The Second Time Around



09.06.22


Today's recording session was bad. I’m really tired even though I didn’t do anything today and slept in. I don’t feel at home in my new apartment and it is gross because the previous tenants didn’t clean it. We still have a ton of boxes to unpack and maintenance still hasn’t given us a shower curtain rod. I’m spending too much money on takeout because I haven’t gone to the store yet. I feel like I have a lack of agency without a car. Jimmy John’s doesn’t deliver near me.


I feel like I’m complaining a lot of privileged complaints, which makes me mad at myself. It could always be worse, but I just feel sad. I was hoping recording would cheer me up and take my mind off things, but I felt totally detached and wasn’t getting the performance out of myself I wanted.


Tomorrow is a new day.


09.06.22


Came home, made food, and watched the bachelorette. I feel a bit better.


I feel inclined to try and organize my room right now but I know I have all day tomorrow to do that. I know I’ll feel more comfortable here once I do that, but I’m not in the right headspace to do it now.


I’m gonna relax and keep watching tv. Maybe look at some music stuff, but ultimately I know I can shake the bad vibes off if I just relax instead of trying to fight them.


09.07.22


It’s 6:38 AM in my first official overnight in my new apartment and I didn’t sleep yet.


It’s so gross here. It’s reminding me of the first apartment I moved into in Nashville when the previous tenant didn’t do a good job cleaning. I feel like I’m moving backward.


09. 10. 22

The past couple of days have been a lot better. I finally was able to unpack and organize my room, and although the apartment is far from put together, I feel a lot more settled. I got some command strips delivered yesterday and I feel like once I put all of my decorations up (and maintenance gets the giant bugs out of my lamp) I will feel a lot more at home in this place.


Friday I had an amazing recording session. We brought it my friend and co-writer Tai Shan to sing background vocals on the song we wrote together, "Light Me Up" and she knocked it out of the park. I feel a lot more reenergized about this project after that night.


The following day, I also recorded my “Behind the Song” interview content. What we’re doing is sort of a documentary-style video that is a conversation between me, my producer, and some of my co-writers about the process of creating my EP. It was really fun because it gave a sense of importance to the work. A good tip for up-and-coming artists, it’s important to treat your work like it’s something huge, no matter where you are in your career. I firmly believe that if you take your work seriously and treat it as if it’s a huge release that millions of fans are waiting for, it is destined to become something of that sort eventually. If you want other people to believe in it, the first step is believing in it wholeheartedly yourself.


As far as other progress goes, I’ve finalized arrangements with the PR agency, have a music video for Dandelion in the works, and made arrangements for a live acoustic show (for October 8th that was originally supposed to be the release party and the full band show.) I’ve done my best to spend all of my loan money now so that it won’t get used for nonmusic essentials later. I really want this funding to be used for my music, even if it means I am struggling in all other areas of my life. I’ve got $3000 left budgeted for playlisting, and I’m contemplating taking it out as cash so that it doesn’t get automatically drawn from my account on bills in the coming weeks.


Not having a car has proven very frustrating. I don’t like feeling like I don’t have autonomy. I don’t like not being able to have the freedom to pick up and go anywhere. I feel very dependent on factors around me, like how much the Lyft prices are or what friends of mine can drive me places. I’m also feeling burdensome on the people around me for it, which isn’t a great feeling.


My sleep schedule is also off the rails again.

I was supposed to go on a waterfall hike today (which would have done my well-being some good) and missed it because I stayed up till 7 am and couldn’t wake up in time to go. Then I slept till around 5 pm, wasted a day, and missed the Nebraska game because the Lyft ride was $50.


So to summarize, I’ve had some better days, I’m feeling better even though I know I’ve got hardships coming my way once these bills start hitting (if unemployment doesn’t kick in soon.) Today I’m not feeling great, but I’m hoping recording again tomorrow will be good and even things out.




09.12.22


Scott Frost got fired from Nebraska.


The game I missed yesterday was a good one to miss because we lost to a Sunbelt team we paid to play. That was the final straw.


I think back to my first year here and the post I wrote titled “Frost Effect.” I wrote about how Scott Frost’s first win with Nebraska inspired me to push through and complete a video project for a job I had applied for that came down to me and another candidate. Before that game, I was feeling really discouraged and may not have made the video, or gotten the job otherwise had Nebraska not won.


It’s really sad to see him go, especially given what I’m currently going through, (except for the fact that at least when he got fired, he got 14 million dollars.)


I'm the type of person who is always looking for signs. In many ways, Scott Frost’s struggles and triumphs at Nebraska ran parallel to what I was going through here trying to make it in music. So to see things end for him this way does make me worry about my own fate.


I’ve got other signs too though, rainbows being one of them. I’ve seen two in the past week, one normal one, and one incredible one around the moon. I’d never seen anything like that before, and it was comforting.


I know Scott Frost will be okay, but between this, the queen of England dying, and every other turbulent thing going on in the world, I just feel a weird sense of unfamiliarity around me. My world feels different, a lot of the constants around me, the things that have grown to become familiar are suddenly switching up on me. God Save the King just doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it.


I have been thinking of a day job career change. Clearly what I’ve been doing so far isn’t working. I don’t really like copywriting anymore. I hate the service industry, I've failed at sales. I’ve been thinking about possibly trying to become an English teacher. It would be great to have the summers off.


This is a very fresh idea and not at all flushed out. I have no idea where I’d even start, but just like what Trev Alberts (Nebraska's Athletic Director) finally had to come to terms with, you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. And maybe that’s what I need to do. Shake things up. I need to figure it out soon because I’ve got bills coming up.


09.14. 22


I’ve been sick for the past couple of days. It really makes everything else feel all the more challenging and overwhelming.


09.30.22


I am feeling cautiously optimistic right now. Sort of like a Floridian before a hurricane. I’ve got my rent and one of my big loans due in a couple of days and am still having issues getting unemployment payments (I haven’t gotten a single one yet) but for some reason, I’m not freaking out.

I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to get into a better headspace. I recently went on a trip to Gatlinburg with my friends, I’ve been jokingly calling it my spiritual quest, but I wasn’t entirely kidding. The truth is I really need to find a new direction, internally and externally because no matter how good my intentions are or how hard I try, my plans just keep blowing up in my face. When that happens to you over and over again it becomes really discouraging. Nothing hurts worse than getting pushed down by something you put your best foot forward into. I think that was the most frustrating part about losing my day job. If I knew it was going to end this way, I would have withheld my time and effort and sacrifices from them from the start, but I gave it my all and it didn't matter. They threw me down the stairs like a trashbag anyway. And they're not sorry about it.


Getting back to the subject of Gatlinburg, it was very grounding to get away from it all and just spend some time in nature (and a change of scenery from the parks frequent in Nashville.) we saw some gorgeous waterfalls and even took a ski lift up a mountain, which was a bucket list item for me. We also went to Dollywood which apart from being fun was also a good reminder of my North Star. The very first thing we saw there was a show featuring some of Dolly's family members, and they sang inspirational songs and told her story. It’s crazy how she was able to go back to her hometown and build something like that for her family and community. That’s what I want to do. Cue the "Big Dreams and Faded Jeans."


I also got the book “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron upon recommendations from friends. I’ve started to implement some of its practices into my daily routine, although there are some days I’ve skipped here and there. It’s not perfect but it is something.


I’m trying to flip my negative thoughts and challenge my limiting beliefs. I still very much fully believe in the ability to manifest your dream life via the right mindset. It’s just been really hard for me to be in a good mindset lately.


A big piece of feeling better about everything has been creating a safe space for myself. I finally finished unpacking my bedroom and putting up all of my decorations. It’s very cozy and inviting here now. I may even like it better than my old room (it’s a bit bigger minus the closet.) We had a cleaning service come through, then put string lights up in our living room and kitchen and it makes the place feel a lot more like ours. The maintenance also finally came and got the bugs out of my lamp.


I finally sent away my former work supplies. For the items I was able to keep and didn’t want to toss, I covered up their logo with Dolly Parton stickers. I’ve been burning sage and lighting candles and writing down new affirmations. Anything I can do to clear bad energies out and welcome a newer, bigger, brighter, happier chapter in my life.


It’s not all hippie stuff though. I know part of this process is taking action and initiative and I’m doing that as well. I am likely going to start an event staffing job and have some other prospects in the works. I really don’t want to blow through my playlist money and I realize the only thing I can do to prevent that is to start earning some.


My EP recording is chugging along slowly but surely. We’re almost done with the main vocals. Last week I thought I was going to finish but my voice was crapping out (lingering cold) and today I was supposed to have a session but my producer was having bad allergies. I’ve got more sessions on Sunday and Monday and I hope they’ll be productive. I’ve got two main vocal things to finish up and then I can get into my favorite part, which is harmonies and background stuff.


I have a few pressing things on my to-do list, but I don’t feel overwhelmed right now, which is nice. I’m getting a little impatient (and a bit of FOMO) not performing, writing regularly, or practicing guitar but I think it’s the best thing for me right now. I just need to finish this EP, the rest can wait and will be there when I get back.

A while back I co-wrote a song called “The Second Time Around” with Justin Love about the lessons you learn from surviving your first heartbreak. It tells the story of how the second heartbreak is different because you at least know you survived it before and are better equipt to handle things with that experience than you were the first time. Even though right now I'm just facing unemployment again, the lyrics are still resonating with me right now.

The bridge is as follows:

“The second time around I won’t fight it I know I can survive it, the second time around I won’t hide being on the tide it might pull me under but I won’t drown.”


The first line of that chorus is:


“it’s a red sky morning, I know the storm is coming, I can trust myself so I brace myself.”


I think that’s where I am right about now. I’m dealing with this shit again but I’m a seasoned survivor at this point. I may be a bit more tired, maybe even more pessimistic, but I also know how strong I am. I also know I will get through it because I have gotten through it before. That counts for something.

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