Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sheryl Crow reflects on Note to Self

I have dreaded this blog entry for 36 hours. I wasn't sure how to put into black and white that I am not pregnant (AGAIN). How many times can this happen to a girl and she remain sane? Is that possible? Has anyone out there ever wanted to apologize for not being pregnant? All the well wishes and phone calls. All the fertility dolls and lucky charms. Has anyone had the mind to send them all back? Because on days like this I feel like I have let everyone down. My Jason. My family. My friends. I know it's not rational, but it's real. I have heard it all...you are building a family. It takes time. One day this time will be in your rear view mirror. I want to believe it and yet it all seems so far away. I want to say this is the hormones talking, I am mostly right. Part hormones. Part desire. Part disappointment.

I sat down on the couch, next to the window, by the fountain about 25 times. Checked email, surfed the web, anything to avoid writing. Jason left town on a business trip so this news has come and I have had to deal with it alone. Not totally alone as I have friends who love me and have called and been there. So I continued to surf the web....and this is what I found:

The wonderfully talented and loving and beautiful Sheryl Crow blogged about "Note to Self". It's not everyday that a rock star tells her fan base to check out your book, so I thought I would take this moment to say that's what happened today along with I got my period. I can't thank her enough. It is a bright spot in this rather confusing and depressing day.

I have included an excerpt from her chapter in my book. She writes about the mistakes and frustrations in making her first record and how making her second album freed her to be the artist she is today. While it's about making music, the lesson resonates beautifully in many areas of all of our lives. Mine included. This baby making process has nothing to do with anyone else but me and Jason and I have to let go "the idea" that I might be disappointing those around me. The expectations and the regret. The idea of letting go is the new idea.
Ladies and gentlemen an excerpt from "Note to Self", Sheryl Crow's essay: "Achieving Harmony"....

The experience really set me up to make my second album in the right spirit. When I went into the studio to record, I felt like nobody believed in me so I had nothing to lose. I figured I’d make the record I wanted to make. I couldn’t wait to get in, close the door, and purge myself.

24 hours after shutting the studio door, my producer left. I called my manager. “I’m screwed,” I told him. “What should I do?” “Do it yourself,” he said. “You know what you’re doing. You’ve always demoed your music well enough that it sounds like records.” We didn’t okay this change with the label, because we thought they would never let me, a woman, produce on my own. So feeling like I really had nothing else to lose, I just did it. My second album created a big opportunity for me, and I’d like to think, for other women to produce their music. When one door closed, another opened. Literally.

When I listen to the album today, I hear a scrappy, frustrated voice who thought her career was over, and then proved that she was just beginning. It was a nice opportunity to turn a horribly negative experience into a positive, self-affirming one and learn to believe in myself again. The process toughened my skin. and it made me much more protective of my own talent. I’m no longer afraid to own it. I called that album, “Sheryl Crow”—for all the obvious reasons—it was my statement, for better or for worse, and happily it was received for the better.

I always said that if my first record had sold 10,000 copies, I would have still been in good graces with those misunderstood artists, but instead I became the “them” in the “us against them.” It didn’t feel great at the time, but in hindsight, I realize how much it prepared me for the future. The lessons that come with breaking free, in many ways, carry over in all areas of one’s life. I’m not nearly as gullible, and I have a lot more savvy when it comes to running my business like a business. Ultimately, I can’t make everybody happy.

The amazing and beautiful thing about life is that there will always be a time and a place to heal old wounds and practice forgiveness and compassion. I hold no grudges against anybody for anything, and my days are better lived that way. This reality was never more than clear when I had the amazing opportunity to reunite with my producer, Bill, fifteen years later on the album, “Detours.” The title says it all. We laughed, we cried, we got to work, and we made some really inspired, kick ass music.


Note to Self: When you try to please everyone, you risk losing yourself along the way.

No comments:

Post a Comment