But this is amazing! I am already overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from my friends and family. You guys are liking my musician Facebook page and Twitter and Instagram (oh my!), sharing videos, and showing your lovely faces at events and I could not be more grateful. I’m a very lucky girl to have such incredible people in my life!
Since I graduated in 2010, I think I’ve been sort of floating along. I had a Plan (with a capital P) for my life and it outlined everything I was going to do for the next 10+ years. I had all my ducks in a row to succeed in the Plan, and then I wasn’t so sure. The “Plan” fulfilled my career goals – check. It fulfilled my intellectual pursuits, check. But it didn’t really leave me much room for the musical pursuits that were near and dear to my heart. I didn’t realize it then, but I definitely was not “ok.” I was doing things and doing things well, but I had lost something vital. In 2014, I joined an a cappella group of a bunch of INCREDIBLE singers. It was a weekly excuse to get together with a bunch of instant friends that shared this passion for singing. I found fellow nerds that shared my love of Doctor Who and Chuck and I became a part of a unit of people of varying musical theory skill. I think a lot of people in the a cappella community have similar stories of the “instant family” you acquire when you join a group. Some time after that, I came across Felicia Ricci’s amazing vocal lessons (Fel’s a voice finder. Check her out here if you sing at all, she’s freaking fantastic) and started to think that maybe I could conquer some of the vocal fears that were holding me back. I picked up my guitar and my piano, and the realization hit me that I hadn’t actually played either of these for years, (YEARS! How did that even happen??? Sorry, Uncle Fred, I know! Terrible.). These items that were once so integral to my identity had become items that I just carried behind me whenever I moved to a new apartment.
In the past year or so, I’ve slowly come to the realization that the thing that would most make me happy was right there all along. October of 2014, I saw that Alexz Johnson was coming to Boston – Berklee’s Red Room at Cafe 939, to be more specific. I splurged and purchased a VIP package that added a meet and greet and special acoustic set prior to the concert. I’ve been a fan of Alexz’s music forever. I was a big fan of the Disney Channel television program So Weird and Alexz was cast to replace the lead actress for the final season. She sang on the show and I was hooked! We were close in age and as I got older and my sound matured, so did hers. I’m sure I said something stupid when I finally met her. All the eloquent phrases to communicate how much her music has inspired me and how much I appreciated seeing her incorporate a little bit of many different genres into something truly unique were lost in whatever I stammered. I recently saw her perform again at another show debuting an amazing new duet project with the super talented Bleu – I think I kept my composure a little better this time. Hopefully.
At that first Alexz show, I was introduced to the band Jared & the Mill from Arizona. I sat there and listened to lyrics that spoke of choosing a life on the road and what that meant. A song about vulnerability and walls we construct to shield ourselves from reality. I watched this incredible group of guys playing so effortlessly and it made me miss that stage. That stage with a piano, guitar, and drums. I went and saw them every time they returned to Boston. In November of 2015, they headlined a show at Brighton Music Hall with special guests Air Traffic Controller (Thanks for introducing me to another PHENOMENAL band, seriously. They’re amazing! Check out their new album Black Box!) and Amy and the Engine (such a big voice for a tiny chick). I had signed up for their street team and was invited to come to a soundcheck before the show. I ended up getting dinner with some of the guys and playing a few rounds of pool and skeeball before they took the stage. Getting the chance to get to know these guys and hear their stories of being on tour and what music has meant to them kept chipping away at this wall that I had built around the pursuit of music. Watching this group of talented guys make friends all across the country and spend their nights performing incredible music was so profoundly inspiring.
So somewhere in all of this, I came to the realization that I was changing the Plan. No longer defining myself purely by my career, I’m currently interviewing for some really exciting research positions. Wish me luck! These next few weeks are going to be quite the whirlwind! We’re moving to a new apartment next month so between that and interviews, life is CRAZY.
In the meantime, I’m allowing myself time to write music every night (and finally pen lyrics to all the random iPhone voice memos I’ve accrued. Seriously, there could be several albums of songs where hooks were written in the middle of dissecting a mouse). So every day I think I’m a little closer to a version of me that is a little less fearful, a little more vulnerable, and a lot happier.
Thank you to my friends and family who’ve shown such incredible support over the years and whose support I’m grateful to have as I embark on this next journey! Finding band members! Seriously, if you know of someone that plays an instrument and is looking for a folk/indie sound, send them my way! Direct them to this link! At least I can finally take this one off the back burner and cross “Make a website” off my to-do list!