Life carried on. I focused on other things. I relaxed. With my head turned away from the pain of possibly losing sight of the only vision for my career I had ever known, I was free to enjoy all the other wonderful parts of my life. There were twists and turns of other aspects of myself that I was riding.
For example, I caught the baby fever. I’ve worked in daycare for 7 years and never before felt the desire to have a child of my own. Plus I kind of had one anyway.
Gabriel is a 17 year old boy with autism that I had been doing respite for for about as long as I’d worked in daycare. Since dating Ciro, Gabriel’s place in my life has increased dramatically. They developed an incredible bond, and Ciro has even taken on a heavy workload of respite care, himself. Between the two of us, we have G five days a week. He has his own room in our house, and he feels like a son to us. Talks of taking him in full time when he reaches adulthood started sparking between us about a year ago. Last month, the idea became official.
I was thinking ahead to the next few years when I’d have Gabriel and be in more of a position to have a baby, too. But in order to do that something was going to have to change with my income. I’d only ever had one raise in the entire 7 years of working at the daycare, and I’d decided enough was enough. Discussions with my boss led me to decide I was going to do what I never thought I’d do; go back to school. Turns out, tenure doesn’t mean much in childcare, but certification does.My job at daycare makes me SO HAPPY. This is Huddy Buddy. I will love him forever. I had to change my perspective on school. Rather than it being a step away from music, it was a step towards it. I’ll be in a better position to achieve more goals when my finances are more secure. I’ll be more flexible with what I can do and where I can go with job security and slightly better pay. I became excited for my future and amazingly, excited for school. Shortly after I was promoted to a management position which came with a raise. Wahoo!!
Meanwhile, as I was working hard and incorporated more into my schedule, Ciro never gave up on me. Ciro kept at me with attempts to discuss music and business, while I continued to shut down and change the subject.
He learned to stay a little quieter, but never stopped working on my behalf. He was networking and researching day and night, along with his own projects involving art and ceramics. He had faith that I would resurface.
As for the Bettys, the next logic step was to record an album. We had been playing killer shows for two years with nothing to sell. Our bass player, Paul, took charge of the task, and volunteered to record and produce it. He also suggested we write some new material for it. (Yikes!)
If you scroll down a few blogs, you’ll see we had an industry showcase at the Roxy last year, and as mentioned, favourite songs were identified. The lady from EMI publishing said, “I like Cannonball. Write ten more Cannonballs.”
This was my first turn back towards my career, and I was able to do it in the comfort of a basement with bandmates I trusted like family. It was a gentle reintroduction to the sandbox I was playing in before I got overwhelmed and shut down.
I was house sitting in the summer of 2014 and had a beautiful grand piano all to myself to bang on at any time of the day. For the first time, I felt free to play. There were no restrictions on volume, time of day, or the paranoia that someone was listening and judging. A few catchy lines emerged in the midst of my piano mumblings over the course of that summer. I recorded them using the voice memo on my iPhone and sent them to Paul. Paul got excited and popped over a few times to build around the lines. Somehow we wrote some killer, complete songs.
It was amazing to be inspired, and to be comfortable and trusting enough with someone to let them write parts and lyrics. Musically, I trust Paul 100% which is a rare thing for me to feel. I’m pretty naiive and trusting to begin with, but I’ve never wanted to share a song with another person (except two organic instances with Stef Lang and Alisha Kalina (Wild Romantics), and all other co-writing attempts so far have been super uncomfortable. I’ve always had complete control over my compositions, with very intentional lyrics, phrasing, dynamics, etc. Yet, I’ve heard over and over throughout the past few years how important co-writing is, and how beneficial it can be. I’m probably extra sensitive about it since my creative flow is … not flowing. I can imagine being far more gung ho about booking a writing session with a stranger if I was already in the zone. This is why Paul has helped me so much. I can feel completely insecure and blocked up (which i do), and still comfortable in showing up and offering up the crappiest crap that comes out of me until something clicks. He’s patient, he’s funny, he’s talented, and he’s committed. I know he’s not going anywhere, and I know he’ll write with me again even if i’m struggling.
Before we knew it, we had picked the album songs and booked studio time. The band got excited, and I have to admit, even Little Miss Lost and Depressed got excited.
What a fantastic blog entry Kendall. I thoroughly enjoyed your honesty and rawness as well as the overall update about what you’ve been up to the last few years! We’re looking forward to your show on Feb 3rd 🙂
Thanks for sharing Kendall 🙂 I can relate SOOO much to these last 2 blogs – it’s wild! There are so many ups and downs in the life of an artist & it can be exhausting at times… I appreciate your honesty & hope that this is the year for both of us to breakthrough some of those musical barriers that have come up so we can create freely again <3