Setting Sail

It's January 2016. As the New Year begins and I find myself amidst the buzz of resolutions and intention setting, I cannot help but feel inspired.  2015 was simultaneously a tumultuous and stagnant year for me.  After moving home to Santa Cruz to recover from the overwhelm of Los Angeles, I took a full-time job working in an office. I knew I wouldn't last long indoors every day, but I was able to convince myself that the stability would be helpful and the skills useful.  Though I lasted only a few months before the internal restlessness that has become my lifelong companion began gnawing at my consciousness, I was determined to make it work for one year.  Calendar marked, I settled in and survived. I vowed to keep my artist afloat as well as I could, but over the course of months of monotony and little sunlight, she grew weary. The flame that had guided me throughout my early twenties was beginning to dwindle, and I slowly slipped into a state of apathy.  I was wrestling with a number of other "big" issues psychologically, physically, and financially, so knew I would have to stick it out until my calendar year was over, even though I could feel myself fading into grey.  I’d been prescribed mood stabilizers after being diagnosed bipolar II in LA, and they sent me into a blurry-eyed state of emotional and intellectual lethargy.  Bit by bit, my passion for acting, playing, and creating subsided.  It was easy to ignore for a while, to simply exist in a comfortably less-than-fully-alive space, until a true moment of clarity smacked me on the head when I was traveling alone in Europe. I had taken a vacation to Lisbon, Portugal, in August, a city I had been yearning to experience for years. But when I arrived, I engaged minimally.  The hunger for experience that defined my personality and travel mindset was gone, and I wandered the winding streets of the gorgeous city without direction or desire. I recognized then, in the "city of light," that my spirit would die if I continued along the path I had chosen. It was time to leave my job.  I resisted. With all my will, I resisted. My fear manifested in the strangest ways, and I pushed off my resignation for nearly a month.  Community members told me to take my time, to stay if I needed to, but behind the screaming protests of my ego, I knew intuitively that it was time to get out. So I did.

I packed my bags as I had done so many times before in my pre-full-time life, and moved 2,000 miles across the country, to the wide-open skies of Austin, Texas.  With the intention to produce an album with a close friend, and no other plan, I settled in Austin and began practicing my much-abandoned fiddle. The transition was tough, and I was terrified in a way that had previously been foreign to me, but I knew the move was necessary. I needed space from home, and I needed to learn to trust myself again, to allow my inner artist to come out and play.

On the four-day road-trip with my Dad, I composed three songs. Within the first two weeks in Austin, I added another four to the list.  Finally, the muses were smiling upon me once again.  I felt everything shift.

It has now been a little over two months since I left my job, and in that time I’ve recorded four songs, been offered a paid studio musician gig, and performed three shows with Stellar, my brilliant band-mate, and the catalyst for my move.  Oh, and I went off one of my medications.  Finally, the grey fog that had been hovering overhead has cleared, and I know that I cannot not go back to the full-time prescription-supported lifestyle. At least not for a while. A long while. It is time for me to create, perform again, and step into ownership of my life and artistic endeavors. 

So here I find myself, in January of 2016. The year stretches before me as a curving blue ocean horizon. It appears pure and pristine, though I can sense far-off storms and maverick waves roaring. I have no projected income, nor clear path, yet I’m oddly unconcerned. I know that I have no choice other than to lift my sails, tune my compass, and set off into the open seas. I surrender to the powers that be, and give my life to the pursuit of creativity, spirit, and community.  I’ve not made any resolutions this year, other than to simply trust. Come alive again, focus my eyes on that endless horizon, do the work, and trust.