"I’m a girl with goals." I say this all the time. My girlfriend Brendan thinks it’s funny. It is. But it’s also the truth. Goals make me feel like I’m not meandering. Like I’m heading towards something. It could be writing a book. It could be going to the mall to return an over-priced purse. I don’t know if I’m ever gonna accomplish whatever it is I’m setting out to do but I like having a destination. And I like the hope.
"'Radical Hope' (as described by Jonathan Lear), is not so much something you have but something you practice; it demands flexibility, openness, and 'imaginative excellence.' Radical hope is our best weapon against despair…"
Obama has radical hope. Love him or hate him you have to admit he has it. Honestly, if I were him, with what's been going on, I might have crawled into a hole or moved to a new planet by now. But he keeps spewing more hope. What is that man made of?
When your work is in a creative field it’s hard to keep going back to the water to cast yet another line when it seems like forever since you caught a fish. But you know what? Just sitting in that boat gently rocking back and forth and waiting…that’s a thing…an experience. You might write your best song while you’re waiting for that g-d damn fish.
Besides, there's much to be accomplished “in the meantime”—that wonderful window of nothingness. My therapist once told me that we get our best ideas when we’re bored. Touché, therapist.
It takes one song. One script. One yes in a sea of empty fish.
There were 10 years in between the time I had my first song recorded and my first life changing single. In that meantime, I wrote hundreds of songs and got better at my craft. So when I finally made it, I stayed there for a while.
These days, I have to adjust my attitude. I can’t think of myself as someone who had a handful of hits and therefore (it only makes sense), I’ll have more. I have to (try to) “wake up every morning with a smile on my face and show the world all the love in my heart.” (Hmmm…I had lunch yesterday with Sherry Kondor. I might have her mom, Carole King, on my mind.)
It’s the first day of the rest of my career. I’m going forth as a newbie. After all, it is a new world out there. There are new rules, thousands more songwriters than there used to be. And…technology has made it so that I’m not competing with just musicians any more.
I think life would be sad without hope. Even if we never get what we want. I’ve hoped for things that others have thought I was crazy to hope for. A part in the play. A boy. Bigger boobs. That amazing f*cking loft in Soho. But without hope beneath our wings there’s no momentum. And going through days simply isn't as fun. Dreaming is the best medicine (along with laughter—I love laughter.) Even if we’re being foolish or unrealistic. Who cares? Unlikely stars collide on occasion. Just not every day.
I started this blog by reciting these thoughts into a Voice Memo as soon as I opened my eyes this morning. When I was done, I reached into my night stand in search of some lip balm and this is what I pulled out. Crazy, right? Do you think the Universe was telling me something?
Believe me, I’m not Ms. glass-half-full all the time. I write this to remind myself of what brought me to this place. To remind myself of who I am: A girl with goals. And what helps me survive: Hope.
So keep your hopes up. It’s good for the soul.
What comes to mind is a song I heard over 20 years ago and never forgot. It’s written by my longtime friends Phil Roy and Bob Thiele. Pops Staples, Paul Young and Widespread Panic recorded it. But I like Phil’s version the best. Here it is. Go Phil. I miss you.