Story Behind the Song: Michaela Anne, ‘By Our Design’
In "By Our Design," Michaela Anne reflects on the unconventional path she has taken toward making a life with her family. The song comes off 2019's Desert Dove. Read on to learn the story behind it, told in Anne's own words.
I guess it was a couple of years ago. I was out in California playing some shows, and I took a few days and went to Santa Barbara, where one of my mom's good friends lives, and did a kind of self-imposed writing retreat.
I remember just feeling very ... blissful, in a way. Like, I was hiking by myself -- and I really find alone time and solo trips essential, but I was just having one of those moments where I was kind of reflecting on my life. My husband and I had just bought our house in Nashville, and I was just kind of having a moment of, "Man, we're somehow piecing together this life."
You know, to this day, a lot of people say, like, "Oh, you're a musician? Is that actually, like, your job?" or they'll refer to, like, when you had a "real job." It's all those tiny things that continually feed your subconscious [to think] that what we're doing is not realistic, or not valid. I was just really just having a moment of reflection on that, and the song came out.
It's one of those songs that came out so fast and was so simple that I questioned it for a long time, thinking, "Maybe I need more," and, eventually, I got to the place where I was like, "I don't need to say anything more."
I think the traditional model of, you know, you go to college and then you get a steady job with a paycheck and you have kids -- I don't know a lot of people doing that these days. It's a lot of insecurity, but, to me, that also means a lot of possibility.