Hard times truly will make u wonder why u even try
It's just like Paramore always says,,,...!!!
The last time I wrote one of these newsletters, a lot of things were different. The main one being, I had a job. LOL.
I’ve been scrambling to pick up the pieces of my hopes since I got laid off a week ago. For a very, very long time, it’s been my mission in life to have a day job I enjoy and do music writing on the side. This last job checked the box, and more. I worked with good, smart people who challenged me and made me better. I often felt like I didn’t belong, like I was out of my league, but most of the time I was able to turn my imposter syndrome into motivation. Most of me was hoping to be at that job for a long time.
There was a part of me that was new, though, that emerged around the time I started doing this newsletter. A part of me that wished I didn’t have to work full-time, that I could scale back to part-time or contract work so that I could treat my writing—specifically, my book—more seriously. It was a little scary, but thrilling, to feel a part of me rebel against the fail-proof system I’d rigged.
It’s corny, but I feel like I wished my job away a little too hard. I guess I still feel (despite my loved ones’ protests) that it’s my fault, that the HR lady and my manager were lying to make me feel better, that there’s something I could’ve done to prevent this from happening. That I wasn’t smart enough for this job. That maybe I’m not actually good at anything, and people are only ever humoring me, until they can’t afford to anymore.
Then, on Tuesday, it froze in Austin and we lost power. Ancient oak giants broke apart under the weight of the ice on their branches, and the city (still mostly without power as we speak) looks a little like a war zone. We’re lucky we have a warm, safe place to retreat to with our pets, but I’m still reeling. I don’t care what anyone says, living through weather catastrophes is traumatic.
I’m just feeling lost, I guess, and it feels like the fragile little sprout of a dream I’ve been tending to these past few months just got stomped on and I’m having trouble imagining a way forward.
I know, I know, it’s so tired, so basic to lose steam and give up on a creative endeavor. So painfully predictable. I won’t, I know I won’t—it all just feels really murky at the moment. When I close my eyes and try to envision getting my book about Paramore published, doing more music writing, interviewing bands I love, feeling creatively fulfilled, all I see is darkness. How can I keep dreaming when I feel like I’m drowning?
The first time I heard “Hallelujah,” I think my brain molecules burst apart and rearranged. “Somehow everything’s gonna fall right into place.” I believed it then. Can it still be true?
I find myself thinking, like I have so many times before, about the second half of the poem “Onto a Vast Plain,” by Rainer Maria Rilke:
Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.
The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.
Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.
I’m going to Nashville to see Paramore’s album release show on Monday. I have to hope I’ll find the clarity I’m looking for. I have to hope that the music I love will save me, like it has so many times before. That I’ll find relief from this nagging feeling that the joke is on me.
There’s a lot of fun stuff that happened with Paramore this last week, and I’ll do a little roundup tomorrow. But I really appreciate you bearing with this more personal (sad-sack) post. The only way out is through.
Katie from Paramore*
*Hayley had/has “Hayley from Paramore” as her name on social media so a lot of fan accounts (I guess now including me) do it too
How many days til This Is Why comes out? I’m glad you asked:
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