The last five years

No, I’m not referring to the emotionally charged musical of Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years. I’m talking about the last five years of my own life.

I’ve been a bit down in the dumps lately about my lack of creative output. I seem to have forgotten that the ‘creative process’ of carrying a mini-Archer is a completely valid excuse for this, but there’s more to it than my pregnancy.

Dave reminded me last night of a few if the things that have changed for us since 2009.

I’ve moved six times across four cities and towns, had four different jobs and several bouts of unemployment, lived with a roommate, my family, my husband, and my husband’s family, got married, released solo and collaborative music projects, produced arty video series’, worked in various church roles, made a couple of patchwork quilts, written a few chapters of a novel, visited some of Europe, and of course, gotten past the half way point of my first pregnancy.

It’s no wonder I’ve skidded into the summer of my 27th year feeling somewhat exhausted.

The Late 20s Ritual

Every three months or so, a woman in her late 20s might go through the following thought process.

For she was due, but she was late, and every day that passes brings a new question.

Was it really supposed to be today?

Is it stress?

Was it illness?

Did anything change recently?

How many days before I can start asking the real question?

Am I, could I possibly be, is there a chance I am..?

Then, invariably, the day arrives and all uncertainty is dispelled. As well as any hopes you had that maybe your life was about to take on a new kind of meaning.

Of course, that’s a selfish thought. We are talking about a new individual, a separate, independent entity, not some cure for quarter-life crisis.

Still, it’s hard not to hope that it’s finally time to see that look in your husband’s eyes, time to use your body to the potential it has been granted, to complete the circle and try that whole motherhood thing for yourself.

It’ll probably be tomorrow, won’t it?

Experiment Week 1

Living like a musican; Caryl tries the pragmatic approach.

Last weekend I decided I needed to get serious about this whole being a musician thing. It’s time to try my best again.

Right now I have an unprecedented opportunity to work full-time as a musician and content creator. So, I’ve decided to make it official. I am taking a ‘year out’ to do my thing. Though you could argue this began at the end of January, it did in fact start properly this Monday.

This week I have worked on videos, rehearsed song sets, learned new songs to cover, finished writing a song, started writing another, redesigned some marketing materials and planned out a YouTube upload schedule.  All this alongside actually, you know, doing the housework. It might sound pretty obvious, but I’ve really struggled this past year to manage the upkeep of a whole house. I’m used to three rooms at most!

David has been especially pleased about this new arrangement. He gets a nice home to return to, and also a Caryl that is nowhere near as restless as she once was.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a naturally discontented person. That’s not to say I don’t strive for contentment (it’s biblical, yo), but there are some things I will just never see as complete or enough. I have a tendency to restlessness, fidgeting, having innumerable projects all running haphazardly at once. Apparently a constant rumbling of unhappiness is just part of the artistic condition. Read here for that explanation.

So now I have to work out how to live with that feeling and put it to good use so I don’t end up driving myself mad. The solution? Live by a daily work schedule. It’s worked reasonably well so far. Yes, I’ve been working through breaks, having late lunches, staying in my pajamas til noon… but I haven’t been sleeping at stupid times or staying up too late. That’s an achievement for me. I can sleep for England. Too bad it’s not an event in the 2012 Olympics…

I’ve been working on music a little every day. Even on Tuesday, my ‘domestic day’, I managed to find time to listen through my demo recordings for Vox Artis and judge how much work each one was going to need before completion.

Efficiency? On my watch? Goodness, no!

Tomorrow I have a scheduled nap at 3pm to stop me wanting to sleep in (on Fridays I am relieved of the duty of morning work sandwich making). I am really looking forward to that nap.

It’s much easier to  have a plan, especially when you like doing every single thing on the list. I guess sometimes I have to remind myself that I enjoy living. It’s really not that bad.

Shiny New Name

Hello all.

As some of you may already know, I got married a week or so ago, so I have been rummaging around the internet trying to fish out and alter any references to my old surname.

Since I haven’t been so well since coming back from honeymoon (darn you, Spain!), I’ve decided to take the opportunity to launch some marketing for my husband’s new company, Archer Studios. I’ve started by updating my twitter, and continue by blogging again here. I’m secretly very pleased that I haven’t got a 9 to 5 job right now. I mean… I’d be immediately taking a good few sick days, and the house is still full of the last lodger’s mess, so working right now would be a nightmare.

I’m on the fence right now, employment wise. The last thing I ever want to do is go back through the Jobcentre Plus system to get my crust and suffer almost constant employer neglect or rejection. Anyone who’s needed to look for work in the past 2 years will know what I’m talking about. The only way forward for me was to leave my jobsearch in the capable hands of an employment agency. But I really don’t want to go down this path again either.

My dream would be this: to work from home, do the housework, buy in the shopping, make graphics, build web pages, blog and tweet, make videos… With Mr. Dave still doing the 9 to 5 as well as trying to keep up with Archer Studios custom, it makes sense for me to hold the fort, both domestically and in a secretarial capacity. And I love that sort of role. I’ve always wanted to be in supportive service rather than leadership. And David is the opposite. In theory, we could be a real powerhouse business team, which is what we both wanted as part of our marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, neither of us are career-driven to the point of forgetting the importance of, for example, snuggling on the sofa for a British-sci-fi-comedy marathon night while eating Angel Delight. We’ve always been a very social couple and know when to dip out of business pressure. I ain’t gonna be no office widow, no!

But we’re both ambitious, both want more out of life than the average, not because the average is bad, but because it’s just not for us.

So, here I am now embarking on something we’ve both talked about constantly for more than 3 years. And yes, people, it is every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be.

Just need to shift this flippin stomach bug… then it’s time for action.