So today I feel like blogging. I used to blog. But it's been a while. When you spend as much time online AND writing songs as I do, you sometimes feel as though you've already said it all. But I realized today, that I've had a lot stewing under the surface for a while, and some observations about it are coming in clearer. So here goes.
I am a sensitive soul. My family would go so far as to say that I'm ULTRA sensitive or OVERLY sensitive. It's what sent me to therapy over twenty years ago. I confessed a lot. I cried a lot. I learned a lot. I grew a lot. Then I became a songwriter. And quickly realized that to survive, I needed an incredibly thick skin to cover my acutely sensitive soul. Easier said than done sometimes. And nothing like thinking you've got everything under control only to have something happen that knocks the wind out of you.
About a month ago, I had the wind knocked out of me. And I've been struggling to breathe ever since. Some days, I breathe okay. Other days, it feels a little like trying to breathe underwater. I hate when I feel like this because my survival mode is to stop living on the outside and do the majority of my living in my head. I suffer. My family suffers. And my path looks a little more like a carousel instead of a crooked road unfolding in front of me.
Last night, Tom and I were sitting outside under the stars talking about all the things we don't say out loud. We even made a game of it. It was kind of fun for a while. I'd name someone, and Tom would spend the next minute saying things to that person that he'd never have the courage to say. Not necessarily mean or ugly things, just honest things. Then we turned the game to ourselves. What would you say to yourself if you could say anything at all. What holds you back. Keeps you stuck. How nice are you to yourself? How much grace do you allow for your shortcomings? Or do you go too easy? Do you need to toughen up? I realized in my speech to myself, that I had let my demons loose. The gremlins had overtaken the castle.
Birthing a new CD is kind of like having a baby. You dream and scheme and prepare for months, sometimes years, and then in an instant, your baby is out there for the whole world to see. And you want every single person that hears it to think your baby is just as beautiful as you think it is. Heart on sleeve. 24/7. With a baby, everyone is going to tell you it's beautiful regardless of the truth. At least to your face. With music, you tend to get more of what people really think. And that's scary. But it shouldn't stop you from living.
Because the deal is, Heart on sleeve is the way it should be. 24/7. Knowing not everyone will resonate with your particular heart's work. But some will. The job of an artist is to find and celebrate those people that find and celebrate the art.
So my promise to myself, and to you, is authenticity and presence. I will continue to be real. I will be nervous about my CD, but I will proudly share it with you. I will continue to feel. To be happy. To lick my wounds. To be where I am. Without withdrawing or going inside. I want to live in the present. LIVE in the PRESENT. Because just like the word says, the present is a gift. But only if you're ready to live it consciously.
I discovered one of my all time favorite songs at one of my lowest points. It's by Annie Lennox. It speaks to me on more levels than I can say. But I'm thankful every time I hear it. Today it's my gift to you. So feel what you feel. Speak your truth. Don't turn and run inside. I'm opening the door. Ready to feel the rain on my face.
Darling don't you understand
I feel so ill at ease
The room is full of silence and it's getting hard to breathe
Take this guilted cage of pain and set me free
Take this overcoat of shame
It never did belong to me
It never did belong to me
I need to go outside
I need to leave the smoke
'cause I can't go on living in this same sick joke
It seems our lives have taken on a different kind of twist
Now that you have given me the perfect gift
You have given me the gift
For we have fallen from our shelves
To face the truth about ourselves
And we have tumbled from our trees
Tumbled from our trees
And I can almost...
I can almost feel the rain falling
Don't you know it feels so good
So let's go out into the rain again
Just like we said we always would