Updated: Aug 11, 2022
Recording today went great. I was nervous I wasn’t going to sound good, not only because I haven't recorded a song in a while but because I haven't been practicing and performing as regularly as I should be. I feel guilty about this often, but it's just hard to do with a full-time day job. I'm trying to be easier on myself about this but it's difficult. I feel like I'm letting myself down a lot of the time. If I could make more money, I could afford to take voice lessons, but I don't and I don't make up for it by practicing on my own. Same with guitar. Same with dance and fitness. Same with social media. Same with my style and aesthetic. It never ends.
But today's post isn't supposed to be about the many ways I'm hard on myself. What I was getting at is I did good today, in spite of everything. My voice was confident and not pitchy, my producer even complimented me on it, which means a lot to me, because his ear is immaculate.
I felt more in my element than I thought I would feel. All the more reason to keep pursuing this, it's where I belong.
This project has been two years in the making with a roadblock every other day. Being in the studio today was the first time I really felt like my vision will actually come to fruition.
I’m not sure what the hell is going on with me lately.
I’ve had a 180 in my mood over the past two days. Maybe I had a bit of melancholy on the fourth of July due to the state of the country, coupled by a single night of sleep deprivation and magnified annoyances, but over the past few days, everything just seems like too much.
I’m overwhelmed. I’m pessimistic. I’m irritable. I’m stressed, yet nothing major has occurred to make me feel that way.
Perhaps it’s just the little things piling up. I had some extra expenses come up that I didn’t account for and mismanaged my budget so I’m basically out of money until next Friday. I also tried to reduce one of these costs by $200 by getting a deal buying an airline credit card, but because I didn’t read the fine print I didn’t realize that’s not actually what it was. I got declined for the card anyway, so I took an unnecessary hit to my credit score with no benefit. This makes me nervous because I’m likely going to have to take another loan out to finish my EP. I can’t jeopardize that.
My birthday is Sunday and it’s really snuck up on me. I haven’t had time to plan the things I had wanted to. Two of my good friends who I’d hoped to be there will be out of town, and now I’m pretty much completely out of money (which shouldn’t matter because I know my good friends who are here will probably insist on buying me everything anyways, but it still stresses me out.)
There’s nothing really special about turning 26 other than losing your health insurance. Thankfully I have a better day job that will cover me now, but it’s added pressure for sure. I’m stressing about how I'm even going to figure out which coverage to get because none of what I’ve seen remotely makes any sense. Yay for adulthood.
I had the most incredible birthday. I don’t know why I was so worried it wouldn’t be that way. I have amazing people in my life who really went out of their way to make it special, even though it required a decent amount of time, energy, and money on their part. I'm extremely grateful and feel very loved.
Growing up there were times when I was the kid who was left out, or the weird one that people didn’t always want to show up for. I think those things stick with you even when you’ve grown to be successful and confident. I always have some anxiety around hosting anything, because how embarrassing is it if nobody wants to go? It’s why I’ve shied away from music release parties in the past. It’s why I guess I always have some anxiety around birthdays.
But this birthday was one of the best executed ones I’ve ever had. My friends showed up all weekend in amazing ways. My boyfriend especially.
I feel like I’ve been running around from one thing to the next and I don’t always have time to keep up with the people I want to keep up with, but this was a reminder that just because I’ve been busy doesn’t mean I’ve been forgotten. It was really really nice.
Midway through the week after, I’m feeling a bit of post-birthday blues. I’m always sad when my hometown friends leave. It’s hard to get back into work mode. Last night I stayed up till 5 am for no reason so I wasn’t very productive today either. I tend to enter a vicious cycle of worrying so much about how behind I am at everything that I’m too stressed to function properly, and still don’t get things done, which stresses me out even more. I wish I was more organized and pragmatic. I wish I could chip away at my goals in the most sensical, logical way but that’s not how I operate. I get distracted, I waste time, I fixate on things that aren’t time sensitive, and I ignore the things that are. It's an exhausting way to exist.
My stressor of the moment is how much I’ve been lacking on social media. Even Tiktok where I’ve had the most growth and engagement has ground to a halt recently. It feels like a chore.
I deleted the app off of my phone for a bit after the Roe v Wade decision because I couldn’t stop myself from doomscrolling myself into anger and irritability. The world as of late is so frustrating, and when I’m seeing it constantly it bleeds into my own emotions and worldview. It also feels silly to be creating content in these times. How can I sit here and talk about Taylor Swift songs when women's rights are being stripped away? Ignorance truly is bliss. Deleting all of the apps has helped me stay in my own little bubble of a world where it’s just me and the people I love doing what we can to remain happy in these circumstances. I am much happier when I’m not consuming information from strangers.
But I know if I want my EP to gain traction I have to be on Tiktok at the very east. If anything, I should also be on Instagram Reels, YouTube, and Pinterest too. I’ve got a friend who has over a million followers who gets to be a full- time influencer because she mastered the art of posting great content regularly. I feel like I have the potential to do the same but I’ve never been as polished or consistent and I don’t realistically have the time to dedicate to it.
I have no desire to become a social media influencer, but I do want my music to be successful. It’s hard to watch people arrive on the scene and surpass you only because they know how to present themselves and gain traction on social media. It's "video killed the radio star" all over again.
I’ve got 22 thousand followers on Tiktok, which is a number I wouldn’t have been able to fathom a couple of years ago, and yet I still feel like I’m failing. The impostor syndrome when it comes to Tiktok is relentless. I simply don’t feel like I’m likable enough to resonate with people the way a lot of these other artists on there are. I also don’t play guitar or piano so I can’t push out my own music as much as I know I should be. I don’t have the time to dedicate to making mg videos look polished and professional.
I know that was a lot of excuses, I know I don’t need to be polished to resonate with people online, but I still feel like an outsider when it comes to this stuff. It’s been a lot harder to be present and consistent on there than it was when I first started. I know it’s because then I had both the money and the time to dedicate to it but still, with my EP on the horizon, I need to get myself back on the horse.
Speaking of my EP, I also need to put together a solid marketing plan and a release show.
This week, some of the most sophisticated images of deep space from the James Webb telescope were published. The image was a speck of the sky, and in just that speck were numerous billion-year-old galaxies. It's truly mind-blowing how tiny we are; how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things.
It reminds me how important it is to have perspective, and how small my stresses and worries and hopes and dreams are in comparison to this mysterious universe we reside in. Some might find that to be depressing, but I’ve always viewed it as freeing. We’re on a floating rock hurdling around a fireball for crying out loud. Our entire existence is ridiculous and meaningless, so the least we can do is enjoy it. I don’t understand how anyone could look at that picture and decide that life isn’t too short to choose happiness and follow your dreams.
I am feeling really happy and proud of myself today.
I don’t know what finally clicked, maybe it was getting passed the full moon in Capricorn or something, but I’ve finally started getting shit done, at my day job and for my music endeavors. My productivity follows the laws of inertia, so once I finally got myself going, I couldn’t stop. What got me over the hump ironically was finally editing and posting my July blog post, so thank y’all for being here it truly has helped me.
What I’m feeling most proud of is the fact that today I finished the main vocal for the first song recorded for my EP. This has been two years in the making and in those two years I’ve dealt with a pandemic, job loss, anxiety, burnout, self-doubt and huge financial struggles. There were many instances when I felt like this day would never arrive. Now that the ball is rolling, it’s only a matter of time. I’m proud of myself for pushing through and keeping my eyes on my north star. This means everything to me, and I know somewhere out there someone needs a song that I am going to create for them, and if I can positively impact even one person, it will all have been worth it.
I am recording Dandelion today and it is not going well.
For context, Dandelion is the title track of my EP. Many of my friends, followers, and peers alike consider it to be my best song. I even have a connection of mine interested in pitching it for movies and T.V.
As far as having that one song that finally breaks through, Dandelion has always been the one I could picture performing at the Grammys.
I went into the session pretty confident considering I get a lot of practice performing this song live. I even did a voice lesson the day before to prepare.
But as soon as I got in the booth the low notes just weren’t coming, I was straining my neck like crazy.
We ended up putting a hold on that and started with the pre-chorus, which went a bit better. I’m determined not to let my frustration at myself impact my performance, but it is hard.
I’m on a time crunch. I feel like we’re not getting enough done at each session and it’s my fault for having to do a million takes before we can piece enough together that sounds good.
It makes me feel really unworthy of being here and pursuing this profession. Why am I having such a hard time?
I have to be easier on myself. I am working with limited time and resources. If I didn’t have to work to pay rent I could spend more time practicing and afford to take regular voice lessons. If you’re an artist in a similar position, try to remember that. What you’re able to do, on top of everything else life demands, is not a failure, it’s actually an amazing feat. Good for you for going for it.
I try to have this mindset, but it’s hard. I just want this song to come out as perfect as possible because it means so much to me and resonates so much with so many people. I want to do right by it and have it come to life in the best way I know it can be.
Why am I always so stressed leading up to a vacation?
I feel so behind on everything. My day job, my music, and my personal life. I can’t keep up. I can’t move fast enough. I can’t manage my money or my time, and I’m letting people down.
I’ve felt like crap all day today. My to-do list feels like a mountain. I have no money until Friday and that money will evaporate as soon as my rent and student loans are due. I have important birthdays for people I love coming up and I’m unable to provide them what they deserve. I have to keep canceling recording sessions and I feel disorganized and confused as ever at work.
Last week I was out of town for a bachelorette party. This week I will be in Aruba. I’m excited about the vacation but I hope I’ll actually be able to relax instead of feeling all the weight of everything I’m putting on hold.
I need to remember all I can do is my best. All I can give is what I have. My intentions are good, I’m not giving up, but I do feel tired and frustrated and like a failure. Tomorrow is a new day, Friday is a new paycheck. I guess I’ll just keep faking it till I make it like I always do.
Today was a horrible day, but today was also a day that my music was there for me.
I was really trying to shake off the negativity and have a positive attitude going into today, but I was definitely holding myself together by a thread, and of course, that was the most opportune time for me to back my car into a pole.
I accomplished next to nothing at my day job today. Tomorrow I’ll be figuring out how to fix the car instead of being productive. I have the energy for nothing. The vacation can’t come fast enough. I need to reboot.
I had a session today that I probably would have bailed on if I didn’t feel so behind on my recording. I did come a little late but my entire game plan was to just try and channel my emotions into the song.
The song we were recording today was Dandelion, a song written for my younger self. It’s supposed to be my wise older self telling my younger self to love myself the way I am, but I guess it’s a message my current self needs to hear too.
I really felt the meaning of this song today. It was therapeutic to work through the emotions I’ve been feeling and tell myself over and over again that there’s nothing wrong with me.
My hope is someone else out there may need to hear that message too. I want to be that voice for them, telling them not to see themselves through the lenses of others and measure their success or value by their standards.
I’ve been measuring myself in all the wrong ways lately. I need to stop comparing my progress to others around me and just enjoy living and making my art. I need to stop putting so much of my self-worth into my day job and remember having a day job is just what capitalism requires of me to exist. I’m here on this earth to do so much beyond that. One of which is using my art to help other people love themselves just the way they are.
Vacation was amazing. I honestly don’t know where my head would be right now without it. I realize this is a major privilege a lot of other people in my position don’t get and it makes me sad.
It’s all the more reason why the system we’re living in is so messed up. At my core, I’m not an anxious person. When the circumstances around me are manageable and when time exists for rest I do just fine.
When I got back from the vacation, once again, everything that felt so overwhelming before felt like it shrunk down into something I could take care of. For the most part, I was able to take care of everything.
Having taken care of everything, I’m out of money again. My credit cards are overdrawn and my current checking account is -$180 until I get paid next Friday. That is definitely stressful but unfortunately not an unfamiliar circumstance. This ain't my first rodeo. I’ve got more food and more resources at my disposal this time around so it should be okay. Maybe a little stressful at times but not near as bad as it has been before.
This weekend has been very sleepy. I’m wanting to catch up on some work but it’s the first down time (minus the vacation) I’ve had in a long time. My body knows it and I’m lulled into a nap whenever I try to accomplish something. I’m doing my best to find a few little easy tasks to knock off my list so I’m at least doing something. We had a rainy day, which was very relaxing. For once I didn’t feel the need to be somewhere or do something substantial.
I feel like the rest of the month should be a little more calm. I do have some business trips coming up and a lot of recording sessions to do but beyond that, I’m not trying to pile anything else on. I’m giving up on guitar and more solo writes for now. I just don’t have the time or bandwidth to reasonably focus on it.
My EP project and my planned deadline for that is one big thing I can’t keep from looming over my head. I’m going to allow that to be priority number one and put all my other goals on hold. I still feel pressured to excel on social media, play live more, be writing and practicing guitar, but I can recognize it makes more sense to attack that next month and put all of my energy into my EP.
I’m also looking forward to my project being finished so I can stop spending money and focus on saving. I already know I’m going to have to take another big loan out, which is also super daunting but necessary. It sucks because I’m very close to paying off the original 10k I took out for my first round of music. The secondary 4K I took out after that has been paid off thanks to my tax returns.
In the end though, I know I need to make this investment. I’ve already invested so much time and money into this project that cheapening out on the marketing and not giving it the best chance to be heard just doesn’t make sense. I want to be smart and invest in the right places, maybe pull back on some things here and there, but ultimately investments do need to be made. That’s not something I can get around if I want the music to matter to someone besides myself and my inner circle.
As far as I know I am not going to be able to afford to record new music for a while. Once this comes out, it is going to have to have some longevity. I hope it’s good enough. I hope I can promote it well enough for it to get the traction it deserves. Only time will tell.