Monday, June 21, 2010

The One With the Muffins (or, What’s Been Eating Victoria)

This morning I was having my first lazy day in quite awhile. I was actually doing a crossword puzzle, while waiting for clothes to finish in the dryer… when I heard the doorbell. I went downstairs to find a friend at the door. She was bearing muffins from Cinnamon Productions, our favorite breakfast spot, and she was wielding them like a weapon... one designed to get her in the front door for a sort of intervention.

She informed me, in the nicest way possible, that when I don’t post on my blog for weeks on end, that people worry and they don’t know what is going on with me, and she, for one, is tired of waiting for me to snap out of it, and tired of wondering if I am languishing in despair over here. I’m not (but she is not the only one who has been asking me...).

I am not promising regular posts. But I can’t resist me a good muffin, so here goes. On the menu tonight, some total honesty. I would like to say I have just been too busy to post. It is true in its way. I have been a very busy girl. I have been working at an actual job, which doesn’t go over very well with me, since I decided when I was about 20 that I was done having anyone else boss me around. My attitude will probably ensure that I will not work there too long. I have had a busy time with my church jobs. Not only do I teach my cute 10-year-old girls every Sunday, but I am also what is called Activity Day Leader for about ten girls from ages 9-11, and I get to plan activities for them. This past weekend I planned a daddy-daughter campout for them, and got nine girls and their dads out to O’Neill Park for a great campout complete with Dutch oven peach cobbler, hobo pies, foil dinners and s’mores… along with a raging fire that probably should have brought the park rangers at a run. So yes, I have been busy. I could use that excuse.

I could say that I just don’t have anything interesting to say. I don’t really treat my blog like a journal… certainly not a daily one. I also generally only post a recipe because someone has requested it, or because I just completely lack in anything exciting to talk about. It is hard for me to understand why anyone would want to read about my life. It is not super exciting. And I really don’t like to be uninteresting.

But the real reason I have not been blogging, is that I don’t like to say everything is just great, when it doesn’t feel just great. I also don’t like to be a total downer and complain about things, because let’s be honest here… I have a pretty great life. I have an amazing family and friends and I don’t have much to complain about. But the truth is, for the last while I have not felt like things were going just how I want them to. And when I get on the blog and act like they are, then it starts sounding all fake and forced, and I really get annoyed if I notice that I don’t sound like myself. So I opted to just stop blogging for awhile, rather than do that.

So what has been eating Victoria, you ask? It is pretty simple. It is my music. Last year at the beginning of the year, I said I was making a CD. A Christmas CD. It was going to be great. I had a whole year to do it. And then opposition set in, and discouragement, and road blocks, followed by hand injuries. Suddenly it was September, and I got back on track to make a CD, and only had two months to do it. Pretty ridiculous. The only thing that saved me was the fact that everything fell into place. The singers I wanted made themselves available at short notice. Instrumentalists. Things I had no idea how to do on the computer… suddenly revealed themselves to me. Divine intervention is the only possible explanation… and I felt it every step of the way for two sleepless months. And I completed that CD.

I could take a break for a year or two. I know that. But I also knew back in January of this year, that I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make another CD. I wanted it to be better production quality. I learned so much making that first one, and I know a lot of ways to improve on what I did. I didn’t know what kind of CD I needed to make exactly, but I had the distinct impression that Heavenly Father was telling me that I had more to do. And now. So I told myself… and a few others… that I was making another. “And guess what,” I said. “This time, no messing around. No self-doubt. No winding paths with dangerous detours. This time I would focus, work all year, and no last-minute crunches for me.”

And then life set in. Discouragement. Opposition. Self-doubt. Lack of inspiration. Lack of direction. Do you know how much easier it would be if God would just tell me to write a book? I am not saying I could get one published… but seriously, it would be so much easier to tackle a project if I only had to motivate and organize one person: myself. Doing a CD is more like herding cats. It requires the help and cooperation of multiple other people to sing and play instruments and come and record, sometimes late at night and for way too many hours, for no pay. They can get discouraged and tired too. They have busy lives. They may not want to help me at all. I can’t control any of that.

So I finally realized a couple of months ago the direction that I wanted to go with the music. But I kept hitting a brick wall, whenever I tried to figure out the idea for the actual CD. Then a couple of weeks ago, I prayed. I fasted. I felt a lot of anguish in my heart, knowing that I was supposed to be doing something with this music, but not knowing the direction to go. I got an answer! I knew what had to be on the CD. I knew the sound I was looking for. Not only that, but I know I can do this. I have a lot of the confidence back. Yes, it is always a little out of my comfort zone, but I have faith that the miracles can happen again. I can make this. It was not an idea for a commercial CD, but for a collection of uplifting songs and hymns with a particularly Victoria slant.

As soon as I knew what I wanted to do, and with whom, and how, then songs started to come into my head. Three really great ones, just over the past few weeks! I was so excited, that I contacted a professional violinist that records with a lot of great artists, and asked her if she might be interested in helping, once I got the vocals done. Not only was she willing and able, but she was super excited to be on the CD, and offered to do a trade… she would play for me, if I would play for a project or two for her. Sweet!

But here I am now some three weeks later, and would you believe… I am hitting that same old brick wall again, headfirst. My poor head is getting sore. I don’t know what to do about it, and I will admit to you that it has made my heart hurt even more. It feels as though once again, like so many times over the last few months, the very wind has been sucked out of my sails, and I am plummeting head over heels toward some very sharp rocks. I should be clear here: I will not hit those rocks. I will be fine. The music… it is just one part of my life, not my whole life. But it is the sore spot. It is the place where I bit my tongue, and every time I talk or try to eat, I can feel that sore spot, and I remember it again. It hurts, and it sucks the fun out. It is what makes me feel like sometimes I am just going through the motions.

So I am kind of back to square one. This CD is going in the drawer of doom, along with the failed songs and the half-baked ideas from the last many months. I don’t know what is next. I do believe that the inspiration was real. But just because I get inspired doesn’t mean that everything else just falls into place. John Mayer says, “No it won’t all go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good.” It is. So I will keep playing around with writing, and believe me, my life is filled with plenty of things that keep me more than just busy. I will try to blog about some of them. I told my friend that it would not be too much trouble to write a few lines every couple of weeks. This is long enough that it should probably cover me for the next month.

I wish one of you could just fix my problem. Maybe demolish some of those brick walls I keep hitting. It really doesn’t work that way, though. I have to be a little more patient for everything to work out. And it always does work out. And I may not be quite myself, but I am also not sitting around crying. In fact, I have had a totally great day. The sore spot is still there, but for now I’m just trying not to touch it quite so often.


Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I have missed your blog. I'm glad your friend stopped by with muffins and motivated you to post.

I understand hitting a brick wall. Creative people are constantly working to stay excited about their work.

And you're right in a way, that in writing a book you only have to be responsible for one person. But I also have my editor and publisher to report to so there's a little more stress than what others may think.

But, Victoria, your music is awesome!!! I hope things come together for you on this new project.

BTW: I made bread with my grandson today. He loved it. :)

sad but true said...

I am of no help. I have no musical talent and cannot eat muffins. I miss you, though. Schoolio is almost done! Yay....I can work with you for a few days. Remember, the life you save may be Sam's.


Fawn said...

I guess I'm selfish in wanting you to blog too, but you help me with your clever and honest writing. I miss it when the blog is absent. And you know, it really is only June still. Take heart! Thank you for taking time to blog--so many love you for it!

Garden of Egan said...

I'm sorry that you are struggling. It is something I can't even comprehend.

I love you.

Cindy said...

Please come back, you are missed!

Anonymous said...

Where can I send an audition cd?

Deb in NY said...

Hi. I've been a long-time, silent reader. I have enjoyed the variety of your blog-posts. I like your sense of humor, admire your wonderful family life, have felt inspired by your recipes, and I've enjoyed your music. I'm glad you posted again.

I also admire your openness. I relate to the challenge of feeling inspired and then feeling blocked. It's easy to not make time to create. I'm learning that taking daily, little steps toward the things I want to accomplish helps me feel happier.

Carolyn said...

I miss you like crazy. Maybe we can do a 'poor me my life is great but I am sad all the time blog?' What do you think?

I have no good advice. I am still trying to take the good advice you gave me.

Things get better then worse again. I feel like I am working so hard to be content. I'm exhausted.

Rambling. I am rambling now. Good night.

Loralee and the gang... said...

I completely get the not blogging when you're a bit down thing. I've been a little bit blue lately, and while I can post pictures with captions, and some surface stuff, the deep stuff right now would only reflect the crap that's happening in my life right now, and I don't feel the need to share it. So I don't share a whole lot of anything deep. I did do a Father's Day tribute that while it was heartfelt, was not at all original (exept the pics!) But I am sure you'll have some successes, and so will I, that we can truly blog about! Let's just hope they're pretty soon!