A lot of times, when someone asks me how everything is going with my music, I respond with "Oh, you know, living the dream!" and there's a lot to that phrase. Being able to make a living with my voice and my ukulele is a huge joy, and most days I feel inspired and proud to be living and working my dream job. Of course, there are also days when its a giant source of frustration or even shame. It is a constant push for me to keep my focus on being pragmatic, professional and confident when my overall way of being tends to be pretty disorganized, casual and self critical. But this is the choice I'm making in moving forward in my creative career. If I want to make it a real business, I have to treat it like a real business. If I want to get all my needs met (personally and as a member of my household), I have to level up my JOB game, become the CEO, and let go of the nay-sayer who feels slightly inadequate talking to strangers about what she does for a living. This IS what I do and I am proud to do it. It is good work. I am supported by it. I am doing what I love.
Last month, I had a job opportunity for a great position I'd interviewed for back in January. At the time of my initial interview, I was feeling ready to pursue full-time employment on a career track, but between January and April, quite a bit had changed for me. With the music video release as my top priority during that time, I was able to line up a ton of press coverage, more than I'd had in years. A lot of people were reaching out to me for performances and I was also filing my taxes and saying to myself : "Alright now- its time I put on my big kid pants with music and started saving receipts for music related expenses etc." I felt charged up and ready for action, on the cusp of a new chapter in my life's story. The job reached out to me again literally the day before we released the video online. At first, there didn't seem to be a question. Job=security=benefits=consistency= YES PLEASE. Then, the video came out. In a single day, I got dozens of personal messages from people telling me how touched they were by the video, how they cried , laughed, missed home or felt proud of Norfolk. I watched as hundreds of people shared my video and said kind things about it, about me. I was floored and literally moved to tears by the sweetness of everybody. It felt like the universe affirming that yes, I should make more things that let people feel good things! Even still, my heart was torn between stability and chance, working for someone else vs. working for myself.
It finally came time for the followup meeting about the job, and as fate had it, I got there late. Already a strike against me. My potential employers inquired about my professionalism (understandably), and whether I could meet the demands of the job. I guess I'd walked in unconvinced, and they met me with the same uncertainty. Even so, I kept my chin up, stayed focused on the goal at hand, and left with my head still spinning. On my way home, I wrote a poem for the first time in probably a year. Here's what I wrote.
My hand was hard against the wheel
I pulled and nothing moved
A click, but no relief
A pressure, but no release
A gull flew by so silent
That I almost missed it
But its wing span painted a shadow dash
Across my brow
And suddenly a choice came
A bell tolled somewhere far away
and I noticed
A boat passed by
A cloud formed
An egret called out to no one
and there I was...
Adrift on the river I was made for
Coasting easy in the breeze
Alight in the unknowing ripples
I told the wind my story that morning
and knew where I was bound
I figured I'd still gave myself a night to sleep on things, but the next day I went ahead and made my decision.
I choose music.
One hundred and ten percent. With that choice, I am taking my work more seriously and building my life around a new timeline and perspective of it. I realize that this may not be forever. I realize that there may come a day when I want to change direction or pursue some other goal. For now, though, my way is clear. This route is never going to be a simple one. It comes with a different level of responsibility, diligence and integrity that few on-lookers will ever truly catch. But I'm up for the task at hand! Bring on the challenges and I shall rise to meet them with raptor talons and a heart of love.
Just a couple weeks ago, I launched my Patreon creator page, and I already feel so so lucky to have found such a cool new platform of support. Check out my video (below) on how it works, and please consider making a pledge to support my creations, or sharing my Patreon page via social media. You all are so awesome and you make this whole crazy world make sense to me. Thank you for believing and for just BEING! I'm gonna go eat a Gluten Free Pizza now.