Boulder, CO – Leggo My Ego – May 29, 1998

Things have been crazy and now I HATE my album.  I never want to hear any of these songs ever again after this damn thing is over.

I’ve been singing out of tune for DAYS!  It’s driving me crazy and I drove home tonight listening to music I couldn’t bear to sing along with least I’d have to hear my own voice.

Sometimes I have a shitty day. I haven’t slept well or eaten enough or I’ve eaten too much or not exercised. These are the days I worried about to Fausta back in her hippy therapy shack on Martha’s Vineyard.

It’s these days when my soul feels rubbed raw and every voice in my head is yelling “What do you think you’re doing? You are SHIT at this! Your songs suck. Your voice sucks. You can’t play guitar for shit and you look like ass.” During these self-abusive sessions, I look to anything that will drown the voices out.   Sometimes a drink puts the fire out. Sometimes I just have to go to bed.  But when I can’t sleep, I turn to applause to repair the cuts and bruises I inflict on myself. The battery is relentless and can go on for days.  

Sleep is the healthiest of my crutches but it doesn’t always work.  Last night, for instance, I woke up with the fullest brain of assholes I’ve ever experienced.  “You can’t be a musician.” They said, “You suck and your songs suck.” “You can’t perform.”   “What were you thinking recording a demo?” 

Sometimes I feel so small that if my body were just a 1/2 a pound lighter I’d fall through the cracks in the sidewalk.  In these moments I say to myself “I’m nothing. I am nothing.  I am a housewife.  I am Betty Crocker and where’s my little tiny cooking set?”

And then I feel sudden bouts of relief.  The sort that alo vera brings to burns, the sort that tingles like mint jelly on lamb chops, the sort that nibbles like patient waves at the crust of a shoreline.  But then the dis-ease begins again and I want to scream and fill canyons with echos. Instead, I silently cry and scratch my face until the pain subsides.

I had to wake Kipp and beg him to hold me “Just talk me down.” I begged, my breathless tears nearly strangling me as he rocked me back to sleep. 

Booze and applause are decidedly the more detrimental of my crutches.  And, while alcoholism runs in my family and is a risky rod to bait, an addiction to applause would surely take me down quicker than a career in booze.  Drinking applause when you need it is different from accepting it as an unnecessary gift.  It wakes my roaring ego, that dangerous and skilled villain, who speaks to me in my own voice and locks me out of my own soul.

How I’ll stay away from ego:

  1. I’ll make fun of myself.
  2. I’ll make a point of enjoying other success.
  3. I’ll love myself regardless of whether others enjoy my music.
  4. I’ll never be jealous or bitter.  I’ll never do anything just because it might “look good” or “boost my image” but I will believe in everyone I surround myself with and I will believe in all my decisions.

I feel 8 months pregnant with this record.  It’s too late to turn back now and yet I’m scared as shit to give birth to it and set it free into the world.  How will it be received? Who will love it?  Does it matter?

I just want perform to my very best, sing with all my might, and do it to an absorbent crowd.  

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “Boulder, CO – Leggo My Ego – May 29, 1998”

  1. Dear Sally,
    Thankyou for sharing such raw, emotional days we all may encounter from time to time.
    Sounds like your hormones were dictating your mind and feelings….loosing all contact with your heart and soul. Sounds like your retreat to nature and surrounding yourself with love and alot of rest is the cure to manic states of our bodies.
    Taking our time and enjoying the little gifts from nature…like smelling our favorite flower …always brings us back to our senses.
    Ready to give again to be apart of the ebb and flow of each wave. Happiness surely comes in waves 😊🌊💓🎶💃🌺

    1. Thank you for the gentile landing SueAnn. Grace comes in waves.

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