Blogging in the age of social media seems strange to me, but I find myself feeling less and less inclined to take up bandwidth on those forums. Somewhere between the pandemic and the onslaught of never-ending bad news since, I burnt myself out on connecting in that way. I'm not sure writing a blog and cross-posting it is a much better means of staying connected with folks, but since we can't all just regularly meet in a diner these days, just imagine I'm sitting across from you right now eating a gigantic burrito. Let me help you picture it:
If you haven't heard, my life has shifted focus a dozen times over in the last few years. I moved to Michigan in March 2020, a week shy of the shutdown. I had a part-time job with the local community theatre and high hopes that I would integrate into the Ann Arbor/Detroit arts scenes. Obviously, that didn't happen. I spent much of my time in 2020 trying to find a steady source of income from a computer. It wasn't a smooth transition, considering I had always had gigs, independent contractor opportunities, and occasional restaurant work to rely on as backup. During this time, I realized I had very few applicable skills for REAL jobs. Or at least, what folks refer to as real jobs. I eventually landed a part-time administrative job in child welfare. Next thing I knew, I was working full-time and attending grad school remotely for an MPA. Talk about a 180° shift.
It's only been recently that I've gotten my creative mojo back. I think most people feel like they simply survived 2020-2021. I still feel like the world is moving 100mph and not reconciling with the collective traumas we endured. People died. I lost three people in 2020, including both of my grandparents with whom I was extremely close. It's hard to feel much like writing or even getting out of bed when you're physically and emotionally exhausted. I wish I could say I was one of those artists who naturally channels grief and chaos into creation, but I tend to shut down. I go into my energy reserves and then reflect later. I know it's already 2022, but I'm still reflecting. The before times feel like a lifetime ago. I'm rediscovering myself and it's messy, but it's also empowering. Who knew I was capable of so many things? I sure as hell didn't. I took this picture when I felt like I was splitting into two pieces of a whole:
Those pieces are reconfiguring into a new me. Someone who embraces all conflicting identities as valid. I realized recently that there is no singular path that I have to follow. Life isn't that simple. I love the myriad of experiences I have already had and I can't wait to see who I am in 30 years.
Anyway, that's where I've been, or more importantly, where my mind has been. I'm writing poetry often and I've written a few songs, including a few with my good friend Adam Reifsnyder. I have plans to release them in due time. I have a few gigs slated for the fall. I hope I get to see you soon. Remember to be kind to yourself. The unprecedented times are now precedented, but just because it's normal now doesn't mean it's easy.