Thursday, March 31, 2011

you don't have to fix this, sit with me tonight--

hey friends,

last week was a tough week. I've been struggling with some depression/anxiety, and to be honest it can't possibly be situational, because most everything in my life right now is pretty dandy. so I'm nipping it in the bud and going to see my therapist and psychiatrist next week. part of it is related to my time of the month, but the rest is unexplainable. at least right now. :)

Lindsey. Lindsey is the best part of my day. I love waking up to her, going bike shopping with her, sharing meals with her, sharing struggles with her, and laughing with her. I love her smile. I get warm and fuzzy every time that I see it. I am so thankful that God put her in my life and I'm more sure everyday that she's a permanent fixture. I've never felt so safe or loved in my entire 23 years.

and, btw, I am now 23! wow.

here is what I'm going to buy myself for my birthday:

isn't it beautiful? I want to start biking to work as much as possible.

I spent a lovely and peaceful time with my mom on the cape last weekend in celebration of my birthday and hers. we played quirkle (my favorite board game), ate a delicious dinner, had martinis, walked the beach, drove the cape, and went antique shopping. I found a delightful little clock-radio by general electric from the 60's. it's adorable and I plan on plugging it in on my porch to listen to on rainy days in the summer and spring. I'm grateful those seasons are fast approaching.

thank God for you, friends.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


a friend of mine posted this on facebook, and it got me thinking:

the article is all about self-compassion and how it does wonders for the soul. I am known for being hard on myself; it's something I've done professionally since I was Will's age. (funnily enough, he's the same way. I see so much of myself in these kids. I bet that's not a coincidence.) I've always had one thing or another that I've actively hated about myself, which is strange because I'm constantly being told by the people that I love that I'm wonderful. this article emphasized the point that people who are compassionate and understanding towards others tend to have a hard time doing the same thing for themselves...for the last two weeks, I've had to turn up the compassion, and I think that may be one of the reasons I've spent so much time beating myself up and feeling guilty. every time that I reach for a small piece of chocolate or log it in my fatsecret account, I'm feeling shame--shame that I shouldn't feel for a measly piece of chocolate. every time that I do something just a little bit wrong at work, I turn it over and over in my head, inspecting how I could do it right the next time and yelling at myself for doing it wrong this time. it just makes dieting and healthy living that much more of a burden. it just makes being me so much harder.

the thing is, I'd love to just let it go. easier said than done. here I am beating myself up for being myself up! it's hilarious. I just ran a half marathon, and all I can think about is how I'm not going to meet my weight goal on friday when I go to personal training. I just started an awesome new job a month ago and all that I can think about is when they're going to fire me for being inadequate, when I haven't done anything to provoke that.

my point is: I'm a loved, beautiful, artistic young person. I just ran 13 miles. I have a great job working with little ones that I love more than a lot of the people around me, and I just met them. I have hope in a future of playing music (in one context or another) with amazing people who support me. I have a phenomenal girlfriend who kisses me at the end of every day. I am surrounded by a God that reminds me of all of this love at every turn, regardless of how hard I try to forget about it.

we shouldn't forget it. we are all so loved, so valuable. I am loved and valuable.

with as much compassion as I can muster,


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

love is a crying baby mama warned you not to shake...

I think today might be a day where lists best express my feelings. lolz. so here we go.

things I have been learning about myself:

-on days where I wake up feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, prayer always seems to lift a bit of that weight off.

-m+ms do not always soothe my pain, in fact sometimes they make it worse.

-I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.

-I have a super-power for loving people. I just need to use it carefully, because sometimes it can be a bit of a kryptonite for my other super-powers. ;)

-babies make me smile, which leads to happiness, which leads to overall peacefulness.

things I need to work for:

-eventually getting rid of my emotional eating habits

-a disciplined schedule

-loving myself and letting the mistakes go

-regularly turning to my support systems when I need them

things I am excited about:

-my upcoming record

-continuing this job

-opening for Anne Heaton on March 6th at Passim

-applying to FRFF

-accomplishing my dreams (big and small)

-spending more and more time with the girl I love <3 (Lindsey)

-starting training with Beth and being proud of my body

people I'm praying for:

-my Katie. for peace in her life and kindness wherever she goes.

-Tim and Alice; for Spring to come soon so that they are not out in the cold with the people they love on the streets.

-my parents. for direction and a clear idea of what the future holds for them.

love yourselves so you can love others,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

awake my soul--for you were made to meet your maker.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how when you make a real, genuine, big's usually something that is a lifestyle change. it doesn't just change one part of you, it changes all of you. you're happy to do it. it becomes routine. it becomes easy, and free. I'd like it if someday that was the way that I treated my good eating habits, music, job, and workouts. kind of like starting a new job; at first it's hard and stressful and you don't know the ins and outs. after a while though, it becomes second nature. (which will hopefully be the story with this job.) :)

great things that are happening in my life:

-nanny job (I love my kids. they are so so great. even when they aren't.)

-going into the studio in three weeks! omg. freaking out.

-starting a new set of training sessions with Beth Bishop (trainer who helped me to lose the initial 17 pounds). so stoked.

-actually getting paid for once in my life. hehe.

-opening for anne heaton at the beginning of march. !

on a sidenote, I realized recently that I've been putting off seeing a psychiatrist for a long time. I have about two weeks out of every month that for whatever reason (period related or not), are horrible. I feel completely out of my element. both my mom and my girlfriend were urging me to make the phone call, so I finally did. I probably need meds in some capacity. I'm hoping I'll get a call back with an appointment fairly soon, but who knows. doctors can afford to take their time. lolz.

guess this post wasn't very thoughtful. mostly lists about things that are happening in my life.

be good to each other,


Monday, January 31, 2011

the trolley screams and lurches toward the city/and I stare at my own eyes in the glass and I smile to think how far I've come--

I've been sick for the last three days. there is something so surreal and other-worldly about being sick. I stay in bed from 10 AM until 5 PM, only getting up for food. I don't kiss my girlfriend on the mouth. even the cats don't share the bed with me. I can't smell anything because my nose is clogged. there is a constant pile of tissues collecting at my bedside. the strangest thing is that everyone around me is in a state of wellness, and they don't understand (in the moment) what it is like to be sick. they are oblivious.

I know, I dramatize it. :) it's my job as a songwriter.

I was driving to my brother's house last night for two hours with my nephew while tim and alice went to see some jazz, and I realized why I hate being sick so much more than I used to: it reminds me of what I was like the year I was so intensely depressed. I completely pulled myself apart from the world, so much that I didn't leave my bed unless it was absolutely necessary. I went to class in my pjs. I couldn't hold a job, because on my break I ended up in tears in the back room. hell, I even cried when I was pouring the coffee some days. that isn't me anymore. and for that, I'm grateful. I guess that's why I work hard to get better now. I don't want to be stuck in bed for too long...I have too much going for me. Meg Hutchinson says it so well in her song "Ready": "no more lonely kitchen table, no more sorrow picking at my brain--no I belong to the day now." only it seems like I needed that painfully poignant time in my life in order to fully appreciate the time I have now. I needed the sadness in order to help the lonely souls that I connect with right now.

so tomorrow, when I go to work for my first day on the job I'll remember this: everything happens for an unmistakable reason. I am capable of loving everyone around me with my whole self, and I'll still have some left over when I get home. I've grown more than anyone around me can imagine, because they never had the same sickness that I did. I'm home free, safe, and am allowed to be happy.

"maybe I'm ready for love..." (m.h.)


Friday, January 28, 2011

gender identity

I woke up this morning from a strange dream. In this dream I had top surgery (a well-known surgery for FTM individuals involving a double masectomy). I think this dream was prompted by the fact that I have had irritating itching on my chest recently because of the totally harmless "fibroid anoma" that was recently diagnosed on my right side, and it has caused me to think about how nice it would be to have a flat chest. It's no secret that I'm not particularly comfortable with the chest that I have, though the discomfort isn't enough (yet) for me to say "off with them". Lord knows I'd be happier if I could walk on the beach with my shirt off, say to hell with sports bras and binders, and maybe even someday flaunt some pecs and biceps. But, for me, it's not $8000 worth of happiness. And I don't feel that I need to modify my body at this time in order to express my gender identity (which is not simply female). All of this thinking post-dream lead me to do some research on different people's fund-raising efforts.

What I discovered was depressing. There are probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of young trans folk raising money online for surgeries that will probably take them years to acquire. Here's an example of one of those:

Asher's sincere disclosure really tugged at my heart strings as I am someone with other-gender identity. I know how hard it is raising money for a dream (i.e. my record). I can't imagine what a struggle it must be to feel deep down that you are inherently male, but be born with a body that does not lend itself to those feelings. Not only has Asher dealt with that, but he has also had the courage to reach out to people and ask for help with his struggle--something that must be equally as painful because it's such a personal thing. Even more personal than songs that I've written. It is kind of a shame that insurance does not pay for something as important as this...although there is some debate among trans identified people as to whether it is something that healthcare should provide.

Gender is so complex. When I was younger, I took everything at face value. I was a woman; that was something I was fine with owning at the time, though later on I would start to want more. Freshman year of college I started to wear some baggy pants, and even wore the occasional pair of old navy boxer briefs in gray. This was only because of Chris Davies (a hero of mine at the time). Her briefs peeked out of the top of her low riding jeans, and dared me to open my mind a crack. She helped me to come to grips with my identity as a queer Christian, something I still struggle with from time to time. Years went by, and I became increasingly more "butch" (or so my lesbian friends said). My Junior year, I had a bad break up, and I cut all my hair off. At the time, I thought this was just a response to the heartache I was feeling, but I realized a couple of months later that I had been wanting to do this for awhile. I just never felt that I had the space. In my mind, I couldn't be male, because I wasn't born with the hardware for that. I didn't realize you could straddle both lines...though it is a hard thing to do. Most of us would prefer to be one or the other (even trans people). It's still hard for me to know whether I will ever feel the need to make a bigger gesture towards my identity, or if I'm happy the way I am (extra pounds aside).

My senior year I took a directed study on gender identity in young children, and it really opened my eyes. However, when writing papers, I felt like more of an advocate and an ally than a member of the trans community. Now I feel like I understand more completely what it's like to be non-conforming. I am often called "sir", and I don't mind. In fact, I kind of like it. In Alix Olson's words, "So, in the "F" or "M" boxes they give, I forgive myself for not fitting in
And blame the world for lack of clarity. I deliberate."

In any case, Asher's heart spoke to me. I get what it's like to not fit, in one context or another.
Love yourselves and each other,


Friday, January 21, 2011

I am my mother's only's enough

this morning I got an e-mail containing constructive criticism from a venue manager. he was saying he'd like to see more of a professional website from me, something that's a little more accessible than myspace. he also commented on the fact that I haven't played a show since October (which was deliberate...trying to graduate, etc). now I know he meant well; I think I just opened it and had a freak out moment. I take advice like this to heart, especially when it comes from someone I respect, or someone who is an authority figure in my life. I've obsessed over it since this morning. it's a habit I picked up from my mother...recently when I've gotten on the phone with her and she's made a mistake at work or had a bad interaction with a friend, I hear so much of myself in her.

more importantly, when she tells me about these imperfections in her day, I try and let her off the hook. because she is so so hard on herself, and so am I.

I know I'm called to play music and to heal people through it--I don't yet know what that will look like in my future.
so much of me wants to be a full-time folk-singer, but I've seen how hard it is balancing the business end and the feelings end. I'm great at the feelings--not so much the business. I'm type B. I know I have it in me to be completely on top of my game, I just haven't had the resources to do so until now. and even now it's going to be a month or so before I can afford a real website, and even more months before I can put out my record.

I've seen how talent and business have to go hand in hand; you can't just have the talent. (unfortunately, sometimes you can just have the business. lolz.) I've seen great folk-singers get swept under the rug because they weren't up for the "dog eat dog" mentality.

I don't know, I'm just thinking out loud I guess.

my point is, slow and steady wins the race. like I've said in previous posts, take the criticism in stride and make something beautiful out of it. then we'll see.

love yourselves (first) and the rest will follow,