The Most Important Thing (When Things Suck)

As some of you know, earlier this week I (Ty) severely injured my back, and I've been pretty much incapacitated ever since. Big thanks to everyone who has reached out to me with such kindness - I feel it. I feel very lucky. Being in such extreme pain and not able to do much for myself this past week has been very humbling, and when I haven't been in a loopy drug haze I've been thinking a lot. Thinking about how quickly things can change. Thinking I want to be a calmer, less worried person. I can't help but think that stress played a part in my injury. I've been going, going, going for the past, oh, 15 years or so, and really hustling overtime for the past 3. I've based a lot of my self-worth on being a "do-er." I'm proud of my accomplishments, and I'm always working on new projects. And then with one quick motion on Monday, my body just suddenly said "No. You have to stop." But! No buts. I had to stop. Full stop, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 (or $2000 or whatever we would have made from those gigs). Just stop. I really had no choice. 

Stopping is such a weird sensation. We cancelled some shows, and they were shows I was really looking forward to. Canceling is something I've done only a handful of times in my whole career. I hate doing it. But it's nice to see that life goes on. And it's also terrifying to see how life goes on, and it will continue to go on whether or not I ever play another show again, and also after I'm gone. 

We're not as important as we think. Success used to mean so much to me. Now I'm less interested in my own personal success and more interested in making real connections with people, in helping as many people as possible. Maybe that's just called growing up. But also - the way we show up for each other when things suck? That's important. That's the most important, lasting thing of all.

3 comments

  • Lynn

    Lynn Seattle

    So very sorry to hear about your injury! I wish you a complete recovery, friend. Leave it to you to find the silver lining and be able to look at your situation with hope and peace, instead of frustration and anger. This will undoubtedly give new songs some time to germinate, too! I've been playing Joyful Sign all week in my car driving to/from work instead of listening to npr. Wouldn't you know that I've felt so MUCH happier, exercising my lungs and loving the melodies and lyrics as much as ever!! I never get sick of hearing girlyman, and as I told Nate after a gig on the Cayamo cruise, what you all have is deeply healing and as soothing to weary hearts and minds as a long, comforting hug from a good friend who wants to relieve you of life's hard edges for awhile. Like laying in a hammock in the spring sun, w ith sweet smells on the breeze. So, thank YOU, Tylan, for all the songs I love and amazing power of restoration they bring to my soul!! Can you believe you'd ever heal people in this way? It's big stuff. You made it happen from inside yourself and will continue to bless and bring joy along this journey. Thank you again, darling Ty, and please feel better soon!! Also word to Ingrid Elizabeth! I enjoy her sound, too! I'm looking forward to the make up show when you get back here to the PNW. I want MOBs to be regulars in my cd player. Sending you light and love, xo

    So very sorry to hear about your injury! I wish you a complete recovery, friend. Leave it to you to find the silver lining and be able to look at your situation with hope and peace, instead of frustration and anger.

    This will undoubtedly give new songs some time to germinate, too! I've been playing Joyful Sign all week in my car driving to/from work instead of listening to npr. Wouldn't you know that I've felt so MUCH happier, exercising my lungs and loving the melodies and lyrics as much as ever!! I never get sick of hearing girlyman, and as I told Nate after a gig on the Cayamo cruise, what you all have is deeply healing and as soothing to weary hearts and minds as a long, comforting hug from a good friend who wants to relieve you of life's hard edges for awhile. Like laying in a hammock in the spring sun, w ith sweet smells on the breeze. So, thank YOU, Tylan, for all the songs I love and amazing power of restoration they bring to my soul!! Can you believe you'd ever heal people in this way? It's big stuff. You made it happen from inside yourself and will continue to bless and bring joy along this journey.
    Thank you again, darling Ty, and please feel better soon!!
    Also word to Ingrid Elizabeth! I enjoy her sound, too! I'm looking forward to the make up show when you get back here to the PNW. I want MOBs to be regulars in my cd player.

    Sending you light and love, xo

  • Richard Aerni

    Richard Aerni Rochester, NY

    So sorry to hear about your injury. My partner was t-boned 18 months ago by a guy running from the police (and running a red light) and her life hasn't been the same since. Mine either. The healing comes slowly and sometimes painfully. And as a full-time sculptor, her work has also pretty much ground to a halt. Sucks. I'm listening to Girlyman's "Everything is Easy" album right now, and wanted to find out what had happened to you. I'd always loved your songs, most especially "Somewhere Different Now," and gone through jags where I've listened to it over and over and over again. I guess I relate. And tonight, cooking, put it on again. It had a strangely soothing effect on me, after listening to all the horrible news out of Orlando and the various political shenanigans going on. Thank you. I hope you are healed/healing, and getting back to normal. Best to you.

    So sorry to hear about your injury. My partner was t-boned 18 months ago by a guy running from the police (and running a red light) and her life hasn't been the same since. Mine either. The healing comes slowly and sometimes painfully. And as a full-time sculptor, her work has also pretty much ground to a halt. Sucks.
    I'm listening to Girlyman's "Everything is Easy" album right now, and wanted to find out what had happened to you. I'd always loved your songs, most especially "Somewhere Different Now," and gone through jags where I've listened to it over and over and over again. I guess I relate. And tonight, cooking, put it on again. It had a strangely soothing effect on me, after listening to all the horrible news out of Orlando and the various political shenanigans going on. Thank you. I hope you are healed/healing, and getting back to normal. Best to you.

  • Mouths of Babes

    Mouths of Babes

    Thank you for your comments, Lynn and Richard. They mean a lot to us! xo Ty (& Ingrid)

    Thank you for your comments, Lynn and Richard. They mean a lot to us! xo Ty (& Ingrid)

Add comment