In 2009 I Made An Album...
I've been sitting on something for 2 months, and even as I type, I'm still confronting my resistance about sharing it! I have used every excuse and distraction possible to avoid writing this, because what I'm about to tell and share makes me feel so vulnerable to judgement.
In 2009, I self-released an album called A Stranger Here. I was 29 years old, and it was collection of songs that I had written over the previous decade or so. I worked hard to get it made, but the final product was far from perfect. At the time, I had this attitude of "it doesn't have to be perfect, let's just get it done", which in theory is probably a good thing... but that cavalier attitude came back to haunt me when I put a permanent, unchangeable and very imperfect thing out into the world. I had never done anything like that before, and I had no idea how completely vulnerable it would make me feel.
I would listen to the album over and over, trying to hear how others heard it, and trying to see myself how others might see me. Not a healthy endeavor, if you didn't already know. In my mind, I would imagine the worst: people snickering, saying things like "what an amateur" and "this is so mediocre", or "wow, this is just kind of sad".
I sold the CD at shows, and would sort of apologize as people handed me $10. If someone said something kind about it, I would tell myself "they're just being nice".
Over the years, as I let my fears of not being worthy or good enough slowly strangle my dream of making music, the CDs sat in a box in my garage. In a fit of purging, I threw all but 20 of them away, thinking that part of my life was over. I literally and figuratively wanted to throw that vulnerability away.
But it was not over.
This past January was 10 years exactly since I put A Stranger Here out into the world, and I had been spending a lot of time thinking about all the self-defeating thoughts that made my creative pursuits such a miserable experience back then.
I decided to face the vulnerability, the discomfort, and the fear of judgement, and honor the part of me that had the courage to make that record in the first place. Instead of letting it die in the trash can, I'm putting it back out in the world. I still feel all the feelings of shame and mediocrity I did before... but now I can identify those negative voices as fear, and I know that I need to face them and do it anyway.
In January, I went through the process of getting the album on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music, which was a good first step. The terrifying part is this step, which is asking you to listen.
So, would you do me the favor of listening to a song or two?
Thank you and sending you love!