Old Wounds & Spring Blooms
Updated: Apr 26
Today was supposed to be the day I hit submit on all my music for the EP. That didn’t happen.
I’ve spent the past two days grieving, sulking, and feeling sorry for myself. I’m just coming out of it now.
I’m coming out of it because it isn’t productive or helpful to stay in that headspace. I go to this dark place and start to spiral and feel like it’s all falling apart. What is actually true is that my music is being delayed by at least two weeks. That is hardly the hardest challenge I’ve overcome so far.
And... this month, I was able to afford my rent and bills, which was not the case last month. We’re improving. If I can just be disciplined about door-dashing after work, keep my spending in check, and make some arrangements with the banks I owe money too, things will start to improve for me financially.
I can’t let myself think negatively about my music. It’s easier said than done but the truth is I deserve to have my moment. I deserve to be happy about this. It’s supposed to be fun. I need to not lose sight of that.
I’m in a much more positive mindset today even though physically I’m not feeling my best.
It once again came to a decision. Am I going to mope around in self-pity and continue making myself feel worse or am I going to actively CHOOSE to see the bright side? I have a lot to be grateful for, especially the people in my life who have loved and supported me through everything.
When I get into this headspace I start to feel like I don’t deserve to have those people or start to fear that I’m going to lose them one way or another. It gets dark. I’m trying to break these thought spirals. One thing goes wrong and I start to feel like everything I care about and everything I’ve worked for is unraveling, no matter how irrational the thought. I really feel like I’m still feeling impacted by 2020. I’ve faced a lot of adversity in my life but I’ve never quite had such extreme emotions. I feel like when things go wrong on such a massive scale like that, there’s got to be some lasting impact on the psyche.
But I’m here. I had a good day at my day job, but my cold isn’t going away. I don’t think being stressed out and crying a ton was helpful in that regard, especially for my sinuses, but I’ve at least got the weekend to rest and recover.
I was a bit more productive yesterday too. I started sorting and gathering all of my tax info. I think the number of W2s and 1099s I have are a new record this year.
My car is in the shop and I’ve been using a loaner until it’s done. This loaner happens to be a super nice Lexus, so that’s been fun. I’ve been listening to my mixes on the car stereo, something I normally can’t do. It sounds good. I feel proud. I’m excited about what’s to come.
I’m watching the Grammys tonight and for the first time, I feel pretty uninspired.
Everything there seems so unattainable from where I’m at. I don’t think I’ve ever believed that before, but maybe it’s always been true.
I think I just need to release any expectations I have for a music career at this point. It’s all been stressful. During this time I’ve been trying to get this EP out I’ve barely written any songs. I don’t feel like it. I feel like I’ve lost sight of why this is something I enjoy doing in the first place.
I can’t afford to do things as big as I want to, so I need to figure out what it means to be happy simply doing what I’m able to do, because pushing myself to the limits, spreading myself thin, and aiming as high as I’ve been aiming is just ruining me. I’m unhappy. I feel lost and directionless, I feel a lack of purpose here on this earth when I think about this not working out. I feel like I’m just flailing.
I started this pursuit because, at the time, I believed it was the one thing in this world that could never break my heart, but it’s been breaking my heart for the past year now.
Maybe that’s not fair. I mean I enjoy the actual process. It’s not the music’s fault, if anything it’s my lack of ability to afford to do what I want with it.
I need to learn to be satisfied with where I’m at and what I can do. I need to not be sad about maybe not reaching that mountain top. As the great Miley Cyrus once said, “It ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb.”
That song has a great message because the fact is, when you're not a trust fund baby or an industry plant, a climb is all it may ever be. If that’s the case, there is no reason to rush, or cut my hands on jagged rocks on a treacherous path because I think it’s faster. What I need to do is reach what I can and take it one step at a time, enjoying the view as I go rather than lamenting over the fact that I’m missing out on the view from the top.
I’m not a coward. I didn’t stay on the ground. I tried. I’m trying currently. Failing isn’t really failing in that regard. Not if I can find a way to be happy and satisfied where I’m at and reach in a way that doesn’t leave me burned out, disappointed and uninspired.
Things are feeling a lot better this week. I don’t know if it was the full moon last week making me feel so tumultuous, but the ground I’m walking on feels a lot more steady this week, and I’ve actually felt pretty productive.
I was able to make sure my Kickstarter money was going to go to the right account, which was huge. I didn’t mention this before, but I was really worried it was going to be sent to my overdrawn account, which would cause me to lose some of the money. After a back and forth, I finally got it switched to a safe one. That was one of the catalysts for my spiraling in the first place, so that is making the ship feel much more steady. I am also working with a nonprofit to get a handle on my debt and was able to get my private student loans deferred for another three months, so that takes some weight off my shoulders.
As for my music, my Kickstarter money should be coming any day now, which will restart the engine. I’m going to reevaluate my release dates with my PR team and hopefully get everything submitted to distribution. That will feel like a huge victory.
For now, I’m doing my best not to feel bittersweet about this. With my current finances, I probably won’t be able to afford to record new music for a while. I’m thinking I’ll shift my focus to being more of a songwriter than an artist. I’ll keep performing like an artist though.
I am feeling excited about my project again, which is good. I’m also feeling optimistic about my day job. Overall things feel a lot more doable. I feel less overwhelmed. I feel like I can handle it and that I’m adapting to the changes. I haven’t felt that way In a while.
So I’ve finally accepted something about myself this week. I have anxiety. And if left unchecked it is going to ruin my life.
I’m not sure when this became a thing because it’s never who I was. Maybe it was the inconsistency of this lifestyle, the constant change in course and direction, being rejected constantly, comparing myself to others, and getting myself into debt. I’ve always heard the music industry is a tough business. That is an understatement. I’ve had a lot of amazing highs in this pursuit but a lot of lows and disappointments too. It’s important to prepare yourself for this if you’re going to get into this business or pursue goals in music. Get some support lined up. Get a therapist upfront.
Speaking of, this is something I’ve decided to do, and I think it will help.
But backtracking a bit, the other causes for this may also be the state of the world. I feel like things really didn’t get kicked into gear until 2020. Pre-2020 was challenging, but I didn’t feel so out of control of my own thoughts and emotions back then. The pandemic, the Trump election, these things were traumatic. That caused my first job loss. The exhaustion and fatigue I felt contributed to me quitting the job I got after that. I think it’s a factor.
I never thought I’d be this person, because I never have been this person. I’ve always been an optimist, a dreamer, a believer, a go-getter. I’ve always been confident in myself and my abilities for the most part, give or take some minor adolescent insecurities I eventually grew out of.
This anxiety isn’t just exhausting to live with, it’s at a point where it’s sabotaging good things in my life. It’s making me spiral over minor inconveniences. It’s debilitating. It’s making me actively seek out pain instead of joy in an effort to feel prepared for the worst-case scenario. It has to stop.
I think the first step with is this is finally recognized that this is a problem. It’s anxiety, I have it, and I can’t will it away on my own. I need support, and that’s okay.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, which is why I feel it’s so important to talk about it because it doesn’t get talked about. We’ve made strides as a society when it comes to mental health but we are still far from where we need to be. There is still shame and stigma involved. There is still apathy directed at people who can’t “get their shit together” or muscle through these things.
I’m excited to finally not feel so alone in this. They’re something freeing about admitting there’s a problem because it clears a path for asking what the next step is. Instead of dealing with it over and over, nowhere near finding solutions.
My life is on an upswing. I have a new day job. My music is going to come out. I’ve gotten a handle on my finances. I just need to keep going.
There is something freeing about having nothing to lose. You get used to being on the bottom. You get familiar with it. You get comfortable there. When things start getting better, you start to have things to lose, and that becomes scary and stressful.
I am looking forward to this next chapter. I have a lot of good things coming up, and I’m going to learn some new coping skills so that I don’t derail my own progress.
If anyone out there is going through something similar, just know it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s good to do. It shows bravery and initiative. And most importantly, know you’re not alone even if you feel like it. There are people in your life who love and care about you, even on the days your own thoughts are convincing you otherwise.
You’re still here. Things can be fixed and worked through. Your best days can still be ahead of you. Take a deep breath, and take the first step. You don’t have to have all the answers yet, you just have to know you deserve to get there one day, and that you’re fully capable, especially if you seek out support.
Be kind to yourself.
Well, the other day I tried to go to therapy, but there were a lot of weird vibes. I found someone online that looked promising, but when I got there the lady said she didn’t have a license technically, asked to record our sessions, and then wouldn’t talk to me until I gave her a credit card number. The whole thing felt very awkward and disingenuous, so I left. Back to the drawing board on that.
I haven’t kept up with my writing because I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. Luckily, I can finally write what I’ve been aching to write for the past three years, my music has been submitted. I’m going to release my EP. This is a moment of victory I’ve been waiting for, and although there is a lot yet to be done, I’m allowing myself to enjoy it. To feel that weight lifted off my shoulders, to be proud of my accomplishments and everything I’ve overcome to get here and to be happy and satisfied with where I’m at. I’ve gotten really busy so this post can’t be long, but I wanted to say this because it’s literally the moment I’ve been waiting for.
The first single of my new era is coming out tonight and I’m not feeling how I thought I’d feel.
I’ve been sick for the past week so I haven’t done a ton of promo. I had to scramble last night and did manage to put some content together that I’ve been sharing throughout the day, but it doesn’t feel like enough. In my life right now I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is keeping up, barely. I'm proud of myself for that because that hasn’t always been the case, especially last year, but I don’t feel as “in the moment” right now as I’d like to be.
The reality of being an independent artist is that I am doing all of this after a full workday. My new job required me to get up at 5 am this morning, so instead of being prepped and excited for my midnight release (11 pm for me thank you central time zone) I’m honestly just trying to keep myself awake. I’m going to go on TikTok live for a little bit too probably, I know I should be doing that more anyway.
I’m hoping my delayed posts will be a net positive because if the song catches fire and goes viral it will already be available on streaming. I actually was told it’s a good strategy to not even promote on TikTok until a song is out because attention spans are so short when it comes to what is hot on that platform. It could be a blessing in disguise.
Hindsight is 2020, so I can't and won't know if I've made the right choices as far as my investments as it relates to this project until much further down the line. Even though I've been to enough entrepreneurship workshops to know that there are no wrong choices, only data points, it is still nerve-wracking to make decisions about where large sums of money ought to go (especially when they're loans earning interest.) These choices are expensive, so I really want them to gain more than data points. If I can't afford to use this data for a "next time" any time soon, this has to count for something. It feels like a day at the casino with a middle-class budget, you can't know whether you'll hit the jackpot and change your life or not be able to justify paying for your Uber home at the end of the night. So much is up to chance, and so much is out of my control, all I can do is make these decisions based on the best of my knowledge and hope it works out in my favor.
As I grow as an artist and my projects grow in size and scale, it's not feasible for me to micromanage every aspect of it. I've delegated more during this release than I ever had before, which is also nerve-wracking. The reality of outsourcing anything is that nobody is going to care about your baby the way you care about your baby. I'll always personally have so much more to gain and lose. It feels weird and almost wrong not being in the driver's seat, but part of being a CEO is trusting others with more responsibilities so that you can spend more time being a visionary leader and planning for the future. I’m working on getting better at loosening my grip and trusting people. Some days are easier than others.
Whatever success this song does or does not achieve, what I need and deserve to be is proud of myself. So, I am going to make that conscious choice today, even as those negative thoughts creep in.
I started this blog as a way to pull back the curtain on what this life as a singer/songwriter in Nashville is really like. I felt like seeing artists putting their best foot forward on social media made it look like everyone is effortlessly beautiful and talented and successful. I’m aware of the fact that those images, those projections are carefully curated, airbrushed, and in a way, dishonest about the experience, which could make it discouraging to others who see it and don’t feel like they can measure up. I started this blog to show the messy side of this lifestyle and how it isn’t always so easy or simple. I wanted it to be honest, but I also wanted it to be inspiring. I imagined it to be a riveting tale, a hero’s journey with its ups and downs and lessons learned along the way, but the main takeaway I always wanted from people reading it was that dreams are worth pursuing, worth fighting for and that the journey, even the hard parts, is part of the fun. I always wanted it to be heading toward a happy ending, but I realize in trying to be real, I may have allows too much pessimism to creep in.
I don’t want people (especially people I know) to read this and think “Is she okay?” I don’t want people to read this and think, pursuing music sounds really difficult, depressing, and hopeless, and after reading about her experience I don’t want to put myself through that. The story's moral was always supposed to be “Although it may be difficult at times it’s worth it, and it works out in the end.”
I want to continue being real, but I want to stop being pessimistic. The truth is although I am not in control of much going on around me, I am in control of how I choose to see and react to it. This is a cliche easier said than done, but I am going to make an effort to intentionally see my experiences in a more positive light, and I want that to reflect in my writing here as well.
For me, when life and music are treating me well, I’m not sitting at home ruminating and journaling about it, I’m out there living it. When I feel terrible writing here, like writing songs, helps me process my emotions. But just as airbrushed social media posts can make things seem overly easy and good, a blog like the blog I’ve been keeping lately can make things seem overly bad, which isn’t the truth I was after when I started this thing.
So here’s to my new era, not just in music but in life. Here’s to springtime and new beginnings, new life, and new opportunities. Here’s to making the most of what I have and choosing to see it in a way that makes me feel happy and satisfied. Here’s to all the possibilities and all the adventures I get to go on blooming like Dandelion, and here’s to me, for the first time in a long time being ready to brighten up the world.