Here on AbundantlyKate, I share a lot about myself. My interests, my style, my favorite beauty products – my thoughts about life, love, and growing up. But thus far, I still have yet to share the most important part of myself. At first, I was afraid to be honest, frightened by what people would think, but I’m not anymore.
I have written in past posts about my decision to skip out on my first year of college to “pursue my dreams,” but I realize I never actually talked about what those dreams are. My friends and family of course, already know this about me, but I think it’s time to share it here on AbundantlyKate.
I am a singer/songwriter, and I am pursuing a professional career as an artist in the music industry. I play guitar, and compose all of my own music. I have been writing since I was ten years old, and it is an art that has captured my heart, my mind, and my soul.
When I was a young kid, I used to sing all the time. High School Musical was my jam. I dreamed about becoming a singer, and I used to draw doodles of myself performing on stage in front of massive crowds of people. I even sang a solo in my school’s spring concert in fifth grade. Shortly after, my parents bought me my first guitar, and that is when the thought occurred to me – what if I could write music?
And that was the beginning.
Through middle and high school, I wrote. My subject matter began with goofy little rhymes about life, into the angst I had over the horrors of middle school, and then moved towards more serious topics of love, opinion, heartbreak, and the magic of storytelling. I have always loved to tell stories, and that is what I do through my music. And even more surprising?
I’m actually kinda sorta good at it.
Keep in mind, I say all of this in complete humbleness. As I wrote and played my various songs for my parents over the years, they noticed that something was happening. They said, “Kate, you are good at this.” Not in a we’re-only-saying-this-because-we’re-your-parents type of way (because trust me, they’d tell me if I sucked) – in an honest, we’re-not-letting-you-give-up-on-this type of way. And it sunk in. It made me want to keep going.
But alas, in every story, there is a villain. My villain was fear. My whole life, I have struggled with anxiety, and about mid-way through my high school career, I got lost. I focused on my “friends”, fitting in, trying to feel popular, how I looked, yada yada yada…and my music got stuck on the very highest shelf in the very back of my soul – barely reachable, even with a step ladder. Fear looked at me and said, “your dream is impossible – pick something else.” My heart pulled back in fright, but continued to whisper, “it’s what I love.” So, I tiptoed around the edge of the ocean, staring longingly towards my dream, but unable to dip my toes into the water, for fear of what would happen to me if I failed. Thankfully though, this is not the end of the story.
At the beginning of my junior year, my class schedule was all sorts of jacked up. I wanted to take the music appreciation class my school offered, but because of all the other classes I needed to take to graduate, get into college, feel smart (LOL), I had to change around my whole schedule to get what I wanted. Thankfully, Mrs. Christensen, my school’s choral director and music appreciation teacher, approached me and suggested that I join choir, which magically worked perfectly into my new class schedule. I didn’t realize at the time how grand of a blessing this was.
Choir pulled my music off it’s shelf, dusted it clean, and plopped it right in front of me. All of sudden, I noticed all of the things I loved about music, and it created an opening in my heart, once again, for my passion to re-situate itself in my life. Mrs. Christensen believed in me, my classmates encouraged me, and my music would not leave me alone. Don’t get me wrong, I still ignored it for quite some time, but it was there. And in this moment, that was all it needed to do.
Fast forward to senior year, fall of 2015. I went through the motions just like everyone else – final SAT testing, applying (and freaking out about applying) to colleges, and not-so-patiently waiting to hear back. There was one school in particular I couldn’t get my mind off of – a private university with an incredible music program. Once again, there was my dream, ceaselessly poking and prodding, whispering “pay attention to me!” in my ear. But Kate had other plans. Kate chose the practical route. Kate got accepted to an in-state public university, where she would major in business and pursue a career as a business woman that would make lots of money and wear pantsuits. El. Oh. El.
By February, everything was set. I knew where I was going to school, I had almost found a roommate, and I even announced on Facebook which university I would attend.
The very next day, reality hit me in the face.
I saw all of my friends, so ecstatic to go to their dream schools, overflowing with joy and anticipation for college – and I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had been fooling myself for months, believing that I wanted to go to this school, with these people, and do this thing…but then I realized how huge of a lie I had told myself.
I didn’t want to go to that school.
I didn’t want to do business.
I wasn’t excited about college.
What I thought I wanted, wasn’t actually what I wanted. At all.
I’m going to try and consolidate the rest of this as best as I can. With one giant leap of faith, I withdrew my deposit from said university, I stayed at home with my parents, and most importantly, I decided to give my dream a chance. Through many tears, my plans to go to community college turned into a six-month gap semester, and then into a full gap year, and now….now I sit here, in January of 2017, with my heart overflowing. This is just the beginning of my journey, hard work has been done, and there is still so much harder work to come, but I am so incredibly excited to announce that I will be releasing my first professionally produced EP of my own music in February of 2017. I am so excited to share this part of myself with all of you, and I cannot wait for y’all to hear what I have created, with the wonderful help of some of the most fabulous people I have ever met. This is such a small step into such a big world, but it is the most important step, because it is the first.
So, if you have made it this far, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my story. I believe that it is a beautiful, exciting story, and worth sharing. I will continue to share my stories, updates, and victories as my journey progresses, and I hope that y’all will come along for the ride. But most importantly, I want to leave all of you with one final thought:
Your dream will always be bigger than your fear.
Realize that, remember that, and hold on to that as you go into the future. It just might surprise you.