I’ll see it tomorrow morning and feel that sense of relief, otherwise, I’m really not sure what I’m going to do (other than once again being a burden on people and trying to maneuver myself out of another hole.)
I’ve had a number of day job interviews lined up this week, which feels promising but also draining. My energy is really low. I don’t feel confident in my ability to succeed at these jobs because even when I’m putting in my all and think I’m doing a good job it always manages to blow up in my face. I know that’s a negative way to think about it, but when you’ve been optimistic over and over again and keep failing it’s hard not to start feeling hopeless.
I’m trying to change my mindset though. I’m into manifesting and I haven’t been doing a good job of aligning my thoughts with the life I want.
In an effort to rectify that, I wrote a song I call “Easy” about how everything I need will just fall into place. With so much out of my control at the moment, this is something I need to believe in, otherwise, I’ll just end up crushed under the weight of the stress and that won't be very productive.
I was supposed to start recording my music video for "Dandelion" on December 12th, but I won’t have enough money to get my hair or makeup done, which is really upsetting. I also need to do a live session for the "Behind the Song" series I planned but I can’t afford a sound engineer either, so the entire thing may end up getting pushed back. At this point, I think it’s for the best.
As of now, I have missed a payment on the personal loan I took out to promote my music stuff. I’m not sure what's going to come of that so I’m simply avoiding it for now. Hopefully, I’ll get something that makes enough to keep up soon.
The saddest part of all of this is not knowing how I’m going to be able to afford Christmas gifts for my friends and family this year. After all they’ve helped me with, I can’t even really give back this one time. It hurts. These people can only give me so much grace before they get frustrated and start resenting me. I’m sure that’s not how they see it, and I know I make up for it by being fun to be around, but I’m tired of being in this position. I need to change it, even if I lack the energy and motivation, I need to do it anyway. So that’s the plan for now.