As many of your know, the last 3 years for me have been largely consumed by the process of separation and divorce. It has been a journey that has been painful and conflict-ridden and yet ripe with opportunities for growth and reflection. The journey of divorce, for me, has been taxing and long, and has consumed so much energy, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. As an introvert and a feeling person, conflict is wearying and difficult for me, often leaving me drained and listless. I have tried to be good to myself over this time, not requiring more of myself than being present, being true, and approaching each challenge with kindness and strength. Today, my divorce has gone through. There is a quiet melancholy to the final ending of a relationship that shaped so many of my years and gifted me belonging, laughter, spiritual growth, and four beautiful children. I turn soft eyes to the road ahead and feel a subtle, but persistent sense of purpose and resolve; a stirring.
I am a mother to four amazing human beings, so much of my focus over the last 3 years has been on creating a new home that is stable, loving, and emotionally safe for them. The separation also has meant that I can no longer commit the time I was before to my musical career. Music is my passion, but is not a financially feasible full time option for me at this time, which has necessitated a full time job elsewhere. It has been a long journey. At first I worked two jobs, spending the week days working at a local wildlife rehabilitation center and many weekends working at a residential treatment center; all this in addition to spending time with my kids. Obviously there was very little room for music during that time. After being diagnosed with shingles one very stressful (and rashy) Christmas, I realized I was taking on too much and was going to pay with my health. Luckily, my finances had improved at this point and I chose to quit my weekend work, which also allowed me to take on gigs here and there. Over the last few years I have felt fortunate to have performed at festivals and in collaboration with other artists.
Scorpion Moon was released a month after I separated from my ex. o_O (FYI: I do not recommend this as a career move ~smile~) I did what I could to promote the album and was honoured and thrilled that this album was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award. Still, I was emotionally and financially unable to leverage that nomination into touring, performing, or recording opportunities, something that has been a source of sadness and guilt for me. In many ways I feel that I have let myself and all of you down. Still, I have continued to write and perform, just in a more contained manner. The music I have written over the last 3 years has been introspective, represents a manner of coping, and has created a safe space for my healing. One of those songs is shared below. I have more than enough strong material for another album, I am just not in a place, financially, where I can translate these new songs into a professional recording.
Sometimes you have to take a less direct route to get to your destination. Though the wildlife rehabilitation center I have worked at since 2013 has been a nourishing, flexible, and supportive environment, it cannot provide what I believe I will need in the future. As such, I have applied and been accepted into a graduate program, Masters of Counseling, through the University of Calgary. I start in September and will slowly chip away at this over the next 5 years, while still working and caring for my children. Once again, this will result in less time and energy for the creation and performance of music, a sacrifice I am willing to make to ensure a secure future for myself and my children. The decision to apply for grad school was a heavy one, especially because I knew it would mean a shift in focus away from my musical endeavors. My hope is that these studies will continue to grow my spirit and mind bringing new and unexpected perspectives to my creative work. I also hope that the financial security that will come from this change will then allow for a renewed recording vigour. I will continue to post when I can, write music when I can, and perform when I can because I know that music is my home and have felt from the very beginning that it is what I was meant to do. I am not giving up, just flowing a little differently for awhile. ~smile~ I fully intend to release another album when the time is right.
The support I have received for my music has been a sparkling light in many moments of darkness over the last 3 years. Your emails, comments, and likes have reminded me over and over that music is connective tissue; that it speaks to what holds us all together. I hope you will continue to follow my journey, hold space for me, and that you will be patient. There is music waiting, incubating in spaces between what is and what could be. I am taking those first tentative steps into an unknown, and very soon I will find my feet to run, my wings to fly, and will intersect with the me that is waiting just beyond the horizon of now.
With love and determination,