Living the Dream?
Living the Dream
by Kat Darling
I have heard this so much since we've made our transition out of our traditional living style to continue to make music. This statement is just crazy to me! First off I have no idea what it means. Unless I look at my life with extreme positivity (you know, the kind where you are trying to convince yourself everything is OK) it just seems really hard and sometimes really impossible - not very dreamy.
Yes, I am happy and grateful for the beautiful things in my life, but I'm also stressed and probably scared if I am truly honest. This current life transition came from financially hanging on by a thread. Now, as our business continues to s l o w l y grow, I'm going a little crazy not having gotten into a groove of knowing how to make money playing music, produce more product and get on the road.
We moved into our trailer and are living with Aaron's Mom and Dad (John and Linda Short) on the Eastside of Des Moines. I really can't say enough about John and Linda. They are the coolest in-laws I could have. They believe in their son and our abilities to make music as a living. They know how tough it really is and how important creating music is. Who are these people?!? And thank goodness they are in my life. I really DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD DO WITH OUT THEM. They are the only reason we are able to make music they way we have for this many years. I don't want to let them down and I also want to get out of their house.
The road is not under our feet yet and it is paved with gold, meaning it costs A LOT to tour with our music. We are also introducing our music everywhere we go, nobody knows us. We have concocted an exciting plan for 2016 but it doesn't put us on the road for a while, sigh. The plans feel huge and there is so much to get done that overwhelming doesn't cut it. How do we do this? So a few times a day I find myself thinking of my resume, other jobs in the world and where would I even fit. Do you know how bad this is for an entrepreneur to think?!? It is like kryptonite for your business mind - "the grass is always greener" complex.
I've been a little scattered recently too which isn't good for business either. Sept. is the start of our home school year. Each new school year brings new plans, conquests and challenges including lot's of questioning, responsibility and explaining yourself. It's not the most socially acceptable choice which adds another emotional layer to the transition.
Coming out of the busy summer is rocky. In this business our income drops by half and nobody is buying. Enter into the picture, the "soul-crushers". This is a series of gigs that are hard. You might have a handful of people to entertain for the night but most of the time you are publicly practicing, picking up your pay and hoping that your moral will pick up. The holidays are creeping toward me like this $$$$$$ and I'm are already feeling it, the stress of the winter months.
To top it off for me, Sept. 24th is when my Mom passed away. She isn't here with me. That means many things, too many. She is with me in my heart and I try to feel her strength everyday, but sometimes you want to have a cup of coffee and just talk and I can't. It should be pretty simple for a human mind but 6 years later I still get paralyzed missing her. Where I am today and where I was 6 years ago, there is a very stark difference. I can't look back on that time and be proud of how far I've come. I just look back there and hate it. I think I should be further along. I wish I could prod through life not feeling, but that is certainly not me. How do I take these intense feelings and creativity and put them to work? I've been trying for the last 3 years and I'm not going to stop trying.
I won't stop trying to continue to be a creative individual running my own business. But I'm going to stop being shy about how hard it is, how much help I really do need (because I don't know everything) and how much I really need positive support. Everybody needs it! I am running a small business. It might not be "successful" yet but I'm not stopping. I'm learning and I'm believing that the future is musical. And I'm not stopping! Did I say that already? I'll just keep saying it just to make sure I don't forget to keep going, no matter what.
Thanks for reading!
10/5/2015 05:55:09 pm
Living the dream, no. As Aaron and I talked at the campfire, it is a work chosen (or you are chosen), but nevertheless work is just one of those four letter words.
I stumbled upon your band, I'm not sure how, and I love what you guys are doing. My husband and I are also contemplating the leap into full-time music career, and the truth is it scares the devil out of me. We know all too well the "paid rehearsal" gigs, but we also know the gigs where you really connect with your audience, where it's pure magic, and that is why we (the collective we) do what we do. So, as hard as it is, know that even the fact that you are out there doing what you are called to do is inspiring to us, and to others. In spite of how hard it is, sometimes you have no choice. Keep the faith and I hope to catch a live performance some day!
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