There’s so much news that I want to share with all of you, but today…I’m going to take a moment to be thankful for the small wins.
Oftentimes we think in terms of large scale accomplishments. We look for the big “notch in our belt” moments. Number one singles, GRAMMY nominations, sold out tour dates, platinum…or even gold album sales. But today I’m going to celebrate something rather small with you—6 months since we started This Nashville Life….and here’s why.
I know I come from a generation that may have been over celebrated in it’s childhood. Trophies for everyone, lots of talk about “self esteem,” and “everyone’s a winner”…all that. But up here in adulthood, I really do think there’s something to celebrating—even relishing—the small stuff. I work a lot. My husband says too much, I know he feels there are times I put my work first; that’s probably true. I don’t have a perfect work-life balance because I love working. And a lot of that “work” I don’t actually get paid for…because it’s this larger gamble, right? Pay into the system, and maybe just maybe it’ll pay out for you. But that’s not really why anyone starts playing music for a living—for a big payout. You have a lot of years you don’t make anything, and sometimes it’s a big deal if you can simply break even. (Just ask my business manager.)
And that’s what takes me to the “small victories” talk. There’s a Tolkien quote that I love that says, “Little by little, one travels far.” Very few people have overnight success. And even when it appears that way, there are often years of work that brought them to that moment. There’s a saying in Nashville: 10 year overnight success. Because that’s the truth of it; it takes many people nearly a decade to become truly visible or celebrated in this industry. I’m on year 9.
Here are some of the things I hope to celebrate with you this year: putting out music that I’m incredibly proud of, touring and playing for the people who have cheered me on over the last (nearly) decade, continuing to write the very best songs I can, and writing about my journey here on the blog. Sure, there are some other things I’d like to celebrate too—and some [tease!!] things I can’t really reveal yet— though I hope to in the next month. But for now, I’m thankful for the less flashy ones….because I think those are the stepping stones to everything else.
So today, I’m celebrating 6 months since we first launched This Nashville Live. The response to which has absolutely overwhelmed and humbled me. I’m always surprised when I bump a publicist at the airport, or another artist backstage at a show, or a fan out on the road and they mention the blog, or a recent post. It makes this world of ours seem all the more connected. (And sends me into a major freak out about my lackadaisical approach to grammar and spelling!!!) So if you’re reading this right now, thank you. I think about you and your heart when I write these posts, and I want to be an encouragement to you to dream boldly, and to travel far small step step. And if you’re so inclined I would be honored if you would share our blog with others. I love this community that we’re building on here, and I thank you for the way it’s already grown.
So…I guess, maybe small victories are big victories.
A note on this balloon shoot:
Jacoby—a friend, and the digital media rock star on my management team, suggested we do a fun photo to celebrate 6 months of the blog. We went back and forth about locations, and finally chose the pedestrian bridge in downtown Nashville. We decided to get some celebratory balloons, because…well…props are FUN. And these balloons actually came from an independently owned party store, Shindigs, in Nashville that my mom has shopped in for over 20 years. Anyway, I get the Y-A-Y balloons and head on over to the pedestrian bridge. Park below, ride up the elevator, and step onto the bridge just in time to realize there are 20mph winds. The balloons wont even float up over my head. They’re being blown horizontally, and I honestly thought they were just gonna take off at any moment. But we managed to get a few shots between gusts…and isn’t that just a metaphor for life? You show up with a plan, but you’re gonna get a little windblown.
[A little history on the pedestrian bridge. A great spot to visit if you’re in Music City]
Photos by Ethan Helms.