Today I finally draw to a close a blogging series I started some years ago, but first let me start with a bit of a discovery I made recently.
This month I managed to get something done that I had been meaning to do for about a year: I finally took down by old official website, carylarcher.com! But fear not, I actually just moved it to a new subdirectory on my Lucid Letters site. I’ve renamed it ‘Caryl’s Archive‘ and you can find it here: http://lucidletters.uk/caryl.
However, as is often the case with website updates, there were a lot of broken links, broken images, and missing embedded videos. This meant I had to go through in reverse chronological order and amend all my posts to fix any issues and reflect the new changes. I’m not actually finished with this yet, but it did mean that I was forced to re-read some of my earliest entries.
I was quite shocked to see what a terrible lack of confidence I had in myself and my musical abilities. I had an actual first class music degree, but spoke like I wasn’t even a beginner yet. I had all this knowledge and creativity, but I felt this terrible dread about having to make music and show it to people when I knew it wasn’t of the quality I wanted it to be. I definitely wasn’t having fun. I thought about quitting an awful lot, but also felt like that would be the final act of betrayal against myself.
So, I soldiered on, and made plenty of mistakes, but the mistakes were less to do with the music itself, and more around what I was willing to subject myself to, what I thought I had to do. I was so desperate for someone to come and save me, to discover me and make everything feel right. I had so many hang-ups they were creatively hanging me. I tried to avoid looking to other people to make me feel better, because I knew that wasn’t the right way, so instead I just starved of what I felt I needed.
It was a really miserable situation to be in, knowing you want more than anything to be in music, but feeling like all it did was cause you pain. Here’s a quote from one of my entries from 2009. You can really hear the sense of having lost hope, but the pain of knowing you can’t give up either.
I want more than anything to be a musician professionally. I love to write songs, I feel like I’m doing something meaningful each time I do. For the past three years, I’ve really struggled to see the point of me writing – I mean, how many female singer/songwriters/guitarists are there online right now? We’re like grains of sand on the beach.From ‘How I long for this…‘ – 2009
So, how is all this related to my old Fantasy Future Releases series?
Well, by the time I got to writing it, I had actually done the hard work of self-reflection and the even harder work of putting out music while feeling so weak. I was facing my issues head on, and felt brave enough to write about them and share that writing with the world. It’s also no coincidence that I was pregnant at the time I started, and my daughter was a year old by the time I clocked up to post number four.
Being pregnant while working full-time taught me some valuable life skills that I probably would have taken much longer to develop had I been baby-less. I learned how to ask for what I needed, and get it. I learned how to stick up for myself when something was unfair or unworkable. I learned to speak up to protect my co-workers from bad policy or poor leadership.
Put simply, I became the person I was longing to be saved by only a few years prior. It sounds terribly cliché, but I was forced to become my own hero. Or, better yet, I became my own mama bear.
What if I fought this hard for myself and not just others?An epiphany, while pregnant – 2014
My daughter has absolutely no idea about any of this, but without her knowing, she gave me a concrete and urgent reason to stand my ground and silence my doubts. It was a hard process to come to terms with all this (and all on top of the physical difficulties pregnancy presented), so I don’t want to make it sound like her being around instantly solved things for me, but she did lead me to that epiphany of, “what if I fought this hard for myself and not just others?”
The Grand Plan Continues…
Unfortunately, I won’t be bringing you the exact video I mentioned last week. But actually fortunately, I’ve realised I have more work to do on my next single than I had anticipated, and I’ve caught it in time to rearrange my schedule.
This means that, yes, there will definitely still be a new video Saturday, 6th March, but it won’t be the J-pop cover I promised.
Instead I have something else in mind. It’s kind of like a music video, but not quite. All will be revealed!
Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, and remember to be your own mama bear today!