Two years ago this week, November 3, 2017, my debut album, Coming Home, was released! I seriously can't believe it's been two years. The time really has flown by. And yet, there were some really long days and months sprinkled in those two years. With every new year, I'm becoming a little bit more my true artist self. The evolution is real, friends, but it's a slow and steady process!
Two years ago, if you asked me who I was as an artist, I couldn't have told you much besides "I sing, play piano (and some guitar) and write songs". I didn't know who I was supposed to be.
"Supposed to be."
Hmmm. How funny that those three words can cause so much confusion, struggle, stress, and self-doubt. Who are any of us "supposed to be?”
Those three simple words strung together in that particular order have plagued me my whole life. I've always looked to others to tell me the answer: family, friends, loves, authority figures, the church. And all the while I failed to consult myself. This was true for me as a human, so in turn it has been true for me as an artist.
But here's the deal, friends: there is no "supposed to be.” We are who we are. I am who I am. And "who I am" is always changing. And if I'm playing my cards right, if I'm doing the work of discovery, it's always evolving into a truer version of me.
So "supposed to be" is a facade. A myth. A smokescreen. And its crippling effect has shown up time and time again in my life. It's hard to let go of the facade, isn't it? Sometimes it seems easier to hold on to what I'm supposed to be instead of letting that go and living with the sometimes terrifying prospect of just being. Is it just me? I don't think it's just me.
Realizing that this is a journey that I'm on helps me let go a little bit. But it's slow and steady, and, damn it, do I get caught up in the impatience of it all. Journeys have endings right? So why haven't I made it yet? Why haven't I fully become the artist inside me? What's taking so long? I'm already almost FORTY years old, for crying out loud! Is something wrong with me? (You're welcome for the inner monologue you just got to partake in.)
But that's just the thing. It is and will always be a journey. There is no destination to finally becoming who I am. I'm doing it right now, every day, little by little. I am becoming. And I always will be. Forty-year-old-artist-Stephanie doesn't look anything like twenty-year-old-artist-Stephanie. And thank God, because I'm more my true self now than I was then. So the artist I am right now will look different when I'm sixty. But it will be even closer to my true self. It's always been there inside of me, it's just taking a journey for me to uncover it.
So where I am now?
Well, if you ask me today who I am as an artist, I'd say something like: "I sing, play piano, and write songs (with maybe some guitar occasionally sprinkled in for fun). I am a little bit classical and I am a little bit I'm-not-sure-what. I'm still figuring it out.”
And even though I am still figuring it out, I'm more comfortable in my own artist skin than I've ever been. I feel more myself. I feel more alive. And I'm going to keep working to uncover who I've always been. I'm going to keep looking for the artist that's just waiting to be found. And in the process, I'll keep bringing you the songs that show up. And hopefully some of those songs will be recorded SOON! More info to come!