Thursday, February 28, 2008

Too much reality?

I'm starting blank tonight. Last night I posted a blog that was kind of a departure for me; you see I took a little poetic license and detailed what each band member does/goes through every Tuesday in the lead-up to rehearsal at 8:30.

However, upon re-reading it, it DID seem...invasive? In my attempt to be honest, was I exposing more of the guys- and myself- than anyone needs? Was it- too much reality?

Sean says that part of the fun of this blog is that, for the most part, it's fun. I write about the quirks of this off-beat group of people as we struggle to make our living in one of the hardest ways possible, but nothing's ever too serious or irreparable.

I thought about it all day, and after measured consideration, I stand behind my original thought- truth. In my songwriting I've always been honest, consequences be damned, because I felt that it was the only way to make art worth hearing. Leaving the Life, for example. I didn't expect the backlash that I got from my family when that one surfaced, but I'd do it again for all the people who've e-mailed me to say that it helped them deal with their own pain. Isn't that what music should do?

So in a parallel fashion, maybe somebody needs to hear this...'blog truth'. But, in fairness, I can only speak for me- the boys.. this isn't their truth crusade.:)

So on my end- it isn't always fun or easy, and I'm not always confident or clever, and some days I'm just damn tired and discouraged. I did a radio interview with a college station in Massachusetts a few months ago, and the DJ said "So where are you right now, VK, sitting in the hot tub in the Hollywood Hills?" And I said "No, I'm in my pickup truck, pulled over in the Rite-Aid parking lot, getting ready to go in and pick up my husband's medicine." He thought this was hilarious, and said "See folks? Even rockstars have to run errands sometimes!"

Sometimes? How about ALL the time, my friend. Especially on the way up, you've still got bills to pay and bathrooms to clean and dishes to do.

And how do I pay those bills? I'm a private SAT/English composition tutor for 16-17 year-olds. Is it the best job I've ever had? Damn right. Am I good at it? One of the best. Do I always love it? Hell no.

For the most part, I love my kids. They are fun and responsive, and I try to make grammar go down as easily as possible. But there are days when- like EVERYBODY ELSE- I just want to stay in bed. Particularly when I'm coming off a 'rockstar moment' when I feel like I'm on my way, and I have to plunge from that directly into prepositional phrases.

Case in point- about a week or two ago, as you regular blog lurkers know, I signed papers with Broken Halo Records. We had a kickass show at the Derby, and I was feeling the momentum. When you've been banging away at this for a long time, it's sometimes hard to keep pushing when it seems like nothing's moving. (But I'm feeling the rock start to give, and once it's rolling, look out!) So I cheerily arrived at a student's house the next day, and he was sulky about his homework.

"Well, I did it- you should be happy- I gave up my time to do it."
"It makes no difference to me- YOU'RE the one who's taking the test. I've already been to college."
"Yeah, and look at what you do- you're a TUTOR."

Now I know deep down that boy did not mean to upset me. But driving home that night, I couldn't get those words out of my mind. It threw into rather sharp relief the fact that as far as these wealthy kids are concerned, I'm a failure. A sharp-witted woman with a knack for grammar who couldn't seem to do "better" than tutoring them. They often say "Why didn't you become a REAL teacher? You're good at it." (These kinds of left-handed compliments are awesome!:)

I said to Ma, "It's hard enough some days to convince MYSELF that my life is going somewhere without these kids on my case".
She said, "Oh, sweet pea- you're so close to everything you want. Don't let this get to you. He's just a spoiled rotten kid."

(Ma. She listens without much comment when she thinks I'm wrong and lets me figure it out, but is vocal about agreeing when I'm right. Last year she'd been very quiet...but now...? She has lots to say:)

And I need to hear it. I'm missing her 50's and 60's while I'm chasing this dream; the boys in this band are putting stock in it; Sean's moved 2,000 miles across the country with me based on a belief that this voice needed to be heard; and bunches of fans are giving of their time and talents because they believe. And this voice in my head says I can't let them down. And I feel overwhelmed. And I eat a huge bowl of frozen yogurt with cinnamon, chocolate chips and raisins (It's delicious- I promise!:) and feel helpless...and chubby.

Then Sean comes home and says that it's not my responsibility to take care of everyone. Just like in the "honesty blog", I can only account for myself..everyone else makes their own choices. Just be glad they've made the choice to be with me.

So- I rally. I pragmatically realize that teenagers are the cruelest people on earth, and that HE doesn't know who I am when I'm not a tutor (I go into a phone booth and out comes- VK LYNNE!:) I write out the bills and reassure myself that the day will come when I'm not just making a minimum payment, but I'm paying off the whole thing with a flourish of the pen. I get up and drag myself to spinning class because I'll be going on the road soon, and I need to be in shape for it. And I sit down with my 21-year-old guitar teacher to learn theory I wish I'd had years ago, but am cramming into my brain now, because there's so many songs in there waiting to come out, and they need the right colors to wear before they face the world.

I look forward into no guarantees, no hard-and-fasts, no 401K and no concrete idea of what the future looks like.
It is the life that I've chosen. And whether they are my responsibility or not, for all the people in that life, I'm giving it everything.

They deserve no less. And neither do all of you.

So here's who I am. Warts and all.:)


MJ said...

YOU deserve all our love and support, because of who you are.
Rock on

Jason Hughes said...

You already are a success in a lot of people's books... I know that doesn't come with a bathtub you can play baseball in, but...


Love and hugs to you!!

CaringInfo said...

Follow your dream - never let go - those kids will remember the time spent with you and they will be glad - you may never know how much.