What Else is New
Catching up on some blogging. I’m going to piece together some notes I’d written back in November, and sum it up from where I’m at as of today, which is December 27th, 2020. I’m aiming to get a blog out a week from now on so I can stop making scattered posts like this. let’s see if I can.
*This next bit is going to jump around a lot, so try to bear with me.
As I’m writing this, I know that I’m already up too late. I know there are more productive things for me to be doing (I have to send out an email) but for some reason, I just feel like I need to get these thoughts out now.
As you’ve noticed, this is my first blog post in a while. This blog is one of the many things I feel like I’m behind on. I wouldn’t entirely call it slacking, but it certainly feels that way.
Let me try to get you up to speed. I’m sure I’ll come back and make it sound better later. *I did
Where to begin. Well first, I got my wisdom teeth taken out. This was my first surgery without my family with me and in Tennessee. Fun fact, Maren Morris went to the same oral surgeon as me (I know because he’s got a signed photo from her on the wall.)
I was scared and being very dramatic about the whole thing, but it was literally over in the blink of an eye. The pain was rough, especially after I took all the narcotics, and they responsibly wouldn’t’ give me anymore. One of my wisdom teeth on the bottom of my jaw had a cyst growing in it (yuck) which was eating away at my jaw (YIKES) so the doctor not only had to pull the tooth but also scrape that out which made it hurt ten times worse. I ate mac ‘n cheese and soup for what felt like way too long. On the upside, I invented my own applesauce with green apples and it was amazing. I’m surprised it's not a thing already. Maybe I’ll make it a thing.
I also got a new day job, and it was just in the nick of time because my unemployment was about to run out. The good thing is, this is a remote job. I’m a copywriter for a business coaching company, and so far, I really like it. I feel like I’m more suited for this one and I feel like it allows for more opportunities to travel (once covid is over) which is great for the prospect of touring, which I’d like to do in 2021.
I also released a new single! It’s a song I wrote last year called “Ghost of Christmas Past.” I won’t tell you about it here because I’ve already posted the press release. The entire promo period and release was a challenge because I was still recovering from surgery. The last release I had (my music video for “Heat of the Moment”) I planned during the week I was moving to my new apartment. I really need to do better at not planning releases during stressful life moments.
Joe Biden won the election and THANK GOD. I honestly had a good feeling about it this time around, but I was basically up all week that week watching the maps. I was awake to see Michigan and Wisconsin flip in real-time, which was fun. It is such a relief to know that a competent person who isn't an immoral, pathological liar, narcissist, fascist, is in charge of the country again. I feel hopeful about America for the first time in what feels like forever. Of course, Trump is being a big baby (sorry babies) and can’t admit defeat, so he’s emboldening a bunch of crazy people to go even further down the rabbit hole he’s created, for the sake of his own ego. Beyond being just plain pathetic, it poses a national security issue but he doesn’t care. Alternative facts don’t hold up in a court of law. It’s hilarious to see him and his people flailing as even his own SCOTUS picks won’t back his baseless claims. People thought a women president would be too emotional?! HA. What’s sad is seeing the number of people willing to go down with this ship, especially republicans in congress who undoubtedly know better. Trumpism is truly a cultish mindset. At what point do you start to realize it's all bs and lies? They call themselves the silent majority even though they’ve never won the popular vote and never seem to shut the f up. I’m so ready for it to be done. Every reality show runs its course.
I saw on the news today that Joe Biden might consider canceling student debt via executive order, which would help me immensely as I try to pay off my student loans on top of the personal loans I took out for my music. Hoping that becomes a reality, but we’ll see. Regardless, I feel like the country will at least be stabilized, not perfect by any means but at least not careening off an abyss. We have the opportunity to heal the wounds of the past and create a better world, but if Trump has shown us anything it's that we're definitely not as far along as we may have thought we were. All this hate and ignorance wasn't created by him, only emboldened, and we'll still need to reckon with it even after he's long gone.
I’m also getting started on my EP, which is really exciting. Right now, my producer and I are demoing the top ten songs we selected of everything I’ve written in Nashville so far. Next we’re going to get feedback from fans and narrow it down to five. It’s a very fun process.
I have my first performance event in months, it’s a live stream. It made me realize that I am rusty after not having played live in a long time. I felt myself sing more pitchy. This makes me feel bad and guilty like I should have utilized my downtime better to practice and perfect not only my voice but my ability to play guitar. I am proud of myself for still putting myself out there thought. I know I am capable of being a better singer because I can hear when I’m off. I wish I could afford voice lessons, but at this point financially it makes more sense to invest in other areas.
Speaking of investing I am looking for a music business coach. I feel like I've done a lot for myself over the past two years, but now I need someone to guide me in using my resources in the most effective way. I want to reverse engineer myself to a stadium tour. (this is my day job getting in my head) but think about it, every champion has a coach or a mentor, every Luke has an Obi-Wan, and maybe that’s what I need to get to the next level.
I still need to send my single to playlists and radio stations but life has just gotten really fast. I feel like the pace is picking back up. As much as I’ve missed feeling productive and moving the needle, I find myself stressed and tired from having to wake up early. I feel like I have opportunities at my fingertips but not enough time in the day to seize them all, which is frustrating. My to-do list never ends.
I’m likely not going home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I’m so frustrated with all the selfish a******* who won’t just wear a mask and stop going to bars. I don’t get to see my family that much and now I get to see them even less.
Stressed but hopeful seems to be the theme for this month. I have a lot of good things in motion, I just feel like I’m getting back on a treadmill after recovering from broken legs. The hum of my life is coming back, but I'm also going stir crazy because I never leave my apartment unless it’s for groceries. It blows my mind to still see people out playing like there’s no pandemic and the gaslighting is ridiculous. Things are getting worse, not better, yet people act as if we can just open. I can sympathize with the musicians who have no other choice because our government has been terrible about giving unemployment to gig workers, but those of us who can afford to stay home should be doing so, it's ridiculous.
I’m building a following on TikTok and might get paid for it soon. That’s been really fun.
……… *new note
I felt like I was getting back into the speed of my life, but just like that, it came to a halt again. I recently found out that my producer’s roommate tested positive for covid. My producer and I have been very cautious and have pretty much stayed in our apartments, but I guess that same could not be said of others. I was at my producer’s on Tuesday because he played guitar for me for a Livestream, which was the first musical event I’ve played since March. I am not kidding when I say I never leave my apartment.
I never had direct contact with the roommate in question, so unless my producer already got it from him I’m likely fine. I have no symptoms, but got tested and am quarantining anyway in order to keep my own roommates safe. I have been keeping to my room. It’s only been two days and I already feel like I’m going crazy.
I have a lot of time with my own thoughts to dwell on my situation and for my anger to fester. I don’t have to be dealing with this. We don’t have to be dealing with this. New Zealand is already back to having music festivals. The very people who don’t want to be locked down and told what to do are the very reason it will likely keep happening and be prolonged.
I’m so frustrated with it. Wake up, people. Masks work. It’s such a simple task, and you’d rather deprive me of my livelihood than do what is common sense? It’s ridiculous. You’re being children, I’m over it.
Imagine if people had this attitude during WW2. I imagine we’d have had a very different outcome.
Waiting periods are the worst.
It’s the helplessness of the unknown, the fact that you’ve done everything imaginable to avoid this situation, sacrificing the joys of life for nine months, being gaslit by the ones going about business as usual, and in the end, it doesn’t even matter.
You’re alone, and you’re missing Thanksgiving, the first time you’d ever spend it without your family. You wish you could just cuddle your dog. You want to go outside.
You have all day to dwell and be paranoid. Is it getting harder to breathe or am I just anxious?
On top of all that, you’re getting s*** (no pun intended) for needing to use the bathroom. People in your household are ignoring you, and excluding you from the conversations about how best to DEAL with you.
I’m likely not sick. I don’t believe that I am, but I couldn’t imagine feeling this alone and also feeling sick. Not at the same time. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to face it because this short time has already been enough for me. This is horrible.
Please just wear your f****** mask.
Well, that seemed pretty bleak, didn’t it? Oh boy. I can really go for the melodrama when I’m in my feels. I’m not going to water it down though or try to soften the narrative because those were my real thoughts at that time, and that’s what this blog is about. I did leave it off with quite the cliffhanger. The funny thing about feelings, you feel a lot more inclined to journal about them when they’re negative. When things are going well, I tend to be out there living in it than writing it down.
As I said previously, I didn’t make it home for Thanksgiving. I actually wanted to and was even mad that my parents didn’t want me to after only being around one other person (my producer.) Turns out they were right, and I would have felt HORRIBLE had I brought covid home to them. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and I was almost sorry. Instead, I ended up ordering Postmates from a local restaurant that thankfully had a Thanksgiving special. I ate dinner in my room with my family over zoom. However unconventional it was still a fun time.
Thankfully, my covid test came back negative, so I was ok. My roommates and I worked out some clear protocol for what to do if someone in the house gets covid, which is something I recommend everyone do. Things are a lot less personal and emotionally charged that way.
After staying in my apartment for two weeks to be safe, I did return to IL for Christmas. I left during that sweet spot between those returning from Thanksgiving and before leaving for Christmas, avoiding the holiday rush. My dad’s airline job allows me to fly standby and strategically pick flights that are relatively empty. Planes themselves are actually pretty safe due to their special air filters, airports though, not so much. I even ditched my checked bag in order to avoid waiting in a long line. I will say, people, are a lot more careful and wear their masks a lot better in Illinois than Tennessee. I definitely gave a lot of people angry side-eye while waiting to board.
My family is living in a bubble. We don’t go out in public for anything, not even wine anymore, it’s all delivery or pick-up. I’ve been working remotely, and have even been able to record some performances and do some interviews, which has been good. I’ve even done a couple of cowrites.
Christmas was nice and lowkey this year. Usually, we have a big family party for Christmas Eve, but that was also reduced to a zoom session. It’s nice being home though, if only for a change of scenery. I only leave my apartment in Nashville for walks and groceries, and I’ve been living that way since August. I miss going out and performing every day.
I will likely be staying in Illinois for a while, due to TN becoming a new covid epicenter, and my roommate catching it (even when she’d been careful.) I always feel like I’m barely escaping it's clutches with these close calls. With vaccines on the way, I really don’t want to get it at this point. I’m going to do everything I can, but there’s only so much I can do, especially when so much of the population STILL Isn’t taking it seriously.
The problem with that is that it puts my EP on hold. My producer and I were doing really well making these demos, now I’ll have to wait, which makes me worry because I don’t want to wait two years to get this out, but I also don’t want to rush it.
And of course, on top of a tornado and the pandemic that devastated our live music scene, Nashville wakes up to a bomb on Christmas morning. Seriously, what the hell. The place where it happened was a five-minute drive from my apartment. Luckily all of my friends were safe, but it’s still bizarre and leaves us all feeling uneasy. If you can, please try to donate to the businesses affected. They have already been struggling.
I think that just about gets you up to speed on everything that's happened since my last post.
In conclusion, 2020 was rough, but I also think it laid the groundwork for a lot of good things to come in 2021. I’m hopeful, and I can’t wait to go out and play in public again. I have a lot of plans that I haven’t told you about yet (and if you want to be the first to know, get on my email list!) one of those plans is to do these blog posts more frequently so they don’t have to be so long.
Wishing you a safe and happy new year. Please stay inside and wear a mask. catch you on the flip side!