I stared at the cursor flashing in the empty email sitting in my inbox, then slowly crawled down onto the floor and erupted into tears.
Just two days before that, I had been riding high after an amazing launch party. From speaking at TEDxYouth, to showcasing at NAMM and launching my new site - I was flying high on adrenaline, ambition, and caffeine. The night of my Rebrand Launch Party, you showed up in droves and tuned in for my live stream concert, contributing enough for me to cover the entire cost of building my new website.
I was floored.
A week before my big launch, my mom went in for emergency surgery.
I powered through.
Then my car got totaled, and the guys who hit me fled the scene.
I brushed it off.
Then my mom's surgery results came back positive for Ovarian cancer.
It was THEN that I hit the floor.
I got sick. I didn't care about bacon jokes or answering emails. I couldn't concentrate long enough to write. I was just sad.
I've hit walls - but coming down from that high to total paralysis was a completely new experience for me. Double that on top of all the guilt from not wanting to work, and I had a perfect storm of insecurity, fear, and self-loathing.
Like, if I had more discipline, I'd want to work. Everywhere I looked, my friends and colleagues were accomplishing big things and I kept comparing my "poor work ethic" to theirs.
I couldn't. I just couldn't. I handled losing my dad earlier this year with grace - but I had expected that. Learning that my mom had cancer made me feel like the ceiling had fallen out on my chest.
My mom had been having strange symptoms for about a year. Vomiting, discomfort; but she got so caught up in taking care of my dad and maybe caught up in her own fear that she never saw a doctor. By the time she hit the surgeons' table she had a tumor the size of a volleyball.
It freaked me out. At the time of her surgery I hadn't seen a doctor in over two years. I put so much pressure on myself to "be strong." To power through and not break down. SHIT BREAKS DOWN. I firmly believe that when it does, it's our body trying to tell us what our minds won't: slow down.
So here's the deal: I'm slowing down. I'm in Laredo - headed to Houston in a few days for my mom's surgery, to be there to hold her hand (and also, so she can hold mine). She's in great spirits and so far the tests are looking good. I don't know what's coming next, and for now all I can manage is a day at a time.
I'm scared. And angry. I'm angry at my mom for not taking better care of herself and scared every time someone asks when my next show is and I can't give them an answer. I get scared that I’m not good enough unless I’m on stage or releasing albums or making you laugh.
My mom’s cancer diagnoses is teaching me that it’s OK to not be strong. In fact, it’s important to admit to myself and the people around me when I’m not. How else will they know when to hold my hand?
I know it's been a while since I've written. So this is me reaching out. I'm still songwriting, bit by bit, dreaming up the next album, and will continue to write you. My updates and newsletters might come at a slower pace than usual - but when they do, always know I really mean it. I've still got so much to learn and grow, and I'm so incredibly grateful to have you with me.
Sending you so much love from Texas,