Too much: that would be the way I’d describe the past 7 to 10 years of my life.
I went from a crazy non-profit job (while I was still teaching music, songwriting and performing on the side) to full time self-employment in the arts which led me eventually to a move across the country: and grad school, and more music shows, and part-time songwriting, and releasing a book, and art/guitar string jewelry shows, and rebuilding my music teaching practice here in Tennessee – all at the same time.
And then there have been all are the voices: people in the music industry (and otherwise) who are constantly pushing me to be on this “wheel” of improvement. I should have a flawless voice, the ability to play my instruments perfectly, write my own music, orchestrate my own music, lead a band, respond well to critique, collaborate all the time, record perfectly from my own home studio, write 2 songs a day, be an expert marketer, grow my mailing list, be an expert graphic designer, website manager, blogger, gig booker, song plugger, networker, self-publisher, dynamic live performer, entrepreneur…and then I should be able to afford to give it all away for free while somehow still finding a way to make it all sustainable and profitable. And I should never ever get or be tired!
Ha. Recipe for anxiety right there. Just being real over here today that sometimes this is what it feels like being a self-employed artist.
Though I am a perpetual learner and will continue to be—there comes a time when a girl has to draw her line in the sand and say “Enough opinions. My opinion, when it comes to my own life, is the one that matters most. I want to make choices about how I’d like to spend the precious time life offers me, without the voices of others telling me want I should or shouldn’t do all the time.”
And this is how I’ve been spending my September. Free of all this. I just took a big fat, lazy break from it all and it’s been absolutely the most amazing month I’ve had in years. I’ve been busy fearlessly reclaiming my time. I’ve been recalibrating. I’ve been enjoying traveling and friends. I’ve been enjoying dating and being out on the town. But I’ve also been quiet, private and unashamedly early if I feel like I need the extra sleep. I’ve been enjoying beach volleyball, college football and going to see the live music shows of people who are not me. I’ve (of course) been music teaching still…but overall, I’ve been enjoying a slower pace and some precious time to decide what I really want to put on my plate for this next season. This month has been a real luxury and I’m soaking up every second remaining.
A toast to September! The last bit of summer and the coming fall. My best wishes to any of you who may also just need a little bit of a break. Shoot me a line.