So, I entered this unsigned artist showcase competition...
...and I made it to the TOP 24.
I am blown AWAY.
To be selected from I don't know how many entries as an artist with potential means more than I can explain.
To be honest, I often struggle with whether or not I ought to pursue music.
Playing/writing/singing/performing is simultaneously the most freeing and terrifying thing I've ever done.
I bare my all out there and feel immensely inadequate, and yet, I'm always pulled back into it.
It's like a compulsion.
I HAVE to make music.
Entering this contest was a step in that direction.
A leap of faith.
I only need to make it to the final four to reach the next stage of voting.
Will you join me?
I played at Yankie Creek Coffee House yesterday.
New songs. Old songs. Others' tunes.
While singing the hymn, "I'll Fly Away," I heard some soft humming along.
I didn't know what to expect when I invited everyone to sing the chorus with me.
So many voices.
in the morning.
When I die
Hallelujah by and by
Part of my journey of returning to self involves journaling.
At night, when my mind runs most rampant, I settle it by trying to articulate everything that's swimming around. All my anxieties, my burdens, my goals, my observations...
I write out my prayers.
Lately, in spite of my fears of how to navigate this new state of things for myself, I find myself writing out praises. Words of thanks. Gratitude.
I am grateful for the mist that hangs low in the morning.
For the home I've been given.
For the darkness before the sunrise, when everything is quiet and still.
I am grateful for the ritual of sipping my coffee, wearing wool socks, and curling up on my couch.
For the sound of turning pages, for listening, for thinking.
I am thankful for rest.
I feel like my life is experiencing this great exhale in preparation for taking in something new.
I am being readied for more space to create and observe and express.
And I'm grateful.
Grateful for all of it.
For those of you who don't know, I recently stepped down from my position as project coordinator for the Silver City CLAY Festival. After working on this event since it began in 2012, the time came for change.
This job offered me numerous opportunities in the realm of non-profit work and explorations in developing creative economy. I had the chance to assist internationally known artists, touch their work, assist in gallery exhibitions, do web design and digital media work, and facilitate collaboration between local and regional organizations. It was incredible.
Amid such benefits, challenges arose in the form of stress. Lack of balance. Exhaustion.
I have this uncanny knack of internalizing pressures, anxieties, and stresses to the point of physical consequences - thus, my body has truly taken a toll these last three years in particular.
Creatively, music and art took a back seat to needed sleep and rest when available. I sort of fell out of sync with myself. Out of balance. The things I love most (painting on my porch, songwriting, strumming my guitar, hiking) fell away. It took me a while to notice.
Now, I've been given an opportunity to return to self. To gather back to me my passions, my energy, and my purpose, and to use the abilities God gave me for Him. I'm making the time to rest, to create habits to address my anxiety, to be present, to take creative risks.
Saying goodbye to the festival was not easy, but it was the best thing for me.
Now, I can't help but feel blessed. Music opportunities are flourishing; I have energy to address the many tasks and goals I've let pass for some time. It feels good.
If you can relate at all, I encourage you to take a moment and reconnect with what drives you. What do you find truly satisfying in this life? Where can you seek it out? How can you identify your giftings and utilize them to the best of your ability?
It's a journey, to be sure, but the best kind.
P.S. - This book spoke to me: The Crossroads of Should and Must
P.P.S. - My sweet friend, Codi Lynn Lark, has a heart to help people reconnect their passion with their purpose and is going to start coaching folks regarding this pursuit. Contact her if you're interested!