03 Oct

It's been a looooong while since I last wrote anything in this Notebook section. I think an update is long overdue. A lot has happened since March! And I've tried to stay off of social media almost completely because I usually feel physically sick after a few minutes when I go on those sites. My quality of life is noticeably better when the SM apps are off my phone. So, if you want the realness from the source, KM himself, here ya go. I'll mainly stick to the music.

We made it across the country and back, alive! And kinda evolved. Not like Pokémon. But we did spend time with a bunch of Pokémon-like little beings for about four and a half months. People call 'em cats. They hung out with us and we took care of them and their "owner"s' homes while they traveled. We all helped each other grow in our own ways. It was a great time, definitely a unique experience, and not one Emma or I regret, but, nobody could have warned us about how heartbreaking it is to build a life / home through deep relationships in a place and then abruptly have to pack up and leave 6-10 weeks in. Twice. It's extremely jarring. And since those cats live so far away, with people who aren't necessarily our friends (like, friends we'd travel two thousand miles to visit), we'll probably never see them again. It's a very weird feeling, and makes you face the idea of loss head-on. But we grew a lot. Maybe partly as a result.

Anyway, it wasn't all bad. We actually had a lot of fun. Got diverted to a different route because of a historic snowstorm on the way out west and got to see the shockingly beautiful top left section of the country. I'll tell you specifics some other time. Go see it! It's just there!!! Look on the satellite image -- wayyyy fewer lights. Way fewer people. It's incredibly majestic and huge and magical out there. Those states left a huge impression on us. Not the humans, but the land and the spirit of it. The planet is physically so diverse, but society (in our experience) kinda remained the same. You just cannot replicate the deep, deep peace and ease of life you feel standing in the Redwood forest or the Utah desert in a modern city. It's just a different thing. Alas. There is no wrong way! I just really cherish the memory of that profound, tangible peace.

I was able to record my album. The recording process was very difficult -- I've never had to do it all myself like this before (well, not since I was 14/15, but i didn't release that stuff) -- but I got it done. It was a healing process. Guitars in Oregon, vocals in Kansas. Tried to finish the mixing and mastering in Kansas in the final few days, too, and failed hilariously. But it's okay. I've made progress, and I'm close to finishing it now. I want these songs to sound like I made them on my laptop in my house, and they do. (Even though they were made in other people's houses, lol.) There are barely any effects on or edits to anything. I want it to sound like an extremely imperfect human made it. Not on AI, but an I. The album is called "You." Emma took a really trippy photo for the cover when we were visiting the World's Largest Kaleidoscope. I'll put the lyrics up on here soon. Stay tuned.

I didn't book any gigs on the road. Just played a few open mics and focused on recording. Now we're back home in Syracuse, and I've started playing out a bit again. I love it. I missed it a lot. I intend to get rolling with the regular performing thing when the album is ready. The idea of building a home and some community and momentum in one place is now really exciting. Not a place to stay forever, or a place to stop traveling and stay in; a place for now, and a base to travel from. Our lives are our own, and our validation is internal. Life is movement! But there's definitely something to be said about rootedness. Living without roots takes a toll on the spirit. It feels really good to be home breathing this air in this very special place. We were both born here for a reason. Now, we're finally getting the chance to step into our full (or fuller) selves as adults. And I finally get to give this a shot for real, full time.

So, lots ahead. Daunting and exciting at once. Heads packed with memories and hearts weary but full of love and gratitude. I turned 25 a month after we got home in mid-August, and I feel it. 24 was a long year. 25 feels fitting. Can't wait to let it all unfold.

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