a forest in or near Brussels that Sarah explored just hours ago.

a forest in or near Brussels that Sarah explored just hours ago.

My last several posts have been wildly vague, so I’m going to explain my week back home a little more, and also talk about where I’m at personally, which affects my music.

Last week was interesting for me. I was really not sure what to expect being back home, after nearly ten months away. In the past, I’ve reached out to friends and family, letting them know I’d be around for the week, but this time, I decided to just lay low and see who was available when I got there. I spent a lot of time alone just driving around, eating my favorite Napa foods and enjoying Ritual coffee. I took a really awesome walk out in the country (and a wild turkey chased me back to my car). I saw my grandparents and a few other relatives. It was really nice vacation for me. Low stress. No real commitments. In a way, going back home shed some light on my personal growth. I just felt different there. I wish I could unpack that more, but I’m not sure I quite understand it all the way. So, I spent Sunday and Monday in Napa, and then I headed to Oakland from Tuesday to Thursday, and I stayed with some really sweet, hospitable friends in El Cerrito. While in the East Bay, I worked on a new song with my friend Greg, and I have to say, I really like what we put together. On Friday, I went back to Napa, and then on Saturday morning I drove back to LA. All in all, it was a really smooth, peaceful, and enjoyable week.

Okay. That’s what physically happened. Now I’m going to share some of my mental process with you.

I’m driving back down to LA, and I have this new song that I really like. Greg and I had a blast putting it together, and it just feels new and different. And I’m thinking to myself how I’ve really enjoyed being more open lately. I really like when people give me honest feedback. Because, I’ve just recently discovered that being open doesn’t harm you, it helps! So, I decided to send my new song to a few music friends, and I just asked for some general feedback about the song. I mentioned that I’m just sort of in discovery mode and learning more about my sound, etc.

The next day, I was talking to Sarah about this feedback thing and I realized something. Yes, I want the feedback and I’m open to it, but because I know myself a little bit, I can see that it is probable that I sent the song to these specific people because I wanted them to hear my improvement and I wanted them to say they liked it. I already know how I feel about the song generally. I like it! I don’t really need someone else to tell me that. Maybe, if I had a specific part in mind, it would be cool for me to send it to a musician and say “hey would you want to maybe lay down a part for this?”. Anyways. I don’t feel bad about sending the song for general feedback, but I probably won’t be doing that again.

I’ve been really baffled my how wise Sarah is. She really encourages me on my path to self-awareness. We talked about my general approach to music and she had some good advice. She basically said not to get caught up in one thing, but to just focus on one day at a time. For instance, this new song is really cool, but it’s okay to just let it be what it is, and when I feel ready to master it and release it, then I should. She thinks I should do an even amount of writing, producing, practicing, and attending events/shows. Once I let go of expectations and long term goals, my openness and flexibility will inevitably put me in the right places at the right times. In other words, relax and enjoy the ride! I really liked getting her input on all of this, and I feel that she is pretty spot on. I’m really lucky to have her in my life.

So now I’m going to go play music on the pier.

Don’t forget who you are, where you came from, and how special you are.

Ashton York