2014 in Review: Summer & Fall

Summer

Continuing with the Annual Review, Summer was one of the best. But again, one of the hardest. 

I was coming out of my artistic retreat, returning to "life-as-normal."

It was a jolt to be sure. Financially, I was looking for a day job. Rent had to get paid.

While at The Guild, I noticed that all my strength and energy had previously been spent on keeping myself afloat via teaching a full-time studio of students, etc. I was able to set aside my ego in order to get the sometimes dreaded "day job." 

I came back willing to put aside my "teaching success" (whatever that is) to be a better, more fully creative, citizen... I was looking forward to it.

Thus a "day job."

It was awful. I would never wish a minimum wage job like this one on anyone. Paychecks were such a blow. Yes, helpful, but they always arrived after a really bad week of customer service. That job lasted 6 weeks. I had one too many days wherein the day job prohibited me from physically being able to teach cello or have the mental stamina to write music.

There was one particular afternoon-evening full of deep, heavy, gasping, ugly cries. I broke blood vessels in my face. I finally allowed myself to grieve the loss of control in my hand. I had kept my chin up for sooo long, the day job gave me the gift of grief. Necessary, but not fun.

So I began working from home...

doing Publicity and Blog Management for a dear friend of mine's company. It was here with this job that I realized something huge: I LOVE working from home. (Read: I love being charge of my own schedule.) The work was really easy for me. It engaged enough of my creativity to actually like it, but not enough to take away from...

Songwriting

I spent most of the summer finishing the songs that will go in my full-length album (recording it now & releasing it June 2015!) My instagram is a smattering of little video clips of songs that I wrote, you should check 'em out.

My new work-from-home job even allowed me to return to attend the summer week-long Songwriting Retreat at The Grünewald Guild. Again, I am so grateful for that place. 

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to actually schedule blocks in the calendar for "Be-In-The-Studio Time." I found that all I needed to do was just get to the studio. The rest would take care of itself. All the worries, wins, and bothersome qualities of life and relationships would get poured into the piano and into the page. 

You guys. I WAS GIVEN A PIANO. I'm still totally in disbelief. It's a beautiful instrument. I love it.

Other summertime tid-bits: I went to court and got a traffic ticket dismissed! Played some wonderful concerts and shows (Yay! Shelby Earl, Adam Levy, Mike Sempert, Kye Alfred Hillig)


Summer was a healing period of down-time spent gathering courage, facing new feelings, conquering new challenges - accompanied by sunbathing in the backyard. ;)


Fall

Most fresh on my memory, and also most life-altering was getting laid off in September. 

The concept of the full-time day job did not last long. I had a few more ugly cries, this time angry that this idea of "stability" from someone other than myself does not exist.

The bad stuff sometimes makes room for the good stuff.

and I'm kinda ruined. I've been mostly self-employed for the last decade and thusly spoiled by my "free" schedule.

So I cried one last tear. I summoned what was left of my strength and sent a few scary emails titled: "I'm gonna go for it. Am I crazy?" Turns out, yes. But not clinically so. Making a living as a musician is not a ridiculous idea for me.

My advisors, mentors, peers, and friends all told me in some form. "Yes! Go. Do it while you can." I'm unmarried, unattached, no kiddos, no mortgage... If I can't be a touring, writing, performing, ass-kicking musician now, then I never will be... especially with the biological ticking time bomb of my hand tremor.

So there it is. I made the choice: GO for it.

I emailed the best videographer-producer-sound engineer I know "Hey dude. I need an EP, like yesterday. You wanna?" Chris Jr. is the best. Low and behold 2 weeks later I released my debut live EP and the videos to match. 

Over the course of 2 months, 4 days total in studio, I wrote and recorded the first Cello Yoga album. Kirsten Wenlock is such a champ. She's a mystical musical mama. We had a fantastic time laughing and talking about life in between cello takes.

"Going for it" has humble appearances.

I continued to teach my favorite cello students, visited family in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, mini-tours up to Orcas Island, performances with friends, accepting almost any gig. ("Fee or flee" is my mantra.) Living with 9 housemates, entertaining small freelance PR clients, sunshine-y cups of mornings, and so much more loveliness...

It all begins with a rumble, deep inside the earth or a small sparkle in the sky, doesn't it? 

Thank you 2014. You have taught me well.

Now, ONWARD!