How are you? We are doing just fine--thanks for asking :) No really...we are and we have some major news for you. We want to share it with you...and it’s finally time. Hoo-freaking-ray!
Have you ever felt stuck? Like, really stuckkkkkk. Not a temporary “funk-stuck”---but in a really, really, thick stuck-ness? (Very technical term.) Well, if you’ve ever had that feeling, we feel ya. Cause that’s where we’ve been. And I hesitate to say “been” like it’s past tense...because we are still kind of in that...but we are taking active steps towards getting unstuck, like woah, and we’re going to tell you what that means.
Last year we wrote an eBook about finding inspiration and one of the exercises we suggested is to “change up your routine or shake things up” when you’re feeling stuck. So, being people who don’t like to give advice unless we’re willing to take it, we did. Like, we reallllllllly did. You ready for this? Here’s the short story:
- Jill sold her house in Nashville where we both were living.
- We sold almost ALL of our belongings.
- We are going on an adventure (and you’re coming with us. Please don’t leave us. Ha!)
WHAT? Have you guys lost your ever-loving minds? I’m envisioning your brains squealing to a halting stop right about now. Say what? Yup. We did it guys. Sold every piece of furniture. Sold every piece of artwork except for one painting. Had a garage sale. Gave approximately 2 full car loads to Goodwill. We each kept a few bins of “keepsake memorabilia” in storage, but other than that, we are FREE. We are now each traveling with one suitcase, carry-on roller bag, a backpack, and a purse (and of course our guitars!). And it feels amazing. So freeeeee! We’ve really taken the minimalism thing to the next level...haha! (Thanks Marie Kondo)
Now, let’s back up to how we got to this decision.
In May of this year we recorded some acoustic covers. We had such a good time recording our Acoustic Covers Vol 1 album in 2014, that we decided to do more. Our awesome licensing company in LA was also excited about having these new songs to pitch for TV/Film because covers are SO HOT RIGHT NOW...or so sayeth the cool kids.
So, we decided the theme was going to be “throwbacks” and we sat down to try and make some of these favorite songs our own. We started with the upbeat, life-giving anthem by Cyndi Lauper: Girls Just Want To Have Fun! We began messing around with the song, and low and behold, this EPICALLY sad, slow, tear-at-your-heart, make-you-refill-your-wine-glass-5-times version comes out. We sort of just looked at each other with blank stares. Then there were a few tears. Because we had this realization: we weren’t having any fun anymore.
We wanted to...but we just weren’t. We still knew that we loved music. That we loved songs. We loved writing. Singing. Harmony. Melody. The way music just reaches down deep inside of you...we still loved it...but we weren’t having any FUN anymore. In all of the hustle and bustle...the trying to make it work...we lost the element of fun. It was work. It was struggle. And if you know us at all or have been following us for any amount of time, you know that we LOVE fun. Fun is life, guys. And we just weren’t having any. We wanted the lighthearted, the laughter, the spontaneous....and it just wasn’t happening.
The last few years have been a hard blur of sorts. We lost one of our dearest to cancer. We lost jobs. We lost money. Loss was a common theme. Not sure what it was, but we just couldn’t seem to get over the hump of stuck-ness. However, we weren’t ready to be done either.
We DEFINITELY don’t feel like it’s over. So don’t go thinking this is a “the end” blog because we know and we hope you know: the only way to fail is to quit and we have about ZERO plans of quitting so...yeah. Just needed to put that out there :) People like you have kept us going and keep us going. Your emails, meeting you at shows, hearing you respond and relate to our songs and our blogs. You guys bring meaning to us and inspire us to keep making music, writing, and sharing life with you guys.
We’ve had an incredible career so far and we are honestly so grateful...and we’ve definitely had bouts of success. It’s not like we’ve totally failed. But, the last couple years have been so stressful...and mostly stressful because we’ve been trying to make money from music and like any indie musician will tell you, it’s tough. For the past couple years we have invested, invested, invested in every aspect...and we have seen the return on investment in almost every area, except for financially. And we’re still believing that one day that will turn around--we 100% believe that we will make livings off of our music and songwriting, etc. But right now, it’s not happening. We’ve been so fortunate to have other awesome jobs to help us pay the bills, and we still do.
Anyway, we just sort of found ourselves in this spot where we’d played the big stages, traveled the world, lived the big dream...but also, nannied, eaten beans and rice, and gone into debt from making investments in our career. We invested everything we had and got to a point where we had to decide. Stop? Change? Quit? Keep going hoping for the best?
So, one day in June, Jill said out of the blue: what if I sell my house and we can pay off some bills, chase some fun, find some inspiration, and kick-off a new season. We needed to get unstuck and shake things up. Chase the things that are life-giving. My immediate answer was: YES. And so twenty-something odd days later, the house was on the market and 10 days after that, it sold. Sayyyyy whaaaaaaat? SOLD.
Honestly, and this is hard to say, but neither one of us thought that life would turn out like this. At this point in our lives we both thought we’d have songs on the radio, be touring more, be winning Grammys (hello 7th grade dream), have “established” careers and so on. And on personal levels, we thought maybe we’d each have awesome husbands right now...maybe have each had some kiddos….but that’s just not the way things have turned out. And of course we struggle with comparing our lives to our friends, peers, and strangers our age.
But, life doesn’t always go the way you think it’s going to go and maybe you’re reading this also thinking that you thought you’d be somewhere else or life would look differently. And you know what...that’s okay. Why? Because we’re all in this together. And it’s never too late. Ever. And where we are, and where you are, in life, is right where we’re supposed to be. We truly believe and trust that this is true. We also believe it’s possible to make change. Don’t believe the lie that says you’re stuck, it’s over, things will never change, etc. It’s just not true.
One thing that we’ve talked about FOR YEARS and you all have told us to do FOR YEARS, we are finally going to do. This new adventure season is the perfect time to do it. Friends, will you go on this adventure with us?
We give you: GIRLS JUST POD TO HAVE FUN (coming this fall!)
Ahhhh that’s right. (Also, doesn’t everybody have a podcast now?) This is our podcast about fun and what to do with life when it hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would. This podcast will be following our journey (it’ll be a journey because we really don’t have many plans yet or know the outcome of anything) back to finding the FUN in life....interviewing our fun friends, having serious talks and ridiculous talks...all while recording it for you.
Here’s something we talk about in our first episode, but it’s crazy you guys. When you move, movement happens. Change begets change. The day after we decided to sell Jill’s house and go on this adventure, we had told a total of zero people. But, literally the day after our decision, our phones both buzzed with a text from our friend Luke who is a ridiculously talented producer. His text said he wanted to produce 4 songs for us and that he had a hole in his schedule freeing him up to work most of August and September. We’ve been wanting to work with him for ages, but he’s a really busy dude. He’s produced stuff for Walker Hayes, David Kroll and so many other awesome artists. So, we did it. The last 6 weeks before closing on the house we recorded 4 new songs! We made HAVING FUN a priority and IT WAS SO FUN. (Scroll down to the bottom of this blog to see more pics from the studio.)
So, we are also going to be releasing NEW MUSIC too. It might be those 4 songs or we might go back and record a few more, but really...those 4 are almost done and we think you are going to love them. We LOVE them.
So, our first stop on this new adventure is New England. Because, obviously. New England is where we met and started this whole shindig circa 14 years ago. New England is where we both graduated from college. It is also where Jill is a straight-up native and her parents still live in a house that is a quarter-mile from the ocean (all the praise hands!) New England is where some of our best friends still live. So, last Friday, September 29th, we loaded up Jill’s car (mine is staying in Nashville so we have wheels when we’re back) and we hit the road. We drove all day, spent the night in Virginia, and made the rest of the drive Saturday. We literally drove straight to the ocean and it was pitch black, but we had to see it. We had to document the end of a hard, stuck season and feel the 40-degree ocean air fill our lungs with hope, newness, and an excitement down deep in our bones. We took this picture and had to use the flash because it was PITCH BLACK. But look at the excitement on our faces! Look at it, guys. It’s real.
People have asked us what “our plans” are, and frankly, we don’t have many or any that are set in stone. Except to be in the moment and to be present as much as possible. To chase the things that are life-giving to us. To experience freedom and joy again. To re-ignite our passion for what we were made to do: sharing stories through making music. When you don't have plans, it leaves room for anything to happen. And we are up for anything. We can't wait to find out what it is.
So there you have it. We told our friend Bob our “plans” (ps. what’s a word for non-planned-plan, cause we need one) and he said, “Oh, it’s what the Australians call a “walkabout.” Yes, perfect. Of course the Aussie’s know what’s up: A walkabout. So we want you to join us on this walkabout for two reasons:
We like you and we’d like the company.
We will test out this theory for you. We will see if you can really get yourself unstuck and turn your life around. Therefore, if it turns out really badly, you can learn from us and not do the same thing...haha. But if it works...it’ll be proof that you can get unstuck and chase fun yourself too.
So, let’s do this thing. Podcast, coming soon. New music, coming soon. FUN, coming soon. Change, coming soon.
Thank you guys for being in this with us. We’re in it with you. Let’s go.
Jill and Kate