I Am Not A Victim

It’s simple, really. I don’t know why I haven’t said it sooner.

I am not a victim. 

What I have been through in my life has made me who I am now, and is part of who I will be in the future. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything. If I was the same person I was three years ago, I wouldn’t be here. In college. Writing music. Sharing life with people who take me as I am (for some strange reason) and bless me in so many ways. Who are teaching me to trust and love and be happy again.

It isn’t easy. In fact it’s really, really hard. I’m glad there are resources (medication, anyone? Therapy? No shame here). But you know what IS easy? Allowing every memory, every trigger, every negative thought or hurtful word against me to become my existence, to define me. Most of that is in my past, although every so often a fresh new hurt interrupts my life. Like this morning, for instance.

But that’s my stuff. Everyone has their stuff. A lot of people have much worse stuff than me. I will always have to deal with my stuff, and I have to accept that as part of my life.

So today I decided to write down what I am grateful for right now:

Summer. A cup of earl grey tea. Finally catching up on Doctor Who. My roommate playing guitar in the living room. The dishwasher making funny sounds. The music I’m working on right now. My mom. Helena Grace. My sweet boyfriend. My hilarious piano student who I get to see today. A good book. 

I’m fine. I’m not fine. Whatever. I’m not one of those happy clappy, pretend everything is okay people. But I think I’m finally realizing that everything IS okay. No need to pretend. I’ll take the good stuff and the bad stuff.

I guess it’s a good thing to be alive…

About Jazz

Jazz does something to me.

It wrenches my little heart out, stomps on it, takes it out for a ride on a rollercoaster, and puts it back in nicely where it belongs.

It makes me a nervous, emotional, crying wreck of a human being who can’t live for much longer. It freaks me out so much that I feel inadequate to even attempt playing it, and feel sick for hours before.

It makes me so excited that I could spend all night just jamming to the same chord progression, with some slightly intoxicated instrumentalists. Laughing like a stupid and feeling very alive.

It makes me sing like nothing else could. Reaching down to my toes for any last shreds of emotion and making me expose everything. (Musically speaking). Going higher and lower than I really ever dare with normal, sane-people music.

It relaxes me and removes tension both physically and emotionally. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling in my belly.

Somehow, you can be completely unrehearsed with your band members and yet the most amazing, mind-blowing stuff happens as you perform and you think “YES!! We can totally make money doing this.”

Or, you can be very well prepared, get up to do your thing, and one persons messes up the juju and it all goes to pot and you think “NO. We suck at jazz and even music in general and we should probably all work at WalMart.” Why does it do that to us?

Jazz is majestic, dignified, crazy, insane, dysfunctional, beautiful, ugly, down-right hilarious, elegant, and only appropriate for the mentally unstable.

Am I making any sense? Oh well.



Is it too much to ask…

…to be allowed to be independent, hard-working, ambitious, passionate, and still a feminine, somewhat girly, kind-hearted woman?

Can I be allowed to think for myself, make decisions about my career and my education, be assertive and professional, set ridiculously high academic goals, and yet still nurture the old-fashioned dream of experiencing pregnancy and raising my own family (with two functional parents!), cooking and taking care of my own house, and growing a garden?

I guess it is too much to ask. Because I don’t fit into a box, people don’t know what to do with me. I just don’t make sense! I’m a Christian, a music major, wickedly sarcastic, a bit too tall but not tall enough to be the attractive kind of tall, slightly rebellious and yet still ridiculously old-fashioned with high ideals, pretty darn goofy, becoming more and more cynical and even a little potty-mouthed as college knocks the stuffing right outta me… yikes. What a mess. I mean, I don’t even know what to do with me.

Apparently I’m not “dateable,” because I am not in the game (whatever the heck “the game” is). Well fine then! I don’t really have enough hours in the day as it is, and I’m not willing to devote emotional energy to a romantic relationship unless it’s really worth it. Sorry.

(Also I’m scarred from my own family and past relationships and you could say I’m bitter and mostly really just scared and I have no idea how to be asked out on a date or how to ask someone out on a date so I just act like a dude all like chill and “what’s up bro” and then people start to wonder if I’m lesbian and then my life gets even more complicated and then I think to myself I’m going to open up a convent for scared, feminist, female composers……………….)


I’m not “wife material” (and that’s degrading!) because I am too stubborn, too loud, apparently not all nice and lovely and wifey anymore, and I didn’t come to college to find a husband and I will not drop out of college to get married and have kids. Imagine that.

Well, that about crosses me off of everyone’s lists. Oh bother. Guess I’ll just keep going like I have been for the last two years. Blissfully free, independent, and dealing with all my emotions: love and joy and grief and actual depression. Figuring out who I am. Because all I seem to have learned so far is that the older I get, the less I know.

Here’s to life, bruh.


A Quest.

I am on a quest.

I see myself picking up the proverbial shepherd’s crook, slinging a sack over my shoulders, and headed for the mountains. I imagine that the roads are dusty, covered in strange and sharp rocks, wolves lurking in the forest, and water is scarce. To make it more real, imagine me in a burlap sack with a large, floppy hat over my tangled hair, worn out sandals on my feet.

This is my quest to find the Church.

Not a building, not a group of smiling people, not an organized religion. Not a room full of judgmental hypocrites. Not a gathering of blind followers who will hit you over the head with the Bible if you have questions. Not a hipster or rad college ministry. Not people who cannot understand living with pain and clinical depression because it is uncomfortable to talk about. Not people who will jump to make you a casserole but are scared away if your sin is showing too much.

I’m looking for the Body of Christ. And I’ve come to believe, it’s everywhere. It is not confined to a building. It isn’t for two hours on a Sunday morning. It isn’t a convenient set of guidelines. It is made up of real, living, breathing, human, people. It has been around for more than 2,000 years. It is a flawed family. It is not under the guidance of any man or woman, but of the loving God who redeemed it and cares for it.

I don’t know where this quest is going to take me, because I have so many questions and I don’t know where to even begin. But I am okay with that. I’m okay with looking. I’m actually okay with not knowing right now. With being vulnerable and unsure. I am angry. I don’t want to be angry anymore. I want peace, but that doesn’t mean being comfortable. I want joy, but it doesn’t mean being happy. I’m going to exert my free will and the intellect we were all created with and set out for the mountains, or the valley, or the sea, or wherever it takes me. It’s going to be gloriously hard.

I don’t know when or what I will have to say, but I imagine I will keep writing more over the next few months. I know it has been a while since I even looked at this blog. I have been too bitter and life has been far too full of everything. I’m tired of living like that. I want to be honest again. I’m ready to learn and grow and hopefully, even if it takes years, get past that. I want to regain the tenderness without losing the tenacity.

If you’re with me, let me know.


Reasons Why I Love Doctor Who.

In honor of the new season premiering tonight: some of my American friends just don’t understand.

1. Because bow ties are cool.
2. Because tea.
3. Because Matt Smith.

matt smith
4. Because of good triumphing over evil.
5. Because of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
6. Because fish sticks and custard.
7. Because imagination.
8. Because the Tardis (translated: sexy.)

The Tardis.

The Tardis.

9. Because I live vicariously through his companions. Why don’t I qualify for an intergalactical trip before tea time?
10. Because Rory literally waited for his Amy for 2,000 years. Please.
11. Because the Doctor fixes things. Like marriages and the universe.
12. Because River Song.
13. Because the Impossible Girl.
14. Run, you clever boy.
15. Hello, sweetie.

Peter Capaldi, I believe in you. You won’t let us down.

Cheapening the Story

Over the weekend I went to see the new Hercules movie. I didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t seen any trailers or promotion, and the only thing I knew coming in was that Dwayne Johnson played the hero. I’m a fan of Greek mythology, having been a student of classical literature all throughout highschool. Plus, I’ve seen the Disney version; and we all know that any movie with a musical number has the final word in my book.

(Just kidding. Kinda.)

Honestly…I was disappointed. Granted, there was some sheer entertainment value, and Dwayne Johnson sure doesn’t hurt to look at; but I was left so unsatisfied. The entire premise of the legend of Hercules is based off the fact that he was a demigod: born of Zeus and a mortal woman. It was his god-like qualities that gave him his enormous strength and brought him such great fame. But this modern Hollywood version implied multiple times that he wasn’t actually a demigod, but a mercenary who worked with five others (including a badass Amazonian warrior chick). And that ultimately, his reason for success was that he believed in himself, and that is what made him (and everyone else, the movie informs us), a true hero.

Blah blah blah.

The reason this is unsatisfying as a movie and as a story in general, is because that’s all we get from Hollywood these days. Believe in yourself. Follow your heart. Have faith. In… yourself. Its the age of the anti-hero. And not to say that I don’t appreciate all the stories where someone ordinary or someone facing difficult challenges rises to the occasion and becomes a hero, but now it seems we can’t even have a regular ol’ hero anymore.

Can’t we just retell a Greek legend as it is? It would have been just as awesome if he was, you know, a legit demigod.

But if I’m being totally honest, the issue that is bugging me here is an issue entirely separate from Hercules itself. It’s the fact that we have to tamper with and add our modern nuances to old stories that have stood the test of time. We keep re-writing fairy tales, and changing them around to tell a story that won’t offend anyone. Everything has to be modified: get rid of anything that smacks even slightly of gender issues, religion, race, morality, etc. It cheapens the quality of the story.

Rather than tampering with old legends and stories, why don’t you go write your own. If you want the girl to be the true hero, go write a new fairytale (and I’ll probably read/watch it, because I like that sort of stuff). If you want someone to follow their heart into oblivion, fine. To each his own. Personally, if I’m going to watch an old Greek legend turned into what could have been an awesome action movie, I’d like to see just that. And not some poor 21st century spin on an ancient world most of us can’t even perceive anymore.

Stop messing up good stuff. It’s like sticking your finger in the icing of a perfectly frosted cake. It’s just rude.