Late this afternoon I awoke from a nap with heave eyelids. Visions of Provo Canyon danced in my head and the fresh air of the Falls was calling my name. Poking my head out of my bedroom, I called the crew's attention and ordered them to put their shoes on and pile in the car: "We're going to Bridal Veil!"
Along the trail to Bridal Veil Falls, the smell of sweet Pine and barbecue invigorated my groggy senses. The boys, waded through the runoff and smeared wet clay all over their bodies. I love a dirty little boy.
On the drive home the conversation went something like this:
Thatcher:"Mom, would you rather eat a banana slug whole without chewing it or eat Boss's tongue?"
Me: "Banana slug."
Jackson:"Mom, would you rather have belly buttons for eyes or an eye for your belly button?"
Me:"Belly buttons for eyes."
Thatcher:"Mom, would you rather keep me or Jackson?"
Me:"Thatch, that's not a fair question."
Jackson:"Thatcher, would you rather keep Mom or Dad?"
And the conversation continued in this manner until we pulled into the driveway.
For the last few years of my career, my life has been a series of difficult hypothetical questions:
Mindy would you rather be a Deseret Book artist or an independent artist?Independent.
Mindy would you rather be a country artist or an independent artist? After a short stint in Nashville, I concluded:Independent.
Mindy would you rather be a signed female duo or an independent artist? After a sixty day trial, I concluded yet again:Independent.
And after two more offers to be a country artist, it was an easy: INDEPENDENT!
At times I have wondered if I am ungrateful for passing up generous opportunities. Could those opportunities have opened doors to the musical path I really want? But as I stood in the sound booth of a Nashville recording studio a few years ago, I felt miserable and resolved that I would rather stick a dull butter knife through my eyeball than sing country music for a career (no offense to all you country music lovers).
It just feels wrong for me to do anything that does not resonate with my authentic self. I am incredibly sensitive to it. At times this trait makes me feel like I'm floundering, trying to find my way as I reach for what feels authentic. And right now, I am really reaching. However, when I settle for what I think my audience wants to hear, I'm not writing from an authentic space, and my work falls short. Make sense?
When I released "Feather in the Wind," one review cautioned:
"This album is horrible! Don't waste your money unless you have money to throw around!"
Another accused, "Some songs here seem to be attempting to be everyone else in CCM."
Dang, I wasn't even going for CCM with that album. But it just doesn't matter. I refuse to write for my critics.
SO, the moral of these ramblings is: Hypothetically speaking, if I had to be what everyone else expected me to beORchoose to be who I am regardless of anyone's approval,I would pick the latter.