I've been trying to put into words how transformative this trip has been for me so far. I have never left home on my own on a trip like this before. Yes, I moved to New York City when I was 18, but it was orchestrated by my family and my school and most of it was entirely out of my hands (which was a good thing, because 18 year old me wasn't equipped to try to make anything on that scale happen). I lived in my Brooklyn apartment and I rarely strayed from my set paths from home to school to work and back. The trains took me from A to B and I walked a predetermined route to my destination and that was that. I knew my favourite Chinese food place, and the bars I could go to that didn't check ID's, and the stores with the cheapest junk food. But outside of that there was very little adventure for me, and I wasn't bold enough to create any adventure of my own.
This is the first time I've ever gone on a real adventure all by myself. I did the research, saved some money, and jumped in my car. Just went. Granted I've known people in basically every city I've been to thus far, so I've been far from lonely, but those wonderful people have been like safe harbors on my voyage of one. Going from city to city, with hours by myself, all executive decisions falling to me without having to worry about what other people are going to want or think about it. If I make a judgement call, and things don't go my way, I have to fix it myself or suffer the consequences and that is completely on me. But then again, if I make a swift decision to change my route, or make a stop, or decide street perform for awhile randomly, and something amazing happens (which has been so much more the case than the former scenario) I get to own that success as mine, and not the doing of someone else. Its an odd kind of self empowerment, one that I've never experienced before.
To be self-reliant, to go where the wind takes me, to live with a sense of adventure instead of a sense of fear and anxiety. This is all so incredibly new and freeing. I think its definitely been influencing me as a performer. I've been connecting with myself, with my songs, and with my audiences in a different way than I did back home. Without the confines that I've created for myself in Phoenix I'm getting to rediscover my music with each new city and group of people.
I can't wait to come home and show everyone what I've learned.
Love you all!