My lord, has it been so long... / by Emily Holmes

I knew it had been a while since I last blogged, but I had no clue I was pushing a half year. Maybe it's because life has been fast paced with travel and family projects. Maybe I was holding back, not wanting to commit to another post. Maybe I felt I had nothing to say. Actually, it is a bit of all of that. 

I had a very productive work meeting with an old friend today with the end goal of cowriting a song that she might use for her podcast series. We didn't write anything musically or commit to words, but we did some WORK. Emotional work. Spiritual work. HEAVY work. The kind where you confront the fears and the anxieties and try to work out the cause. Luckily, I got my physical work out on earlier with a class at Highland Park's Pop Physique...

Since the end of the meeting, I wanted to write something. Maybe a gratitude list. Maybe a list of ways to curb bad reactive behavior when triggered by my 3 year old daughter. Maybe an appreciation study of all I've done with my life, experiencially and professionally. I wasn't sure. Then, I thought, I have a blog. This might be of interest or actually help someone besides me to write down. So here I am...

I've been struggling a lot recently. I'm having a hard time wanting to do music. I spent years and years committing to a life, a pursuit, a passion and now I'm feeling overwhelmed by thoughts like "Does anyone care?" or "Where is the payoff of working to promote a show only to have a few souls show up?" or worst yet, "I don't enjoy this." It's scary. I know there a love in there somewhere, but I'm tired keeping up with my daughter. I'm sad feeling guilty about having to choose where my time goes--child, family, job hunting, music. I have time to do things in more sparing amounts so maybe I should work out or grocery shop or take a day for me. 

Honestly, I think it's why I've thrown myself into the commercial acting work. It's easy. I get to talk to adults. I get out of my house. And in the long run, I'm not trying to be an actor, so there's no hurt if the role doesn't come through. If it does, I get to be part of some production and make a little money to boot. I get some kind of validation that my contribution had a positive effect. I don't always see that come back to me with music. What's more frustrating is that I'll listen back to work I'm doing and I KNOW it's good. 

I've also taken some time and attention to my physical health lately. Throughout my life, I've wrestled with digestive issues--pain, bloat, gas, irregularity--and usually would blame stresses I was going through as the cause. While yes, many gut issues can be explained by that, it wasn't the sole reason. I recently did some acupuncture and consultations with a few people and was suggested to try going dairy-free for 30 days. I wanted change, so I took it on.

This is the point in the story when a lot of people say, "That must be hard. Cheese." Honestly, I don't eat a ton of cheese in the block form way. I cut out yogurt, switched to almond milk, began using avocados on sandwiches as a cheese sub and you know what? I feel so much better. I watched middle body bloat disappear. I stopped having crippling stomach cramps after meals. I haven't had a constipation or IBS moment since. I have more energy. My skin issues haven't flared up. It's like a miracle was handed to me for a fairly reasonable trade off. I'm not perfect. I cave for a bite of birthday cake every once and a while, but it seems to be working, so I have made it a big diet shift.

I'm also in a good place with R. She turned a corner recently where she is now talking in complete conversations (let alone sentences), creating elaborate imaginary play, going to school for full days, sleeping in a crib/bed she can get out of and becoming even more of a person. As I've mentioned, I've never been a fan of the baby stage, so all these communication and developmental achievements make it easier to deal with the occasional tantrum or frustration lash-out behavior when she can't do the thing she's trying to do. My part is to show up and not engage in the crazy-making. I am quite good at the reactionary stuff, so it's testing me and (with luck) helping us both grow into better people.

As I sit in the darkened dining room looking out on the last of the sunset over Griffith Park, hazy with incoming coastal fog or remnants of today's big highway/Church fire that happened down the hill, I'm strangely at peace. Maybe today was a transitional day for me, a breaking point I needed to cross to get some serenity. I feel settled and focused simultaneously. Quiet and lighter. I don't have answers on where my malcontentedness about music will lead me, but for now, I don't need to know. Here's to another Tuesday passed and a new Wednesday to arrive in the morning...