Dear whomever happens upon this post,
I have a lot on my mind, mostly good things. I’m listening to Skrillex’s “First of the Year (Equinox)”, which is a huge throwback song for me – late 2012, evenings, awkward text messages, teen angst, being 15. That sort of thing. I only listened to dubstep at first to impress my friends, who ended up being impressed and I ended up taking a liking to the genre before it fell off the map. It used to be too hard on my pop-attuned ears, but I admired it in a way.
My mind is full of these throwbacks. Little things will bring one to mind. I met my husband for the first time in 2011, and 2011 and 2012 would be the last good years of my life for a long time. I get a lot of throwbacks from then, especially. Things started going downhill later in 2012, and I half-seriously wondered if I had fallen into the wrong universe, as though I had taken a wrong turn, or something. One of the lines in my song “The Last Of A Good Universe” is as good a descriptor of the years after 2012 as any:
“You are the last of a good universe that parallels the life I live.”
This line is about someone in my life during that time that knew me before everything hit the fan in about September 2012. I think I saw him as a source of stability during those years and latched onto him because he was familiar. I did that a lot. I think it’s a natural, human thing to do, but that wasn’t the healthiest thing to do. I was also very desperate during that time and craved any attention people would give me. This got me into some bad situations, but in the end I’m better for them and I learned my lesson(s). Most of them. I’m human, I have problems, I’m still learning and growing.
Since meeting, dating, marrying, and being married to my husband, I have grown immensely. We have grown immensely as a couple. It’s been almost 11 months since I left Texas, and I have become someone different than the person I was on the day I left. I have fought certain things here that I shouldn’t have fought, but I have given in to other things and ideas and I don’t regret a damn thing. I’m convinced that there are people who call me, still expecting the me from before my marriage to pick up – doubtful of myself, easily swayed by outside opinions, accepting of the notion that I was “bipolar” and “crazy” – and instead are unprepared to face the new me when I proudly declare (paraphrasing Taylor Swift, of course), “The old me can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because they’re dead.”
This is also reflected in my art. I have merged everything I enjoyed from my Meg Jam catalog with my CFT catalog and made one unified site. I’ve also started writing music again, music that’s for me and speaks my truth. I was so afraid to write a lot of music with words for over a year because I worried that the songs that I wrote didn’t help people, that people didn’t want to hear it, that they were just complimenting me because they were kind and not because they really cared. Do you know why I thought that??
Because I was told that by people whom I’m sure meant well.It ended up choking my art. I got so caught up in trying to write what I thought would help other people that I lost my own voice. After my 2018 album The Places We Come Home To was released, I wrote a handful of new songs, not even enough for an album. I was halfway through the arranging phase of an album tentatively called Light On The Final Day when plans changed and I taped Places in its place. Light was effectively shelved indefinitely. Two songs (”Carthago” and “Tambora”) originally slated for release with the album snuck their way out, one as a single on streaming services and the other on Midday. Light On The Final Day was neck and neck with my album Mago for being my favorite even while only in the lyric writing phase. Why did I shelve it, then?
The answer was that I didn’t believe in myself, so I most definitely did not believe in my art. It took writing “Never Mind” a few weeks ago after a fight with my husband to really, truly believe in my art. Playing “Gone” for a YouTube video reminded me of just how fucking powerful writing and singing and playing should be. The recording I took really captures “Gone”’s essence. I missed that.
So to those asking for happy music: No. Stop that. I’ll write happy music when Ifeel like it, not when you feel like I should. There will be a time for happy music again, just not now. Stop asking, please.
To those who are like I was 11 months ago: The people around you are not deities. Your voice is just as valid as the voices of those around you. SCREAM, if you must. And if the people around you still don’t listen and you deem it a waste of your time to scream further, walk away. You get to choose who you want to have in your life. Nobody gets to choose that for you. If you find yourself in need of a friend or family member, I’m here. I have a goal to be the best aunt in the world. My inbox is always open.