Progress, when perfection is literally impossible.

Hello. I am learning so much about myself, it hurts.

Like how am I a perfectionist AND so sloppy at the same time?

Perfection is the most misunderstood thing in creative people.  And we’re all creative people.

The dream of perfection doesn’t create great stuff, it creates panic and stalling out and fear.

The FUN of doing, creates great stuff.

I think.

Soooooo last week I got into it…recorded 18 scratch tracks…well, almost done tracks, in varying degrees.  Of 18 songs I love, in varying degrees.  From age 18…jk, from 16 or so, thru 24 maybe?

And now, coming home from Chicago a few days ago, after a little vaca for 24hrs, I can’t get back into it. I’m trying, but I’m so F-ing overwhlmed.  Listened to all 18 on the drive and took notes and its so much. Maybe I need to do it again. Calmly. Not while a road trip is happening. Just for fun. Fixing only what I write down, leaving the rest.  Otherwise the current solution is to cut like 1/2 the songs. No one cares if I do this challenge (I think?) or if they do, some fans do, they don’t care or even KNOW which songs I’m planning, or if I cut some, unless I tell them…

So why this ANGST!?!


The dream of perfection.

The dream of a dream acheived, a goal realized.

Once the 18 songs filled out in my head, the only thing that would make me fully happy, was all 18 being gold.

That’s. CRAZY.

I just said to a close friend of mine…I’m getting sick of myself.  Sort of haha.

Meaning, I’m only sort of kidding.

I’m sort of not kidding.

I’m getting sick of these endless ideas, that CREATE WORK FOR MYSELF.

I don’t like working, since when did I think I do?

Why don’t I develop a process that feels like PLAY?
Since these likely won’t make money, beyond $10 here or there? Way less than any minimum minimum wage, in any culture…we sweat and bleed our art, and are thankful for $20 a year, or ooh $20 a month, or if we’re on our best behavior, maybe we’ll play a show with a $150-200 minimum guarantee? But there are contracts and ticket sales, and we’ll practice 10 times for said show…it’s CRAZY.

The whole field is crazy and not a field. We are entertaining our friends. Our families. We are healers. Healing hearts and minds. Hoping someone is listening, that it matters. It may not. Mostly it does not, to most. But to a few, it matters a ton. They are inspired, to become makers. And that matters.  If YOU became more of a maker, through watching me make? Then that is gold.

But WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY the challenges?
I’m as mad as he-who-I-don’t-name in an office he can’t handle?
These challenges are like me matching the energy of the world right now, to point out its madness?!?!

This is not for fun.

This is because I feared dying in a car crash someday, with “all this music in me.”  This was before the 365 songs…when I had that thought.
Honestly (not to wish this) but if I died now, you’d all have more than enough of me…provided Bandcamp or YouTube don’t collapse and throwaway my lifes work.  Well, whatever it’s on 3 backup drives…check with Bryan or my parents or sister or brother if you miss me when I’m gone.  But maybe I’ll live til I’m 80, that’d be cool too…except for all the aches and pains. But if I’m here, I’ll be playing and making music I’m sure.

I miss writing. My emotions are backed up. Working so hard on these albums that I have no time to write 😦 😦 😦

That’s probably a lot of my angst.

Also these songs are heavy emotional and powerful and angry, and I’m reminded of a fragmented piece of myself that I MISS.  I don’t know where she went, been hiding her…trying to be good, and I skewed too far I guess.  Trying to say the right things and be all things to all people and see the good in absolutely everyone and everything, it’s exhausting. I believe in it, as a sanity builder and way to not self-destruct, but it definitely detaches you from some of your truth. Why are all my favorite people blunt and powerful truthtellers?

Anyway…my sister just moved to Colorado. Like, today. With her whole family. I’ve been a mess about this in my heart since May when we talked about it. Knowing I’d see them less often…or maybe that I’d just have to make more money or plan more traveling work, like library gigs and workshops, anything that pays, en route to Colorado (Iowa friends, I’ll be writing again soon)…

I don’t know. I’m tired of being spread thin. I’m sure we all are. I’m sure almost everyone I know is doing too much. It’s just that, mine is self-imposed.  I wish I could explain to you what it feels like to get older, having written 1000 songs or more, and feel like you didn’t do enough, or aren’t doing enough, with your life…like there’s all this work inside you, to do.  Like you could assign it to yourself, but how would you hold yourself accountable? Then you’d keep letting yourself down, failing at deadlines made, asking a friend to record, being rejected once and then giving up for a year…on and on. Trying things once, getting a no, turning your back on it and making an excuse for why it wasn’t what you wanted anyway.

Clearly I don’t have business-related tenacity. And I’m learning I CAN do studio work, it’s just really tiring for me. Last year, hitting record and making sloppy videos for YouTube, was so much fun in comparison. Maybe that was hard too and I just don’t remember. Maybe I’m just depressed right now.  Maybe I need a break, but I feel like I take lots of breaks and its not making this feeling go away.

Maybe this challenge is too hard.

Maybe I’m breaking.

Maybe it’s the working on past music, when that wasn’t part of the original agreement.

Maybe I don’t want to be releasing past songs…and something got in there and redirected me, in my mind, and now I’m regretting it, but it’s too late to go back and release the 2014 and later trauma songs instead…

I thought I’d never open the vault of Chicago songs, and pre-Chicago songs.  I’ve included ones from 9-11, written right after, while living a mile from the trade center and not allowed to go home.  Moving out with all my stuff on my back, after being threatened by a locksmith that he could come in any time he wanted…he had a special key.

Being date raped, manipulated, losing faith in everyone and everything…I can’t handle, perhaps, all the emotions swirling around me, from all of these songs.  They span 7 or 8 years, and my hardest years at that.  And I never play them, never sing them, but never forgot them.

And now in one month, I dig up my closets, intentionally looking for them?!?!  Relearn them?  Sing them all, in my now-voice. Even learned to replay those piano parts. And was EXCITED ABOUT IT?!?  Felt good, like HEY it’s a good album…doo di doo…

Then listened to it all, as we drove to Chicago on Saturday. Hung out with a friend, acted not like myself, missed the city,  ate ramen, dreamed of moving back, because I never meant to move to Michigan anyway, glad for people I’ve met but so many mixed emotions about being here…and then came back, and swipe hands together, just expected myself to get to work on the album, like its some desk job? Some nuts and bolts thing, instead of the resurrecting of a piece of myself, an attempt to heal, a hope for change, a chance to reintegrate who I AM.  When I was most sad, most angry, but most of all, MOST HURT.

I suffered so many horrific things, back to back, head thrown into floors repeatedly…too many disgusting things that I allowed other humans to do to me…and poof now I’m fine, and here I am, and I am okay with men even tho so many men abused me. Just as many woman have broken me emotionally too, almost all my friendships have failed or been lacking (often on my end)…so I don’t need to hate one gender. I know tons of beautiful men too, who have been kind and listened for hours and days and years, as this all healed.  So it’s specific souls. Broken angry hateful souls, who in their pain, act out against others. And I’ve attracted them. And I’m tired. And I’m isolating. And in my self-imposed isolation, with only a trusted few around me, I’m lonely and bored and shaming myself into extra work to bring all this into the world…thinking it’ll help someone.

Does my blog help anyone? I can’t imagine who. I’d be horrified to read this, if I knew me in a different context (hope those who do just look away, instead of judge…this challenge is destroying me, but hopefully I can put myself back together after all this breaking apart, I think so, I know so, I hope so…yea, it feels inspired and everything I’ve ever done that feels inspired has led to monumental healing and massive changes and true forgiveness, I’m just in a down place because it’s official…

I’m expecting too much of myself.)

There I said it.

Everyone who knows me well, knows that to support me is not to badmouth the challenge, no matter how bad it gets…encouraging me to quit it would make it worse.  Tho one or two times last year, people proposed alterations. I even did. But then I kept going.

I’m going to reassess tomorrow.

Maybe listen to these 18 songs again.

See if this one is worth it, or if I just want to release an EP on July 31st (WITHOUT feeling like a failure).(somehow I’d have to convince myself that it doesn’t mean I failed)

I miss talking into a phone camera, smiling and being funny during check ins.

This is more serious, and more sad.

I feel so self-involved, and honestly I am.

To do all this work, that comes out of your own brain, involves a level of self-involvement that even I can’t muster, and I like myself.

It’s too solitary, too alone, too sad…I dunno.
Maybe I’m not introverted enough to work alone so much, always checking outside for validation because even tho I don’t know how to write with others (ideas pour out of me too fast – I don’t know how to make room musically for many ideas, unless they are as fast as mine)(maybe I just made that up…I dunno, collaborating is hard for me, always has been…), I want to be connected to others.  Always.

Gah…this is too sad to post.

Or wait, last year almost every check-in video during the 365 songs felt sad.

And I did it, for posterity.

Deep sigh. Okay. Here you go, whoever is reading. All 3 of you. And honestly, if you’re not a fan of my music, I don’t get why this interests you. Or even if you are. But trying to be a “real boy” so …this is me.


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