Life in Toronto so far

Life in Toronto so far

Before I begin blabbering on about my life, I need to get out of the dark lest my perfectionist monster scares me off again! So click > here < for a song in as-is-condition. Please note that it is free to download, click the "...more" button. 

Since I moved to Toronto August 2017, my world has changed immensely. I’ve made remarkable friends and learned how to retain a sense of connection that spans the distance between my British Columbian pals and I. I miss them. Maybe I speak for more than just the introverts of the world but I gather that we are especially reliant on the emotional safety and trust that is bolstered through long-time friendships. It’s a relief to be authentic and I do my very best to remain true to myself when I meet new people but I get exhausted fostering new relationships and investing time in getting to know one another. I like to get a sense of who people are on a deep level and although some people open up bold and generously, most people remain a little guarded.. so it takes some time. I enjoy being patient and am grateful for free long distance plans. Meeting so many artists and kind people in Toronto has been a relief and although I feel lost without the trees and the ocean of the west coast, I feel that being in a new environment has made me vulnerable in an uncomfortably awesome way. Torontonians have been surprisingly safe people to be around. I expected less of a city this big, a city who is known for being a hustle, bustle business town. No offense but I DID expect less and you gotta know that I have been astonished and am grateful for the remarkably welcoming community I’ve encountered.

I love learning and school is a beautiful thing. Having structure, encouragement and deadlines is a blessing and the Independent Songwriting and Performance program at Seneca College provided all that and more. The teachers were heroic role models who showed a vested interest in providing useful information and hearing the voice of each and every student. Graduating was slightly triumphant but also sad and scary. Luckily, I got to visit my sisters, dad and niece in BC between school and the big Canadian Music Week event. We managed to make time for baby burping, sun bathing, ocean air breathing and forest roaming. 

 Next thing I knew I was back in Toronto to work as Gary Taylor’s personal assistant for CMW. I spent half of my time in the office, doing graphic design and sending emails to mentors in the Mentors Cafe and the other half I spent listening to panels, taking notes, drinking free coffee, water and talking to industry people… generally stepping outside my comfort zone. In the evenings, I was reminded of the reason for all of this hullabaloo. The live music performances were amazing. I am aware that most of the artists do not get payed to be there and a lot of them travel from far away. I mostly went to see friends of mine perform. Carmanah, Foxglove and Fortune Killers. Fortune Killers stayed at my house which was fantastic because I've been feeling like I don't have enough close friends here yet. CMW was full of fantastic music and the whole event washed by! The memory of CMW in my brain appears a Ben Van Netten painting who’s blur of colours give me vertigo. For me, music conferences are an abstract mass of faces, information and emotions that are vibrant and unsettling with a beauty who’s meaning is unique to the individual. 

 One of the most resounding messages I heard from CMW came from a producer’s panel hosted by Lisa Patterson of Imaginit Music. The panelists invited a group of aspiring female producers to come up and answer questions as the voice of the new generation. One girl talked about creation and how her own perfectionism and self-criticism could keep her from releasing any music. I realized that I’ve let this happen and that this girl had pointed out the solution to the shame I’d been feeling throughout the music conference. Most of the content on my website is at least 2 years old so I’ve felt really embarrassed about my lack of dedication to being an artist who is faithful to creation and offering people access to those creations. It’s as if I haven’t called my mom since 2015 and I’m dying to show her my newest drawing so she can put it on the fridge. Maybe it’s a selfish desire but fuck self-criticism, I need my mom’s love. I need to share who I am and I feel out of sorts if I’m still only presenting my music and myself as who I was in 2015. It’s time for new music. Nothing is up to my standards but fuck it, it’s gotta come out whether I feel ready or not. 

 I feel like a scared child who needs constant encouragement. I think that chasing a lofty goal is both exhilarating and exhausting for the soul. I’m having trouble seeing the big picture and sometimes pursuing art as a career can feel like a sea of disappointment until finally there are remarkable discoveries and the occasional white-sand-beach basking session. I realize that one of the heaviest fears I have is that when I arrive on the next island I will be drinking my champaign alone and I’ll have to consume an entire papaya with two spoons and only one stomach. I want to thank the internet for being a place I can quickly reach friends. Sometimes I fear that I am boasting and it is not publicly acceptable. Sometimes I have fears of judgement but most of the time feel better after I go ahead and wear muddy boots on the subway or sing out of tune while I bike through my neighborhood. I’m not bothering anyone for that long! 

What better day to feel a need for love and encouragement than Mother’s Day. I have one who has shared her heart in the most open and loving ways. She has ALWAYS encouraged me to keep creating and keep dreaming the seemingly impossible dreams of continuing to be artist. Today, she is on Hornby Island gardening in the same earth that she taught me how to plant carrots, water plants and eat strawberries. Today, I have two older sisters who can be counted on for sharing anything they can offer and who help me out by reminding me to call my mom on mother’s day. Today, I am not only scared of life but I am excited to face my fears because I know that family and friends always have my back. Momma was the first one.

 Happy mother’s day mom and everyone after that. Go see your moms or anyone who you know that has provided love and support when you've needed it.

- May 14th, 2018