Today I am in Costa Mesa, California with Amy and the band. She is performing 2 symphony shows this weekend. I’ll be honest; I was really looking forward to this “break.” Yes I’m technically working but it feels more like a vacation to me. I love the road. I always have since I was kid riding on the bus with Dad in the summertime. There’s a routine we slip into out here. You have your own little rituals and you have time to YOURSELF. I can move at my own pace, go on an adventure, or I can bury myself in the sheets and stay half asleep.
Before I became a Mom, the time out here could easily feel like too much time. I would get bored and antsy. But now I soak in these minutes I have to myself and I just whisper thank you to the sky. I literally fell into my hotel bed last night in slow motion. It was glorious. But as my head softly hit the pillow I recognized a familiar friend cuddled up next to me. Hello guilt. I felt guilty for not immediately missing my sweet little boy. I always try to set him up with people I know he loves playing with so maybe he won’t immediately miss me either. So then guilt asks me, “If you pursue this music career, how bad will your family suffer?”
One of my favorite people in the whole world is someone I have the pleasure of singing with on these Amy gigs. She has been traveling for years to make a living. Kim is an incredible vocalist and has a resume that would seriously impress you. She has worked with everyone. She has a daughter who is turning 6 next week. Her daughter is the reason I even got the Amy gig in the first place. When Kim took her “maternity leave” and I was asked to fill in. I thought I would take her spot for maybe a few months at the most. But when Kim was ready to get back to work the tour had made the decision to keep me along for the ride anyway (and I’m so incredibly grateful for that by the way). I was eager to be close to Kim so I could learn as much as I could from her. But she rarely came down to the lobby for breakfast and she usually kept to herself during the days. It kind of bummed me out. I’m such a social butterfly and I really wanted to have some fun girl time with her because she is so funny and full of energy. But I respected her road rituals. That mama bear was doing some serious hibernating. In the afternoons she would FaceTime her baby while we were sharing a makeup mirror. I saw her get emotional so many times. She HAD to be away so that she could provide for her family. Sometimes it would really weigh on her and I never knew what to say, or how to make her feel better. But her little girl is thriving and she and her man are happy. She is the ultimate road mom and she gives me hope that it is possible.
The truth is the music business is extremely hard on families. My own parents are a common example of that fact. And here I am taking the steps to launch my own artist career and possibly see history repeat itself. But the vision I have of myself singing for a living looks so amazing and it gets me all excited and giddy. I love road life. Maybe I feel the most like myself on the road. That would explain why I can't wait to get back out here sometimes. It's not easy to do that guilt free. I just need to remind myself that we all deserve a little break, a breath of fresh air, and a different view out of a different window. The task of raising human beings is too much for one person to do alone. My time on the road provides for my family and my state of mind. I want to set a good example for my son. Just because something is hard does't mean it isn't worth doing.
This road mama is going to keep on trucking...