Best Advice In Awhile

Do you ever have a moment where someone or something makes you realize exactly why you do what you do, or challenges you to be the best version of yourself? Because I'm starting to have more of those moments with each passing day. 

Let me first start by explaining a little about myself (and to each their own perspective- I'm not one to judge). I'm a Christian- have been since a kid, and I won't deny Christ in life or death, simply because I've had way too much happen to me that has God written all over it, which I'll happily explain further sometime. However, I'm also a little bit of a hippie, and because I believe God is the creator of the universe, I also believe, to an extent, that there's gotta be something to this Astrology thing. Keep in mind, I'm no expert on Christianity, nor Astrology, nor will I ever claim to be, but from my perspective, if God created the universe, why wouldn't He have a rhyme or reason for the stars and their alignment? Regardless of your answer to that, according to Astrology, my sign is that of a Capricorn, and to be honest, the more I read up on it, the more I realize I have never found a more accurate explanation of myself in my entire life. By learning about myself, I've inadvertently come to realize things I need to work on both as an artist and as a human being. 

For starters, Capricorns tend to be workaholics and perfectionists. My writing this at 1:27am, which is actually a tad early for me, is really no mistake as I'm planning on using my night to get more work done, since with the house and neighborhood quiet, I can clearly focus on the tasks at hand. I have a habit of getting so overwhelmed with work that I forget to let people in, and I'm starting to realize that's both great for productivity and a mistake in other areas, as I'm running into old friends these days and finding myself at a loss of anything to talk about with them other than work. I will admit sometimes I feel a little left out when nothing is "normal", since my life tends to be far from it. I forget sometimes that I need to vocalize how appreciative I am of everyone who has helped me along the way, be they a friend, family member, former boss, or colleague. I forget sometimes to vocalize my opinions and emotions outside of a lyric book, and sometimes it backfires or is simply too late. I forget sometimes that it's okay to just go do the thing that looks fun, and not just the thing that could help my career. And I forget sometimes that it's perfectly okay to just put down the work and enjoy the view, wherever or whenever it is I might be. 

Another common trait of Capricorns I've definitely noticed in myself, which I'm guessing by now you've picked up on a little bit, is that we tend to be pessimistic, or in simpler terms, our own worst critic. The way my mind works is that I am constantly setting goals for myself, and if for whatever reason I'm not hitting them how I expect them to, or if something, one way or another, isn't going to plan, I am guilty as sin of being my own worst critic, seeing first what I don't have before realizing what I do. And being someone who also struggles with anxiety and depression, that's generally not a great combo. But at the same time, I keep in mind that someone, somewhere, sometime- maybe even my future kid(s)- may come across this, and to them I might be their example, and that is what helps most in keeping my head and spirits up to keep pushing forward. I'm most visibly guilty of this whenever I go up to the stage and take the mic as an artist, because that's not some character I was hired to play up there as an actor. That's not some brand I'm representing as a model. That's me, pouring my heart and soul out for everyone in that audience, and being vulnerable has always been incredibly difficult for me. It's so easy to play a character or a mannequin because I've left my guard up for so long, that whenever I'm in a position where I'm myself, I'm immediately an onion- solid, full of layers, and to some, leaving them with tears with each passing piece- while wondering if they're satisfied with who I am at the core. 

It's these kinds of realizations that recently led me to (finally!) do the thing that was fun and treat myself to a concert. Not just any concert though- one I realized about 20 minutes into it I had needed for a long time- New Years Day, In This Moment, and Halestorm. I'd needed to see strong women who weren't systematic-scantily-clad owning themselves and their talents on a stage in front of hundreds of people. I'd needed to see women who weren't afraid of calling people out for their shit, supporting one another, and relating to a crowd who were genuine and authentic about everything coming out of their mouthes. And I'd needed to hear exactly what Ash Costello (New Years Day) told me after the show, which was, when it comes to my stage anxiety, when it comes to being vulnerable with people, and more importantly when it comes to my issue with worrying how people are going to handle me whenever I'm being myself- "Fuck 'Em!" Simple. Blunt. And genuinely the most refreshing advice I'd heard in awhile. 

In everything I've done in the last few years, I've constantly sought the advice of others more experienced than me in nearly every detail of how I've behaved, and because I've tried living so close to everyone's idea of saleable, or perfect, or "the ideal artist", I've kinda lost track of who I am, to an extent, in the process. While the Capricorn mentality is great for collecting and retaining these kinds of details, it's been bad for me in the sense that there have been times I've compared myself to other artists in my moments of self-criticism, and I know that's not healthy because everyone's story is going to be different. No two paths will ever be identical, and honestly, that's okay because all of us were blessed with different talents. So some of the things I've done in the past are being scrapped with this re-branding as an artist, and instead of a manufactured reality, you're going to be getting me- a range of emotions in music, brutal honesty in my posts and lyrics, and quite honestly, altogether you'll be handling the most random "onion" you've ever faced in your life. And while there is a part of me that is absolutely terrified to take that step (INFJ too- did I mention that?), it's honestly the best one when all the cards are on the table. 

And while this is certainly giving you guys insight on how my mind works since this blog entry has gone all-over the place, my point in writing this was simply to share that whoever you are, wherever you are, whenever you might be reading this: it's perfectly okay to be you. You'll be much happier being yourself than you ever will be being someone else. And if anyone thinks that who you are is wrong for any reason- "Fuck Em!" <3

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