This has been a crazy week. It has been filled with high highs and low lows and everything in between. I've spent every free minute I've had cutting out starfish, spray painting Hawaiian flowers, painting beach sand and filling grab bags. When I haven't been crafting I've been thinking deep thoughts and wondering what comes next. I've been waiting tables and folding laundry and going to meetings and wishing I had a free day so that I can finish writing the three songs that keep circling and swirling and waiting for me to move.
Last week I was in Kansas City for Folk Alliance. I've been meaning to write about it here in my blog, but I've needed a few days to process it all. Here's my review in a nutshell:
I went to Folk Alliance and spent most of the time overwhelmed and under prepared and asking myself what I was doing there. I had the best roommates a girl could ask for and, if it weren't for them, I may have packed up and driven home. I played four showcases, three of which were to an audience of, at the most, 4 people. The fourth showcase was in the round with Alice Peacock and Emily White and the room was packed. After complaining about how no one heard my music, when I finally found myself in front of an audience I was pretty nervous.
In my off moments I took comfort in songwriting. The first day I took a song prompt from a jar. I figured that even if I couldn't network very well or get anyone to pay attention, well, at least I could write a song and feel like I was making progress on some level. I kept telling myself that it's normal to feel overwhelmed. It's normal to feel out of place and that next year would be better. It's the kind of thing that takes time.
As Sunday morning rolled around I reminded myself of my goals: play more gigs, get more fans, earn more money and then make a record. Even if I didn't get any more fans at Folk Alliance, well, I've got lots of gigs lined up back home and one gig at a time, one fan at a time is pretty much how it works.
Sunday morning was light in the breakfast room, but the coffee was hot and the breakfast was bigger than a pastry and slowly the room filled up with people. I waited my turn, I sang my song with my roomies in the front row and as I walked off stage a lady from SWRFA asked if I had ever entered New Folk and she encouraged me to do so. OK, I will do it.
I drove home and cried. I came back to regular life and a broken dryer and then on Monday I got an email from a new friend I had met in KC asking if he could pitch one of my songs to a friend he has in Nashville who is looking for material. OK, that sounds great to me!
So life doesn't wait for us to get ready. We're not ready for when the bad stuff comes and we're not ready when the unexpected good stuff shows up either. Life just keeps on going and moving and it hits us without warning- both in a good way and in a bad way. This week I got both doses. The lesson I've learned is to give thanks, say yes, be gentle and keep on going.