About to embark on Album #2 (+feelings)

Hello…so I’m feeling a lot of things but mostly happy and wordy and teachy/preachy and this emotion or slew of emotions always turns on me.  Like, right now, I’ve shared so much on my friends’ facebook pages that you’d think my life is an open book.  Maybe it is at times, but not all the time.  Maybe this year it will be, all this blogging.  But I feel a strange push of energy and I THINK it’s coming from the fact that 4 shows this month being done now (all with their 10-20 hrs of prep each), I’m feeling the push of excitement to finally have time and space in my brain to REALLY dream about this year’s project…and the connections and collaborations are all melding together and I’m just getting really freaking excited to create so much.  It’ll be weird and polished and scrappy, in varying amounts, and involve working with more friends than I EVER have.  Which is scary and thrilling all at once.  Good thrilling.

Soooo here I am on what feels like too much coffee but it’s really just rest and sleep and time to dream meets one cup of coffee, and making to-do lists and existing as I am, I feel like I’m bouncing off the walls, having this free day to imagine and dream and get things done…  that’s what my skin feels like when I’m happy, and maybe you relate, how this can turn on you if not utilized well?  Like when I’ve had all this energy in the past, I often would get decision paralysis, and then not do anything “constructive” and by the end of the day, feel like I didn’t choose any one thing, and be frustrated and mopey about my projects.  These deadlines that I’ve put in place – the next ones being May 9th, May 12th, and May 20th, are staring me in the face (pre-release, video release, album release, all birthdays of friends, old and new ❤ which is fitting for my “friends” album…)

Here’s a little bit that I wrote about this upcoming project on my Patreon a few days ago…(if you want to be in my little secret private fan club, I give away stuff there and share more, or try to, or at least share things sooner like previews of songs on albums… it starts at $2/month http://www.patreon.com/jessicaintherainbow )

This past album, album 1 of 12 this year, was focused on some heavy themes…ways I’ve loved the world even when it felt like it didn’t love me back (i.e. hence ‘Misfits’).

This next album is focused on the abundance I keep finding all around me…even as a misfit I feel like I have a little tribe, or rather a ship of friends, haha, a “Friend Ship” if you will.  The more I’ve looked for it, the more I’ve found it’s always been there.  I feel more lifted up than ever, just learning what to pay attention to.

Soooo this next release will be a restored collection of many of the collaborations from 365 (for those who know Michigan music, there are ones with Fiona Dickinson, Micah from Breathe Owl Breathe, Jes Kramer, Tom Hymn, Bryan of cloudlight, Maddie Jackson, Van Lente, and more :), and maybe some older ones too, pre-365!  And even a new one or two possibly, if time allows.  

I’m calling it Friend Ship vol 1 because I hope to make a 2nd one someday that is fully in-studio and the highest audio quality possible.  But for now focusing on lo-fi stuff keeps me moving forward.  And I just plain like the sound of it if I’m honest.  Maybe you do too 🙂

That’s what is on my plate now.  I feel like I’ve had about 2 days to calm down, and relax and reconnect and re-observe what’s working and what isn’t, and I’ve (unfortunately?) used it mostly to make to-do lists and dream more about all these projects and write people about collaborations.  Like I’m a LITTLE worried already that this year of albums may leave me feeling less rested than usual, which I hope isn’t harmful for my health.

But if I’m honest, I have a TERRIBLE habit of thinking I *should* rest when I really don’t want to, and then all this hyper-excited energy would just turn on myself…when I force myself to chill when I really want to dream and work and create.  It definitely swings the other way too.  Some professionals call this “bipolar II” (less severe than Bipolar I, usually super-high-functioning and sometimes hard to detect, common in creatives and often manageable with self-care) – I did try meds once, for about 2 years, because of a really really bad (abusive) living situation at the time.  So I really needed something to keep me saner.  But over time I discovered that those meds made it so I couldn’t write songs, couldn’t really journal, or even dream properly.  In my case, since I build my life around creativity, that trade off wasn’t worth it.  So instead I’ve learned to work with the highs and lows, and honestly creating more has been an incredible solution.  That and having a *very* stable living environment.  Like truly no surprises.  I think people with my traits have a hard time finding the right partner, and I personally can’t imagine the unpredictability of something like motherhood or wild roommates.  So if you struggle with these things, my heart is with you.

So all this energy is because, I imagine, like a flood I’ve been identifying all the things I’ve put on hold – new biz cards, new tshirts, new stickers, new cases, plus I have determined the next two weeks to be the time to check in extra with my patrons, which includes sending out thoughtful lil packages and other extras, motivational videos, and something about shifting from a show-based to-do list, i.e. each show had a list for the week of the show and obvious concrete goals, to shifting back to a vague no-timeline based to-do list, is sending my mind into a cloud of “which thing to do first!” which feels very dreamy and exciting and scary and leaves a LOT of potential for me to let myself down.

And if I’m really honest, I’ve let myself down most of my life.

I don’t share about this much but I have lots of trauma in my past, and digging out from under it has been a lifelong journey so far.  I’m lucky to feel mostly hopeful and optimistic considering what I’ve been through.  And I hate talking about it because I know many other people with similar circumstances aren’t at this point or may never be.  I feel genuinely hardwired for joy, and all the bad experiences did a good job obscuring that, but underneath it all something in me has been pushing to get back there.

I dunno.  I wish I could, instead of blogging, just go around to all the people who’ve ever read anything I’ve written, and give them a hug and say it’s gonna be okay, even if it really isn’t for everybody.  Because hope has been the most transformative thing in my life.  I wish everybody had hope, or joy, but I know they don’t.

Okay well, I said I’d blog alongside this weirdo challenge.  I feel pretty freakin weird about this one, and want to sort of delete it.  But my desire to talk about just about anything is so strong right now, and it’s something that definitely gets in the way of my work ethic and creative process, or is a strange piece of it that I’ve yet to understand…like this too-many-words thing, followed by feeling unnoticed, can be misinterpreted by inner-child-me as unloved or un-needed, when really it’s just that I’m taking up a lot of freaking airwaves and I know that.  And I know that when I feel like this, I need to a) find a way to focus and get work done or b) remember to reach out to loved ones and REALLY listen to them.  Because honestly much of this hyper energy is LOVE, and I love all the people who’ve been surrounding me, and that love and joy feels overwhelming, and I should probably turn that love VERY directly onto those people who engendered these feelings in me in the first place.

Thank you to all who have made me feel so loved lately.  This month has been one of the most difficult and work-intensive of my self-motivated creative life, and it has also been the most eye-opening, enlightening, redirecting, clarifying and moving.  Like I literally feel moved to a different point on my own personal timeline, this month has felt like my usual 6-months feeling.  Sigh, if that’s what this challenge will be like, then I don’t know WHO I’ll be a year from now!!!  That’s scary and overwhelming in a weird way, hence, I’m guessing, all these feelings.

Anyway, love to all, xo and thanks for listening and sharing your truths.
Jessica

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