finding mindfulness

"She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there, leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together."


The Great November Detox – FOILED

You win, universe.

I feel like any time I embark on a health kick, I get really sick. For example, this summer I resolved to swim 4 days a week. Three days later I was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Fast forward to my attempt at a detox November, and I have such a bad sinus infection that the doc thought and antibiotic wouldn’t be enough. I’m now on a cocktail of approximately six pills a day, one of which is 875mg amoxicillin. DUDE, I AM NOT A HORSE. But, okay.

This is probably all those terrible eating/drinking/sleeping habits of mid Sept-Oct catching up with me. So, karma. Or something. Personally, I call shenanigans. Ain’t nobody got time for this.

BRB, Great November Detox is momentarily stalled. This may be more like “great fall through early winter detox,” which is not nearly as catchy but I’m sure all of the ten people that might read this won’t mind. And now, back to bed.

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The Great November Detox

When I’m stressed, I eat. Really poorly. Like, entire pies by myself kinds of really poorly. They say autumn is a season of transformation, so I’m going to hold November to its stereotype and hit a reset button. I’ve had a lot of personal setbacks over the past couple of months and haven’t been dealing with it well. I miss the me that had a consistent sub-28min 5K and the me that could, oh I don’t know, fit into her clothes. I feel entirely gross, and I intend to fix that.

So, November. No alcohol, and no processed foods. Hot yoga a minimum of 5 days/week and running a minimum of 3 days/week.

Ready go.

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New website!

I’ve been telling myself I was going to redo my website for a really long time, and I’ve finally done it. Go check it out!

Also. I’d love it if you would like me on facebook 🙂 I know that can be an annoying request sometimes, but I promise it’ll be worthwhile! I’m beginning a long process of branding myself as an artist and this is just the start!

To end with some mindfulness…this quote is particularly applicable to my life right now and I feel like it couldn’t be more true. Success is the best revenge, as they say.


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from texas, with love

 “Our behavior toward each other is the strangest, most unpredictable and most unaccountable of all the phenomena with which we are obliged to live. In all of nature, there is nothing so threatening to humanity as humanity itself.

– Lewis Thomas

You can never predict how another human being might change, no matter how close you are to them. Tides of feelings and thoughts and worries can sweep anyone away into a spiral of unintended and unwanted consequences. The next thing you know, the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with is an echo in the hall and a shadow of memory.

An empty slate can be painful, but it is always a blessing. There is no better place for new beginnings. And so I begin, again. If you read my blog, you’ll know I’m embarking on a solo journey and intend to stay that way for quite some time. But lately, despite my conviction that this is absolutely the right thing, memories of so many words-turned-broken-promises have been haunting me. They would flit around from corner to corner of my head, like a dark moth shedding a skin of loneliness.

Sunset from the middle of the Illinois cornfields.

No longer. This weekend, on the road for a gig in the middle of Illinois, I found my perfect distraction. Zero hope for stability or even reality: perfect. No clue if I’m remembering his name right: fine. But I wouldn’t trade the night I spent getting to know this quiet man for all the oil in Texas.

He was a tall, blue-eyed cowboy from Houston. The other girls had been eyeing him all day, but he kept mostly to himself. We bonded over the fact that my glittery gold phone case matched the finish on one of his guitars. Soft-spoken, he told me the difference between chew tobacco and dip. He bought me a beer post-show at a way-too-loud bar and we traded sips; I suppressed my dislike of IPAs. He made sure to introduce me to everybody we met, and pronounced my name perfectly wrapped in a warm Texas drawl. He lightly touched my shoulder or my arm when he leaned in to tell me something, and it was just enough to turn that moth into hundreds of butterflies.

Their bus left at 3am, headed to Tulsa.

“You are so beautiful. I’m so glad I got to meet you.”

I’ll probably never see him again. Love isn’t for me right now, but it’s nice to remember that it’s still alive and well in the world. Hey Texas: thanks for the butterflies.

From backstage: the corner of the gold guitar is in the foreground.

This post was originally published on Empress Tea.

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on criticism, and re-appreciating taylor swift

Coming home alone is a lonely thing after you’ve spent your entire life coming home with/to people you love (even coming home to loving parents is often a step above coming home alone on an emotional level). This weekend I had two great nights with friends. Friday was a gorgeous summer night and we sat outside at Neighbor’s, talking about  the biggest pigs in the world and catching bits and pieces of Jeromino (who were really good by the way; I would link to them but I can’t find an online presence). Saturday was rainy and we camped out in Chago’s, talking about Vonnegut and Colorado and the only type of music that we don’t listen to for fun.

But then the time comes to go home, and walking to my car alone feels awkward, and driving home alone is so very quiet, and thank God I have a dog to greet me at home because otherwise learning to be alone would be about 10,000 harder than it already is.

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How could I be sad or angry when I wake up to this face every morning?

Now, I’ve never been an enormous Taylor Swift fan, but boy does she understand breakups, and maybe that’s where the new-found infatuation began. But let’s rewind for a sec. I first got into her music in my sophomore year of college with the release of Fearless. I thought her writing was good and then I heard her live on TV and cringed. In the past I’ve always disowned artists that didn’t reach my live performance standards. My experiences in the Nashville music industry have changed that a bit. It’d be great if all artists were great live, but they aren’t, and just because they have an off day or two doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a helluva lot of respect.

Taylor Swift moved to Nashville at age 14 to become a world superstar, and she has done just that. And she hasn’t gone crazy, and she blazed a new business model for aspiring artists, and she has been a great role model to millions of girls (and boys, I suppose) around the world. I appreciate this so, so, so much. She has become a role model for me, too.

I can’t imagine how difficult her path has been, and she has shown amazing maturity and intuitiveness for navigating the ridiculousness of the entertainment world. She obviously has a good head on her shoulders, and she knows the kinds of people she needs to surround herself with to ensure success (see: people who believe in you, not people who tear you down). I would imagine that, at times, having her status and highly public life feels nothing but empty and confusing and incredibly, incredibly lonely.

More than just meaningless lyrics, I’d wager. (photo:

Something I’ve learned recently is that there is a type of criticism that is only hurtful and unproductive, and this type of criticism is something that should be avoided at all costs, no matter who you’re talking about. It’s no more productive to discuss celebrities in this light than it is to discuss your significant other in this light. It does nothing but tear the person down, for no other reason than to make yourself feel better. Not okay.

I feel like I used to criticize Taylor Swift this way, but it was extremely undeserved and I am sorry. I know better now, partially because I’ve experienced (very small) doses of this kind of criticism myself. Growth hurts. But it’s always worth it.

So now: I consider myself an ardent fan and a follower. I’m curious and studying her closely because I have learned from her, and she undoubtedly has more to teach. So thanks, Taylor. I appreciate you for everything amazing that you are, and I wish the Red tour wasn’t totally sold out because if it weren’t I’d be there STAT.

Here’s to always learning lessons, from everybody we can.

I’ve got a lot of exciting things lined up that I can’t wait to share with everyone, but they’ve gotta wait for now. I’m off to a couple of gigs in Illinois this weekend – have a wonderful and productive week, everybody.


confessions of a serial monagamist

I almost changed the name of my blog to the title of this post, but then realized that “finding mindfulness” applies now just as much (and maybe more) than it ever has. It also just doesn’t seem appropriate, somehow, although I can’t pinpoint where the dissatisfaction lies.

So, into the dirt. After a rom-com worthy style of wonderful six-month jaunt with the person I was absolutely convinced I would marry someday, our relationship came to a screeching, exploding halt that is halfway worthy of a Lifetime movie, or at least an episode of “Nashville,” because I’ve been told that’s what the plot resembled. Musicians dating musicians: aka, something I may never attempt again.

I will spare you the details, because details of how relationships end are best shared only in coming-of-age memoirs or soap operas. But, as is the case with all breakups, this is a wonderful opportunity to examine myself. And as I slowly begin to pull myself back together post-relationship explosion, I see I have something to confess:

I am a serial monagamist.

This isn’t a condition, per se, but it is certainly a stereotype that I have adhered to for the past seven or so years. I haven’t been single for more than three months (and maybe less, it’s hard to remember) since 2007. And yet in those seven years, I’ve been in six relationships that I would consider serious (here, serious meaning it took some serious emotional decompression to recover from the breakup).

I know what you’re thinking. YIKES. JUST. YIKES.

Or maybe you’re not thinking yikes, because you’re one of those people who met the love of their life in high school and have been married for a few years and have a kid on the way. I seem to have a ridiculously high proportion of friends for whom this description fits. If that’s you, congratulations. I can do a lot of things, but I’ll never be able to relate to you.

Here’s a brief sketch of my relationship history, 2006-present:

2006-Feb. 2008: J & I met in French class when we were both absent the same day and were consequently paired up for a class project. First serious relationship, or at least as serious as they can get in high school. I broke up with him a couple weeks after Valentine’s Day to date

…a different J for a very short amount of time. who was a student at MIT, Jelly Roll Morton’s great-nephew, and also, as I found out, a drug dealer (that was the end of that). J numero dos does not count as one of my six serious relationships.

May to August, 2008: Back to J numero uno. I was home for the summer, and, well, it was convenient. For both of us.

September to November, 2008: Had a fleeting relationship with M numero uno which, while it wasn’t serious per se, let me grow emotionally more than any previous relationship had. Could also be summarized in a soap opera episode, including a scene where his at-the-time-ex (to whom he is now married, by the way) threatens to drive 100 miles to kick me out of his apartment, where I’m visiting.

December 2008 – October 2010: Began a long-distance relationship with M numero dos, which was promising but ultimately failed on a number of levels for reasons I’ll (and probably he’ll) never understand.

October 2010 – February 2011: Met T, an MIT student who was not a drug dealer. T was great, but timing was bad and M numero dos re-entered my life in February.

February – March 2011: I dated both M-dos and T for about a month until I realized that was a little too much to juggle and got rid of M-dos once and for all. Settled for the Swarovski, fancy dinners, and stuffed animals T showered me with on a regular basis. But you see, I’m really just not that kind of girl. So.

October 2011 – April 2012: I moved to Nashville after graduating from college and T moved to California. I met an older, mysterious man, J numero tres. Soon T was out of the picture (I still have a pair of his tennis shoes, oops), and J-tres was in. I was pretty sure that was it, until things started getting a little creepy and a lot not okay. Onward ho.

May 2012 – July 2012: J numero quatro (you would think I’d have learned by now to avoid any and all Js like the plague) enters the scene. We got along SO WELL, but he was bad news penguins from here to Albuquerque. The whole fire and gasoline thing? That was us.

July 2012: C, round one. A musician, very cute, and also very shy. We stayed up until 3am talking on a regular basis and I thought I was onto something until we ran into his other girlfriend when we were on a date.

August – December 2012: Back to J numero quatro, who was easy to get along with because we both knew it would never work out in the long run.

December 2012 – last week: C re-enters my life, claiming he has changed and matured and grown oh-so-much. That was probably true to some extent, but it turned out it wasn’t as true as he thought. He said he thought he might be walking away from the best thing that’s ever happened to him…I think he’s probably right, but then again I think I’m probably biased.


Or maybe it’s okay for some people, but it’s not a pattern I want to be okay with. So it stops now. Despite the fact that I already have three of my male friends/acquaintances on my tail, sniffing for a date, I am friends-zoning them for a good, long while. Over peppermint tea at this awesome place I just discovered, one of my best female friends observed,

“I’ve always thought it was funny how much time you spend in relationships when there’s so much you want to do yourself.”

Yeah, she has a point. I moved to Nashville to pursue a career as an artist. I want to give that a healthy go, among other things, and let’s face it, there’s really no way to give such a lofty aspiration a true effort and be in a relationship. So maybe it’s fortuitous, in a way, because as completely committed to a potential forever as I was with C, this gives me a damn good excuse to be extraordinarily selfish for as long as I very well please. (I don’t mean selfish in a “screw everyone” way, but selfish in a “focusing on myself because I need to” way. Just so that’s clear.)

There are a lot of things I could stand to figure out on my own. In fact, this whole breakup ordeal has really made me question the hunt for fame and fortune that a few months ago I wanted so badly to embark upon. But that’s a musing for another day.

For now, I just want to say: this is me. No more sugar coating, no more avoiding politics (because I truly love talking politics! so watch out), no more doing anything except self-discovery and saying what I want to say and going where I want to go and doing whatever it is I feel I should. (I say all this within reason, of course. It’s not as if I’m about to start making it rain expletives while wearing a purple sheet and riding a llama in Uruguay. I’m thinking more along the lines of going forth and expressing my opinions while sipping espresso at a cafe in Aix, or maybe Havana, in the midst of academic pursuits.)

I don’t want to be afraid of being uncomfortable anymore. Being uncomfortable is the only way anyone ever learns.

Besides, the person whose opinion I valued above just about anyone on this earth recently completely discredited – nay, trashed is more apropos – my ability to make music: something I love to do and know I’m pretty damn good at. The end result, though, was unexpected: the fact that he trashed the very thing for which I was most afraid of being critiqued freed me from the scarring wounds of all possible future criticism. The person who supposedly loved me hated my art, and I survived him telling me so in terms that were about the least constructive you could possibly get. If I can survive that, then stranger’s words surely mean less than nothing.

Here’s to a braver, brighter, self-sustaining, and ever more mindful future.