Over a month since checking in for real. They are redoing our roof today at the house so, no recording and no listening. A Blessing in disguise. I wanted to take a second a write a little update about what’s been going on in my world, and all the lessons hidden in everything around. Some big. Some small.
I turned 26 this month. What a thought to be closer to 30 than I am to 20. I still feel 22 in most ways, just with more responsibility and less safety nets. Less people who are checking in on me, less people pushing me to grow. The world grows bigger and less attentive to my problems. Old things dying, pushed into their graves by the new and the unknown. It’s almost as if over the last three years, I’ve set out on an adventure of my soul… learning about what’s really in there, and figuring out who I am when no one’s looking/watching or caring. It’s a terrifying journey, but such a crucial one. As I’ve unturned the stones in my own heart, I’ve found more treasures and more bugs than I could have ever imagined… and am thankful that I’ve uncovered those dark places. Because it is true what they say… what is brought into the light loses its power.
I am continuing to work slowly and carefully on “Never A Waste”. I looked at my google calendar and saw my original release dates for everything. HA! What was I thinking?! I was hoping to have this out by late March of this year, but as it turned out, I am needing much more time and space to create this work the way I want. I have finished one song, which I believe will be the single, and am exploring the master now. I am finishing tracking on the second “batch” which I will have mixed in Knoxville and Nashville. Next week, I’m going to spend a week up in Nashville mixing a few of the songs from the record with my friend Kevin Dailey, who I look up to very much. I can’t wait for this week of exploration and growth. The others are being mixed by Garrett Sale who is killing the game so far! Originally, I was going track, perform and mix everything, but I have realized the value of letting it go and letting some fresh ears hear the songs at that point. As I’ve already experienced, it is easy to get overly obsessive with small details of the process and you can easily start to feel like you’re going crazy. It’s like trying to put together a puzzle where if you move one piece, all other 999 move slightly too… and eventually you realize it will never be truly done. Sounds fun right? Making an album is both the best of and worst of times.
But all that aside, I am learning how to wait and how to be patient during this process. I always want things to happen overnight, but am being forced to slow down, work slowly and faithfully, and not rush the end product. What’s hard is that I’m just so excited for everyone to hear this album. I believe in these songs and what they might mean to some people out there! So, thanks for waiting with me yall, I think it will be worth it.
The studio is boomin. I have a lot of incredible projects on the horizon that I am excited to work on and so far in 2019, I have been blown away at the specialness of this place. I’ve gained some of my best friends through this studio and have had some incredible moments with my artists. The house has become a little cocoon of creation. I’ve spent hours and hours and hours in this room, mining into new things with my friends, discovering sounds, discovering new thoughts and new ways of creating. I am watching the people around me blossom, take risks, and really go for it with their music and it is such an honor to be a small catalyst in those steps.
Extra Credit: Ups & Downs
In the spirit of vulnerability, sharing life, and sharing lessons… my extra credit as always. (If you’re new to the blog, I try to include little extra credits at the end of each post, as a reward to the readers out there). I had an experience last week where I broke in half. Right in the middle of everything going seemingly “well,” I had a moment where all the things I had taken on and said “yes” to, overwhelmed me and brought me to my knees. I woke up last Thursday, went to the studio as usual, and then my mind began unraveling. I began to think about all the things I had to get done, all the people I had to answer to, all the things I was dropping the ball on, and all the people I would eventually disappoint. And in that moment, all of these things I hadn’t tended to in my spirit came in all at once and I felt like I couldn’t breath, think, or wrap reasoning around my worries. It was like a tunnel was coming in around my mind and I was paralyzed. This was such an awakening moment for me, as I realized, I had given every last inch of myself away to the people around me, to planning things, and to the tasks at hand. I was burnt to a crisp. So from there, I took some time away from work and from my phone and computer and tried to understand what was happening. This never happens to me…I’m not an “anxiety” person. I’m a happy person. I can handle all things… and on and on and on… trying to run from the truth about what just happened. And I’m still doing that. But, all this to say, I’m in a process right now of learning that more is not always better, and that if I don’t rest, I will crash. And in a larger sense, being at peace with the Ups & Downs of life. It is just inevitable. This is a part of it. Sometimes we get broken down. It happens. But these are wonderful opportunities to take steps back, re-evaluate, and adjust. It is actually a good thing to come to the end of yourself, to be brought to your knees, to realize your inability and your limits, because it is there that God meets us in a really special way. The journey of growth is a see-saw between being shattered and being pieced back together. It’s as if the same pot needs to be shattered over and over again, the shards growing smaller and smaller, to increase its resolution. This is the process that we are in, the tearing down and the building back up.
I’ve learned to have grace for myself in these times. When I find that I’m not all that strong or wise or awesome as I thought I was. When I don’t have control. When I get overwhelmed and when I get frustrated. These times are the soil for something stronger to grow. I am learning to not despise the ugly and desperate parts of me, but to pay attention to them and to be attentive to the ways they leak out of me or in this case, break me down suddenly. I commit the breaking of my life to God and trust that He, as He always has done, will work through me.
There is so much fear surrounding the reality of who we are in our present state: in process. It is every person’s reality. It’s yours, and it’s mine. Learning how to live, learning what’s good, learning who we are. I’m terrified of what you might think of the confused, weak, and ugly parts of me. I’m terrified of seeming like I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. I’m afraid that if I have weak moments like I did last week, that that’ll become what you think of me. I’m afraid to admit, even to myself, that I’m not so perfect after all. But as I take a moment to remember where I was was, where I am now, and where I hope to be going, I am comforted because I see the process of my life and how everything has led me here, which helps me understand that every difficult thing before me now is also leading me forward… and that’s how it all ties together. So whether it is I am up or I am down, I move forward regardless. God moves me forward. The river moves me forward. And this is how it goes.