Goodness gracious, my dear fans and frenemies, it has been awhile.
As most of you know, my fellow artists and human beings, this past year has been, uh, how shall we say, a flipping doozy? I played my last full-rate, safe gig on 14 March 2020 and since then have been figuring out how to navigate the world as I know it in a completely different light.
In the last almost-year, I've had about 2 panic attacks per month, taught myself a little bass and ukulele, written about 50 new original songs, day drank a few times too many, tracked half of an album, connected and re-connected with a ton of amazing artists for collaborations, burned a few bridges, grown some hot peppers, and written a book. If there was a graphic for my artistic and emotional journey, it would look like a child's interpretation of a mountain range.
But here's a cool thing that's come out of this whole mess. It's going to sound silly, but it's huge for me. I discovered that I want to live. I really, really want to live. For many years, I didn't care either way. Some odd combination of being afraid of dying of Covid, along with settling into more free time with my best friend and life partner John worked like a swift and loving slap across the face.
So with that little pesky conclusion out of the way, I found myself more and more able to sit down and work on my book, my songs, my chops. I made time for the relationships that make me feel supported and refreshed and cut out the ones that left me rubbing my head, wondering why I hurt so much when I put the phone down.
I'll be 30 this year. I feel like a kid with some of these accomplishments, but they're huge for me. I've been trying to remind myself that Friendship 101 or How to Manage Anxiety for Dummies isn't really offered in school, so I'm giving myself a pass.
Another thing I've been doing, that I haven't had the chance to do much in the past few years, is reading more books. Fiction, Non-Fiction, Instruction Manuals, you name it. I'm currently halfway through "On Writing" by Stephen King. He advocates 4-6 hours of writing or reading a day if you want to be a professional writer. I figured I'd give that a try, given that I'm working on a book and writing at least a song per week. That being said, you might see more of me here.
You can expect to start seeing the body of work I've been cranking out this year soon. I've been keeping quiet about most of it, protecting it, growing my little seedlings into a garden in private for fear that some of my darlings won't survive. But I figure, who cares? At least I'm trying. That's all we can do sometimes.
Hopefully you can feast your eyes and ears on my biggest endeavors, my book and my album, on my 30th birthday. Mark your calendars for 9/22/21 if you need a whole lot of Cassandra in your life. (Ego, much?)
Right now, I feel like a spider skating down some rapids, each leg on a separate lily pad. Am I writing prose today? Poetry? Am I teaching? Streaming? Cleaning out my hard drive? Working on my website? Wallowing in self doubt? Spin the wheel, and we'll find out.
This past year, I've discovered a lot of hidden hopes, dreams, and aspirations that I thought had atrophied. I'm sitting with this treasure trove, hands dirty, and I feel overwhelmed, but I know I have work to do with them. That might mean some major changes. It might mean some minor, subtle tweaks. Whatever it means, I'm here for it. After all, this is my garden.
So, I hope you do a little digging of your own. Make time to read an extra book. Turn off stupid social media for a day. It isn't doing you any good. Don't pick up that phone call from your toxic friend. Drink water. Stretch more. Listen to a good album. You know what I mean.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay well, and stay kind.