Trying to find some kind of normalcy and feel like I’m working towards something, which has been really hard. Aside from my health, which is not stellar. I don’t physically present as someone that has underlying health conditions, so that’s been challenging, I have to make sure keep that in check because Lupus is a motherfucker.
What was most important to you before you had to social distance?
I was always a live-in-the-moment kind of person because I’ve had a few instances in my life where I’ve come very close to not being here. I have been very lucky to be very grateful for the moment and find gratitude in little things, which has been a saving grace for me during this.
I was up at the gym by 5 every morning and drinking a gallon a water a day. I was also making a lot of headway in my career. I had finally started to realign and put a plan in place. I was booking a lot of work, which all got cancelled within days. As an artist, you don’t know when the momentum is going to end or pick back up, so I think this time has really been a challenge of staying on top of my artistic projects, but also not forcing things. There’s a lot of people that would say “use this time to better yourself.” I’m working my two jobs remotely, so it’s hard balancing that and balancing the creative projects I was really relying on collaborative work for. Songwriting sessions have really saved me because I feel less alone and less like a failure.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over?
Hug everybody. I miss hugging so much. I’m such a hugger. I have a pain in my chest like something’s missing. I live alone, which is great–I think grass is greener depending on where you are–I love solitude, so I’m fine with it, but I miss hugging my friends, my parents, my nephews, my sister. I will never again take a hug for granted.
What are you doing to pass the time?
I think I’ve watched all of Netflix. All of it. Netflix keeps asking “are you still watching?” Why are you judging me? We’ve been here for 6 hours, Netflix. Know your role, shut your hole. I’m getting to create with people. My job was crazy and I had such limited hours. If this break hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be writing the amount of songs that I’m working on. I will spend hours coloring by numbers, and I’m reading a lot. I’m eating as if I’m walking to the electric chair, and I’m sleeping as if time doesn’t matter.
What makes you happy right now?
Songwriting with [people]. I’m so grateful that a month before this shit went down, I took a leap and went to my vocal coach’s Artist Circle thing on whim [and met other artists to collaborate with]. I’m grateful for FaceTime and this technology. It doesn’t make me feel like I’m alone, but it’s nice to have people that I can connect with both on a friendship level and on an artistic level. I’m happy for that, and I’m also happy for my guilty pleasure quarantine snacks: Crescent rolls with mozzarella cheese, and Domino’s contactless delivery. Getting to still create music and sing makes me happy. But also cheese.
What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today?
Buy a Peloton.
I would have prepared myself to be more self-sufficient in my career creatively. I don’t have the tools at my disposal to create the content that I want to create, but I have the time to create the content, and that’s fucking hard.
I would love to sit here and say that I would tell myself to prepare and make a schedule and stick to it, but all the things I would tell myself are so judgmental and harmful. I would hope that I would tell myself that it’s okay to love yourself as you are. I joke about how there are going to be two people who walk out of this physically–people that are ripped and cut and people who walk out looking like they came from the set of Wall-E– I hate that it’s so superficial, but today that’s where my mind is.
I really do think that God, or the Universe, or whatever higher power has got my back. I still have income coming in, and I know that there are Americans that don’t. I have the ability to change my circumstance. I know it’s within my power and reach to learn skill sets. I think the biggest lesson is that I have the luxury of feeling like God’s got my back. Even though the days bleed together and there are moments where this gets really hard, I feel like I have this safety net, and that’s really important. I just feel in line with that, even when I try to overthink my career.