Taking A Hiatus

Breaks are good- healthy even, but when does a break become a crutch for our fears and insecurities? When does the fear of failure become the greatest reason not to do something anymore?

My love for music has always been evident. I started playing piano and singing when I was 4 years old. I performed for the first time in front of my peers at my 7th grade talent show. From there I started leading worship in front of thousands at my church. As the size of my audience and my opportunities grew, so did my confidence. I was blessed to be in a church that cared deeply about music and students and had many programs to pair the two together. The only problem, they favored boys. I'm not going to get into the semantics of everything, it's not worth it- but what I will say is that I had a very special mentor who came out of the woodworks and proved to me that regardless of what the majority is doing, there's always someone who will believe in you, if you'll let them. He believed in me so much that he taught me piano for 3 years, helped me to improve my vocals, taught me a lot of what I know about writing music and went on to help me record my first demo. Looking back, he was my biggest confidence booster, but he was also tough on me and gave me the realistic side of things.

The winter before I moved to Nashville I had a traumatic experience with a stalker and it threw me into a tailspin. Even though I kept writing music, I was terrified to tap into my emotions, not knowing how to handle what I knew I'd find. When I moved to Nashville, I had it in my mind that I was going to pursue music, but I knew my top priority was working. I didn't want to have the typical “waitress/musician struggling to stay afloat” story. I wanted to have time and financial freedom to pursue music on my own terms. That's when I started my social media management & web-development business. Before I knew it, that business had taken over my whole life and then suddenly I was spending all of my time with this awesome guy and before I even realized it, 6 months had gone by without any progress on my music dreams.

For those who haven't read all of my articles, I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since I was 14 years old. Throughout the years it has been an ebb and flow of just trying to handle it. For awhile, during the stalker incident, it was the worst it had ever been, but I had managed to get it somewhat under control when I moved. I'd say it was about November, five months after moving when I had my first major breakdown in regards to music. For some reason I had gotten it in my head that I wasn't supposed to do music anymore and that God had taken away all of my opportunities and that I was obviously supposed to just get married, keep working, have babies and live a mundane life. I started playing that story over and over in my head and anytime someone would ask me about music, I'd shrug and say it wasn't what I was supposed to do. I felt like I had failed. I felt like a total failure to everyone around me. I felt like I had failed my parents who helped me move to Nashville, I failed everyone back in Michigan who had poured into me and told me that I could do it, I felt like the naysayers who said I'd come crawling back were right, but mostly, I felt like I had failed myself.

*Now, if you're still following,* you're probably wondering “what the heck did she think she failed at? She hadn't even tried...” Bingo! For those of you who don't struggle with depression or anxiety, this might be hard to understand, but bear with me. My mind had gotten into such a funk and had made up so many stories that I found myself trapped in a web of lies that I spun myself. I had somehow convinced myself that it was too hard, nobody wanted me, I'd never have the money, I wasn't pretty enough, I wasn't talented enough and that I needed to just be good at the business I was running. Looking back, it was madness, but it was a journey I needed to go through to be where I am now.

Back to November when I was having my breakdown, Dustin really stepped in. He saw how upset I was about not doing music anymore and after months of going along with it because he thought that was what I wanted, he lost it on me. At first I was mad, but I now see it was the cold water in the face that I needed. He basically told me to buck up and that he was going to find a way for this dream to happen. For every excuse that I came up with he would say that God already had it figured out. For every roadblock, he had some sort of solution. After a few months – yes months, I finally gave up arguing with him and told him that when I felt ready I'd try again.

Fast forward to April, three weeks after we got married, we had our first knock-down-blow-out fight (over dishes 😂). The next day he went to work and I sat down at my beautiful stand up piano that my amazing father-in-law drove all the way from Michigan, and I started playing. For the first time in almost a year I was able to sit down and play without bursting into tears and feeling like a total failure. That day I broke my writers block that I had for over a year. That day the chains came loose. I spent all day playing and writing and I was so excited to show Dustin the song I had wrote about wanting to leave him that I wasn't even mad anymore! 😂 (He wasn't either, he was just excited I broke my writers block, even if it was about our dumb fight.)

Just a week or so later, Dustin approached with me the Coil concept that had launched that morning. At the time I didn’t really understand “crypto”. I thought that it was just invisible internet coins that he played with. After a deep explanation about the technology and how it could really change how the world works. I was sold. He had noted that there weren't any musicians posting yet and that it would be an amazing opportunity for me. Although I was skeptical, I decided to give it a shot. I actually didn't start with my music, I started with a blog post, but then I started posting music videos and I saw that they were getting a ton of upvotes. From there we started cleaning out my Twitter and engaging with people there and I saw that I was gaining real traction! It was so exciting, finally feeling like I could do music and that people WANTED it! Within the month, Hodor had reached out to me for an interview and the Digital Asset Investor shouted me out in one of his videos.

That same month I released one of my song “Didn't Let You Go” which was actually unmastered, unfinished & really just a demo I had done with my mentor the year before. I totally rushed into releasing it because I felt like Coil needed something more from me! Later that month my friend from high school reached out to me and told me that she had gotten into producing and wanted to work with me. She said she knew I had more potential than what I had shown in “Didn't Let You Go” and she wanted to help me get there. I obviously wanted to work with her, but I didn't know how I was going to be able to afford it. Dustin said we'd figure it out, so we went ahead and started the process. Right about the time that it was time to pay for the recording, I got a notification that I was automatically enrolled in the boost program! Right then and there, God confirmed all of the messy action that Dustin and I felt like we needed to take.

My friend went on to mentor me and helped me re-write the song that I had written during my stalking experience the winter before. That month she and I completely re-wrote the song, recorded it and on July 15th I released “Stitched”. Throughout that whole process I learned so much about songwriting, production, recording, the music industry and where I came in to all of it. After that song was released and it did incredibly well compared to my others, I knew I needed to keep going.

Because of the Coil boost program and all of the support that I have gotten from my amazing followers and colleagues, I have managed to completely self-fund all of my music projects and in this year alone I will have released four songs and two music videos. Peep my new song “B Ok” on November 1st! 😉

Coil has not only helped me to get my confidence back, but it's instilled in me a new drive to achieve my dreams and inspire others along the way. I am now able to create music that I love that helps others deal with their issues and in the process, change the way the music industry is run. I have big plans and big dreams for my music and for programs that will help artists to stay independent and stay up-to-date with technology that is constantly changing around us.

I know the struggle of being an artist and being a musician and dealing with mental health issues and roadblocks, that's why I write and that's why I am so passionate about making money and investing, because I believe investing is the key to investing into other people. The more money I have, the more time I can spend pouring into other people and the more money I can spend pouring into programs, independent artists, developments and new technology.

So thank you Coil, for changing this woman's life- she won't forget it.

We all start with humble beginnings in some way shape or form and it's up to you to accept that and ask for help. In the wise words of Meredith Grey: “Progress looks like a bunch of failures.” If you are struggling and feel like the end of the rope is near, don't give up. There is more for you on the other side and oftentimes, when the rope feels short, it just means that a new one is about to appear. Don't be afraid to grab hold of it- you'll be amazed at where it might take you.