I'm Conner Carey (they/them), a poet and songwriter with a background in content marketing. Welcome to my corner of the internet.
I was a child of Britney Spears and NSYNC. I watched music videos on VH1 before every day of middle school. I stoked the fires of my eating disorder on Tumblr and taught myself HTML and CSS to code sick layouts for MySpace.
I grew up middle class — you know, when America still had one. I was 15 when my mom chose freedom over security, and my parents divorced.
After, Mom and I lived below the poverty line. It was major wake up call to the litany of advantages I had been able to take for granted.
Meanwhile, I dreamed of stardom in Los Angeles or New York. My mom even took money from her saving so I could attend a 4-week acting program at New York Film Academy in LA. It was life changing in the best way.
But I was scared. Scared I was too fat to succeed. Scared I would always struggle to make ends meet. Scared the big city would swallow me whole.
I lived on the inside of myself, so nothing outside could hurt me. But it meant that no one really saw me because I didn't let them. I felt the most myself when I pretended to be a Broadway star in my room late at night.
One night, I found an answer I didn't know I was looking for. From a Facebook ad, I discovered a hippie college in middle-of-nowhere Iowa. "Conscious-based education. Vegetarian meals. One course a month." Yes, please.
By the end of summer 2010, Mom and I visited the small town. I met other potential students who were weirdos like me. I got accepted into the university and away we went...somewhere over our rainbow.
I unfurled. I found myself. I smoked weed for the first time. I had my first kiss. I fell in love and got my heart thoroughly broken. I performed. I became known as a performer. In a small town of 10,000, I felt famous.
Then I got sick. I was committed to the hospital...a story for another day. I nearly lost my life, and it forced me to let go of hating my body.
I entered an era of self-love and self-dedication. I wrote hundreds of poems and a musical, The End of the World.
About this time, I got my first career job as a writer for iPhoneLife magazine.
The reality of being a working adult depressed the hell out of me. I came home from lunch breaks crying for the first three months. It's not like it was my first job — but it was the first job of the rest of my working life.
My experience isn't unique. That's why I'm sharing it. We know this setup isn't working. We know there is a better way to live.
Last September (2022), I began pursuing a part-time online degree in music through Berklee College of Music. I am studying Songwriting & Music Production with the goal of writing, composing, and producing my music.
I am determined to build a life that would make 15-year-old me proud. One I want to be present within more often than I want to be somewhere else.
I want to travel, own a home, be part of a thriving community. I don't believe a person should have to be wealthy to participate in those things.
At the core of my compulsion to win capitalism is the desire to relax and feel safe. So I will relax. And I will dream. And I will share what I create.
Thank You for Being
May you find something that inspires, delights, or provides room for a cleansing breath. Thank you for continuing to be inside your body. I know it's not always easy, but I thank you for your commitment to being alive.
To the kick-ass creatives full of integrity and heart, stay the course darlings. We're just getting started.
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