I was talking with a friend last night. In the course of the conversation this is what was said, "We always think we're being shaped by the bad stuff. By the hard stuff. What if we let ourselves get shaped by the good stuff instead? What if we let joyful things in with the understanding that beautiful things can turn us into someone new also?"
I had never thought about that until just that moment. I woke up thinking about it.
I drove down to Austin for SWRFA last Wednesday. I got back home late Sunday night. It was a magical, wonderful, amazing meeting of the music and I'm so thankful for it. I'll confess to you that I got there and people knew who I was. That's new for me. People came up to me repeatedly telling me how much they love my new record and liked my songwriting. It was beautiful to be the recipient of so much kindness and appreciation. Holy cow. Friends of mine went out of their way to help get the word out about me and my work. And when I think about it now it feels unreal. Like I was the Cinderella and, you guys, I'm forty and I don't work out that much.
Not only that I got to be surrounded by friends and discover new music and hear great musicians share their work in such a lovely, friendly supportive atmosphere. It just doesn't get much better. It was my first time at SWRFA. It won't be my last. I have so many people still to thank for it.
Tomorrow "Three Black Crows" comes out. Seriously, if for some reason, you can't get it at bandcamp or Amazon or itunes, please, email me. I'll get you. I promise. I am a real person and I want you to have the record.
This moment feels triumphant, peaceful, happy and emotional. I did it. It took me a while, but I did it. And even though we didn't start recording until March, it feels like this record's story started ten years ago. That, right there, is enough to make me cry.
I'm reading this book called, "Finish" by Jon Acuff. It's about allowing fun and imperfection into your goal setting in order to finish what you start. I think he's right. It was a hard ten years, but I kept going because I really love songwriting and I think it's fun. It feels like magic. And I completed this record because I made peace with the imperfect way in which I got here. I made lots of mistakes. I had set backs and freak outs. That's OK. The important part was that I kept going.
You should too. Have some fun. Fun should be part of your life and part of whatever it is you'd like to accomplish. Give yourself a break. No one is demanding perfection. Starting, messing up and continuing is a great way to keep going. Fear of failure should never be allowed to keep you from starting. Be like the 3 year trying to open a pudding cup. She does not stop. She might get pudding everywhere, but she's getting that pudding. And good for her. A little pudding on your hair/face/clothes/pants/ eyelashes never hurt anyone. Do it.
The record is done. You should see how much pudding I have on me. It's crazy, but it feels great.