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?

Hangover of Vulnerability

I’m learning about myself again.

I’m learning that in some ways I am exactly the same person I was as a child. I’m still that shy girl that wants to be in the middle of the group, just enjoying the company of friends, feeling understood and wanted, being happily silent.

But friends like that get harder to find that as you get older. I’ve had some really good friends, particularly at university, but I still felt like I had to reserve a lot of my true self to fit in.

The only people I’ve found I could even begin to share my ‘real me’ with have been friends from the Christian community, but only because most Christians my age find it rather natural to talk of matters of the heart, the internal world. I feel like I can share my weaknesses with people like that. But I still don’t feel comfortable sharing my eccentricities.

I know I’m a bit weird. Actually very weird. Dave gets that. I often talk complete gibberish to him, and he somehow infers the meaning from context. If I did that with anyone else they would think I was having a seizure. Sometimes I think there is something fundimentally wrong with the way I behave. Shame none of my doctors have picked up on it thus far…

And then there’s my musician side. This one is much more tricky. How do you explain to the average person in the street what it means to feel the only reason you exist is to produce a particular selection of pitches set to words about your feelings? How would I explain that to a friend for the first time? What if I was to make a friend that understood that implicitly?

Recently I found a person that did just that, but that brought a new problem. How do I pretend I’m not excited to know a person like that? How do I keep a lid on my excitement over feeling like a kid again?

Truth is I can’t.

I always give my friends fabulous advice about being honest and open, that you should lay all your cards on the table and show you trust the other person with your heart. But it had been many years since I was in a position like that. In my naive idealism I decided to be brave and take my own advice.

What I had forgotten is that for every honest moment and the high you feel, there is a hangover of vulnerability to deal with.  I’m feeling that hangover right now. It’s tough keeping a thin skin, staying soft-hearted. I want to stay honest, trusting. But I still feel foolish right now. I was happy. I just wanted to share that feeling.

I am happy. I’m just embarrassed. -__-‘


This is the first post I’ve filed under ‘existential crisis’ since January. Kind of like resetting the ‘Accident free for __ days’ sign. Blah…

Experiment Weeks 8 & 9 – Riots and Revelations

Anticlimatic cleaning excursion

I’ve been so behind on blogging lately I should probably just combine the last two weeks!

Week 8:

I think I can be forgiven for not getting to Week 8’s blog considering the trouble my country had at that time. It was emotionally and mentally exhausting to the point where I was just walking around the a daze. This culminated in one of my legendary multi-hour naps on the Friday afternoon.

My collab with Matt was still going strong and I managed to sneak in a line or two of Japanese in my lyrics for the last song on the album. It’s gonna be a melancholy disco classic. And it sounds just a little bit like this.

It seems I’ve really gotten back into the swing of writing songs regularly. I look in my songbook now and see something in there from last week rather than last year. I haven’t been able to write like that since 2005. It’s extremely freeing to have that feeling back again.

Clue couture?

Week 9:

This has been a defining week for me from a personal point of view.

I’m a very trusting person, and patient. I trust a person until such a time that they prove themselves untrustworthy and then give them a chance to explain their reasons. Many people work the other way around, and provided there is a finite time between making a friend and deciding you can trust them, this is usually the least painful and most straightforward way. I don’t tend to take the painless path if I think there is any value to be mined from other options. (more…)

Lyrical Ideas 1


Throw me in at the deep end, but I’ll only sink
You can baptise me with fire, but I’ll just burn out
This pressure leaves my confidence in shards
I know it’s not supposed to be this hard

I’ve been told all my life I’ll ‘grow out of it’
Out of my shell
Why is reservation synonymous with failure?
It’s just my body
Trying to protect me

Why is it
Flight or fight = wrong or right?

© Caryl Sumner, 2007