Saturday, October 13, 2012

seattle busking

at the end of a hard week of recording, playing music and two nights and three days away from my little guy, i headed home with $5 in my pocket and another $22 in my suitcase. how could that be? i had worked so hard and for so little monetarily. i was filled with disappointment despite fulfilling so many dreams. following my passion was not paying the bills this week and i felt discouraged.

with my 18 month old in tow, i tried to head back to my friend's seattle home, knowing i would have support and could spend the next two hours playing music at the ballard farmer's market. maybe i  could recover some of my losses. but i got lost.

so i went back to pike's place market. i tried to stay calm as the toddler in the back seat was getting impatient from the long car ride. parking was no where to be found. i finally settle on a parking garage not too far from the market. busking (street performing) at pike's place is not like busking on mass st. in lawrence, ks or the pearl street mall in boulder, co

like many other cities or busking locations, you obtain a licence, which i now had (accompanied by a long list of rules.) most of the performers know one another and help each other keep a rotation going. you wait your turn, letting the other performers know you'd like to get in line. you can play for an hour at one location and you can't be in line at another place at the same time. so i waited an hour and a half, listening to other musicians and letting cooper run around, hoping he'd tire out.

no such luck. it was my time to play...cue the toddler all out tantrum. determined to pay my rent, i stuck it out, trying a variety of things to try and perform for the countless number of people watching the struggling mama and her willful baby. "okay, sweety, mama has to keep a roof over our heads," doesn't cut it. humiliated after 45 minutes, a handful of songs, enough money for parking and an extra $3 for coffee, i pack up our stuff and call it a wrap.

exhausted, we get back to the car and head back to the island. i pulled over to dig my $22 out of my suitcase. it wasn't there. had i misplaced it? luckily i had my coffee money at the $5 in my pocket, just enough to get me on the ferry (thanks to the recent off season prices). the entire ferry ride, i access the car and start putting the pieces together. my car had been broken into!

the money was gone along with a few other things. i hadn't notice because unlike other break-ins i've experienced, not much was left out. bags had been zipped back up neatly so i hadn't noticed right away.    my day had just gone from bad to worse and i started feeling sorry for myself. this person really needed to take MY last $22 dollars?!?!

my super positive self took a bit of a beating for the next few days. i couldn't shake the anger. repeatedly, i counted my blessings, looking at all i did have. and it wasn't really about the money. i have plenty of organic fresh food, a beautiful home, a wonderful community and plenty of people to love me and help me get through tough times.

it really does take a village to raise children. i'm feeling the weight of single mamahood right now and looking for inspiration from other parents. as my child gets older, the busier he gets and the more energy is required to keep up with him.

i think every parent is faced with difficult decisions as they strive for balance in their families. my challenges are certainly different from those of a household with two parents. it just doesn't seem fair that a parent has to choose between raising their child or letting someone else raise their child while they work to put a roof over their head.

what are your thought? i would encourage you to leave a comment inspiring single mamas and papas, unhappy parents who stay in shitty jobs to provide for their families, and parents who don't have enough support. please share your story! what have you had to overcome for the sake of your family; for a loved one?

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...

You're a strong and talented soul and I'm proud of you.
We performers have a tough time of it. I only started making enough money to live about a dozen years ago...but yeah, during the worst times I was selling my library a few books at a time in order to buy quarter boxes of macaroni and cheese mix and have salted (salt packets acquired at fast food places) macaroni one night and cheese "soup" the second night. Sometimes it was hard to see that the future would be any different. But it is. And it will be for you...and I respect you so much for following your dream.