Been thinking lately about how much my life has changed in the past 15 to 20 years.
I was a super busy performing singer quite a few years back with my ex husband.(the ex husband part is a story for another time...lol) He was a lifetime/full-time musician. When we were together we did a tons of gigs. I was the lead singer in a rock band called the Alley Katz and also a group called Mel and the Mojos plus another band called "The Celebration Band." Although we never toured in a big way, we traveled around quite a bit doing lots of shows and counting on the next gig to pay the bills.
Even though we had lots of good moments at times it was tough because we were always broke and didn't have steady income or a sense of stability. There is a lot of alcoholism and drug use in this business and a type of lifestyle that often goes along with it that can be disheartening and wear you down. Lots of late nights/ greasy food, hangovers and driving all over the place. I have so many memorable and quirky stories and have seen a lot of crazy things!
I eventually went back to school and finished a Master's degree and soon after got a day job working in the human services field(my other calling!) I enjoyed the stability of the work, awesome colleagues and helping people. But for quite a few years my music took the back burner.......
So in 2013 I found myself missing the music in a BIG way! It was calling me and I was longing to go after my dreams again of singing,songwriting and recording. It just makes me feel alive! There is a cathartic and healing process that occurs when I sing and write whether its about stuff Iv'e been thru or stuff I have seen other people go thru or just my experiences in general. But I didn't want to deal with the crazy making lifestyle that I had found myself caught up in before.
I reached a crossroads in my life and made a huge decision in 2014 and leap of faith and decided to go part time with my day job and focus the rest of my time on my music. I started doing gigs that were more family orientated and less "party" focused so that seems a much better fit for me. I knew with the internet that there were a lot of possibilities/opportunities that we didn't have as musicians even just a few years ago!
There has been some challenges for me as people have not always been encouraging about my music and life goals in general for most of my life and making such a big decision started to trigger some old negative thoughts for me.
When I was in high school I was bullied a lot by my classmates and sometimes even my teachers! I had a learning disability and was painfully shy so that made me kind of a target for "mean" people.
My teachers told me that I was not smart enough to go to college and I eventually quit chorus class because my teacher gave me an "F" and treated me like I had a contagious disease because I was not outgoing and polished like some of the other popular girls who had lots of support from her.
In my early years,I used music to escape and would spend hours locked up in my room listening to records and singing the vocal parts of all the songs, mesmerized and memorizing all the parts and nuances of the music. To this day I can pretty much tell you all the changes/arrangement/words and parts in tons of songs. (especially 80's songs!) I am a total music nerd! Music has pretty much saved my life in so many ways!
Its funny in life because when I was younger I was always told that I could not do something because I was not experienced or old enough and now that I am older I feel like I am often told in subtle and not so subtle ways that I cannot do stuff because I am now too old.
As a woman, there is an added layer of pressure to "look good" and I I have been told that I am not "pretty enough" so that and the ageism thing is so prevalent in our culture and the idea that once we get past the age of 40 that it is too late, especially in the music industry.
I am a woman, in my forties living in a rural area, yet I am going after my dreams and although I cannot do it in the conventional way(big tours and major record deals), I am finding different avenues and am doing this as an independent artist, on my own terms and that feels so empowering and amazing!
Part of the reason I do this is because I want other people that are like me to see that the dream belongs to everyone and that we all have great stuff we can offer the world! For example, Susan Boyle has really inspired me because she is an older woman who has managed to find her niche and way in the music industry.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my story! I hope that this inspires you to dust off any old dreams that you have kicking around! NEVER let someone tell you that you can't go after a dream or do something that you want to do! If I had listened to my chorus teacher you would have never heard my music and you would not be reading this!