April 2020 – There’s No Going Back, Onward to a New Normal

April 24: People are put on your path for a reason. Some for a short time, some for your whole lifetime. There are those who leave a mark and remain unforgettable no matter how long or short they were with you. I lost a chosen family member. Gordie Stephens. Gordie and his wife, Linda took me into their home when I needed one. He supported me, believed in me and had so much love to give at a time when my own blood family was not available for me. They treated me like one of his daughters, pushed me to be a better version of myself. Enabled me to take calculated risks,showed me the "hustle", made me believe in myself and believe that I would always land on my feet.  I was honored that he took my "fancy handwriting" as their logo for their company, Tricot Gordie; but more than that, they always saw good in people. Linda passed away years ago and Gordie's heart was broken. They were a pair indeed. Rest now Gordie, the hustle is finished. Say Hello to Linda for me. You will always be in my heart.

April 14: "...some people are just no longer welcome in it (my life). There comes a time when self-preservation exceeds toleration." This comes from a fellow musician, Rick Halisheff aka Poppa Dawg, who echoed in a very diplomatic what what I said with no holds barred on my social media pages.

I’ve culled quite a few connections; both online and in real life. “Friends” who have shown their true colours with their uneducated fear mongering and racist comments toward Asians during these trying times. It is never acceptable in my books. They can get their pity party from their own crowd.  Those people are no longer allowed in my life no matter how many apologies and excuses, you know the kind: I’m not racist but…, It was a joke…, I didn’t mean it that way…, I was tired so, etc.  The silver lining in all this is that those people have dropped their masks. Some will hopefully eventually learn to check their privilege, and I know that some won’t because those "funny" memes they post about Asians, right after other posts of "solidarity", "support", "we're in this together" are – to them “just a joke”.

There is no "going back to normal" but a new normal is being created so I change my way of thinking. Reality hits hard as I cancel each show and gig one by one as the days go on. But it’s OK. I've been busy behind the scenes with numerous song writing collaborations from musicians near and far, working on voice over gigs from my home studio, writing a play (getting it checked, challenged and reviewed) and a few projects that are almost done "baking" but too early to speak of and will definitely share in due time. I've been asked if I was going to do an online concert but to be honest, I do not have the will or drive to perform.  We are in this lockdown/change of habit for a while. I’ve measured my over-productivity, over-exertion, over-thinking, over-managing, etc.  Now I think of maintenance keeping an eye on the long-term and monitored-endurance. I do not want burn out; I’ve been there twice and it’s gets harder to pull my ass out of the tar sands as I get older. There are people, places, things and situations beyond our control so it's ok to be uninspired. It's ok to step back, I do not have to perform all of the time. There is a new normal to adjust to.

April 3 marked 31 years that I’ve been sober. Yep, I’ve broken my anonymity at first the intention was to help out a particular friend in need but then so many chimed in and I realised how it helped them. I’ve been blessed with 31 years of sobriety: no alcohol, not a drop, not even social drinking as some folk think that just one glass now and then is ok, but not for me. I’ve got too much to lose. 31 years sobriety is a lifetime investment in me and the clarity I’ve acquired so that I have learned how to bring my projects to fruition.

I trust that you are staying safe and well at home during lockdown; reaching out to those who may be having a difficult time via phone calls, video chats, or the old email. It is a time of renewal and cleansing, thus an uncomfortable time of transition where we learn our boundaries, clearly seeing where I end and you begin. Those boundaries, I will respect and maintain.

Type-A friends, please pace yourselves. Type-B friends, I’m learning a lot from you.
If you need to chat, drop me a line via my social media. If I need to chat, I will reach out to you…