In a grand twist of events, I found myself dining last night at the Eastland Café with my two roommates, one of their mothers, and two strangers. I had the duck. I love duck.
The strangers quickly became friends. I fell in love with these women.
I heard their stories – what brought them to Nashville, what gives them joy, what they are learning at this stage in their lives. And in turn, they asked me insightful questions – ones that, when I answered, gave me a certain familiarity with myself that I didn’t have before.
Among other things, they asked me about my musical ambitions. I sighed, and told them what I have been thinking lately: I have been so tempted to just quit doing music. To “retire.” To stop frantically scrambling for ideas, and no longer have to answer the question, “So, do you have any shows coming up?” I’ve been discouraged, and creatively dry, and lacking inspiration. Nashville is a great place to enjoy music, but a daunting place to make it. Everyone is good. The mailman is good.
But, I know, I know. The comparison game is completely feckless and futile. I’m learning this. I may be slow, but I AM learning this.
And so I opened up with these women, and told them that I’ve quietly started work on an album – what will wind up being a 6-7 song EP. It’s my first “official” recording project beyond simple demos, and will take awhile to complete since it is self-funded. But the timing is right, and the cost is worth it to me.
I’ve been looking for “a reason” to make a record – a logical justification for it, like, “Oh, I’ll make some money,” or “Oh, this will help me get a publishing deal,” or “Oh, a CD will make me a legitimate songwriter.” But when it comes down to it, my main motivation is this:
I wrote some songs, and I think it’s time for them to be heard.
And in that moment, one of these women reiterated what my mom had said to me earlier in the day: “That makes you an artist.”
After all of my soul-searching and wheel-spinning and worrying that I don’t know what I am doing with my life. After months of despondency and sleepless nights. After a lack of direction, and a desire for definition. After a lot of prayers. I still don’t have all the answers, but…
Finally. A title that fits.