Meltdowns, Vacation, etc
This morning I melted down in the center of Tenerife while carrying six waters and six seltzer waters.
A real weird sentence.
A real true sentence.
I don’t know that melting down is ever a reasonable choice for an adult, but here are some reasons why this morning in particular made little to no sense:
1) My view, by all accounts, was bucolic.
2) My stage views the past few days have been the stuff of actual dreams.
3) I spent the early parts of this week writing with/for young genius singer Gala, a talent so fearless and unique that at one point on day three of marathon twelve hour days she stood up on the couch, took the mic off the stand, put on what we called “inspiration sunglasses” and murdered the rest of the song.
All things I love. Things I love so much.
Nonetheless, there I was, having a meltdown. José had heroically gone to get us groceries for our upcoming vacation by himself, and all he asked was that I meet him to help carry the water.
I couldn’t do it. Six waters and six seltzer waters, and I couldn’t keep it together. I whined. I complained the entire (measly eight minute) walk back about how heavy it was. I speculated on hypothetically better plans that I had neither suggested nor taken on that could have made this water run not happen. I complained enough to almost push past the seemingly endless patience of my saint of a husband. It all worked out in the end, but man. Woof.
It was not great. In my defense, I need a vacation.
Truly. I haven’t taken a vacation, or even a day off, in five years. I run a record label with no staff, not to mention the whole songwriting / singing / album producing / touring / step-moming / trying to be a human being every so often thing.
We planned our wedding around my album release. Left for my first headlining Japan tour the very next day. It seemed a bit much, but I figured we’d do a honeymoon when things slowed down a bit, and maybe we’d take a day off or two in Tokyo.
(Did it seem a bit much? Or did I love it?)
I’m starting to see, more and more, that I was proud of being that busy.
These days I’m absolutely certain there’s no glory in this kind of overwhelm. My time in Europe among the greatest vacation takers I’ve ever met has shown this in even further dramatic relief. Shocker of the century, after we got married things didn’t slow down. We didn’t take a honey moon. And then the world ended.
Ever since then a lot has happened career wise, but I’ve been consistently frayed and anxious and snappy and just all around messy. I thought when we went on tour that would change. My water carrying kvetching told me different today.
Let’s not blame tour, though. Because that has been amazing.
I love tour, for so many reasons. It feeds me artistically. The constant input of a new city every day and the ever changing visual stimuli of the road inspire me to write, dream and imagine.
Tour feeds me spiritually. There’s nothing that compares to live music, and there is really nothing that compares to singing live in different cultures with different humans. It is electric and delicious and addictive.
And it feeds me literally. I taste new, beautiful foods and meet people through their cooking. I learn, for example, that in Spain they put whipped cream on cappuccinos.
(We should actually take a second to really talk about that.)
(Are you Spanish? Do you know someone Spanish?)
(Whose idea was it to put whipped cream on cappuccinos!? Where can I find them and hug them!? Tell them that they have brought me infinite joy?!)
But dream cappuccinos aside, the thing about tour is that eventually it becomes a deceptive state. A confusing way to travel but never take a vacation. This, compounded with the very real trauma of this pandemic chaos, burned me the fuck out this year. It led me to be the kind of frazzled mess who loses it over sparkling water, among myriad other things.
So when we priced out flights for this run and it was only 100 euros more to stay in Tenerife than go back to Amsterdam, we jumped at it.
We picked a gorgeous spartan place that boasted no frills. Just some modern furniture in a wild modern building built in the 60s into a rock mountain.
We arrived this afternoon. The hallways are literally rock caverns and there’s no space where you can’t hear the ocean roaring. The drive was so high up and so far through windy mountains that our festival driver was confused we were taking such an “authentically Spanish holiday.”
Our driver clearly doesn’t know me, because nothing is better than an authentic holiday for me, and … look at this terrace view.
We’re here for 5 days, then we play one more show and head to Greece. During this vacation I’m hoping to see no one and do nothing. Maybe I read a book. I want to write letters and a lot of postcards. To do so while in Spain I procured stamps from glorious king Francisco, pictured below.
Everyone told me I wouldn’t find a place open in Tenerife on Sunday for stamps/sellos. Everyone was wrong. Just look at that king. Look at his tie. Anything is possible.
If, in Francisco’s honor, you’d like a postcard sent to you, just comment on this post and I’ll write you one. I’ve got a lot of time these days for love. Less time for work.
As such, I’ve set this as my vacation responder and I’m sticking to it:
Truly gonna take all my minutes, in the hopes that next time I’m asked for a minor favor I’m able to do it without a tantrum. Gonna try and take care of myself, one authentic Spanish holiday day at a time. Love you endlessly and see you next week for updates.
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