“you are busy but you are happy”

That’s what the fortune cookie note plastered on my kitchen cabinet says. I didn’t put it there intentionally. I was doing the dishes and it was stuck to the plate, which then became stuck to my hand. So I slapped it onto the cabinet in front of my eyes, then laughed about how true it is.

I am busy.

Sometimes too busy. So busy that I don’t get everything done in a day and then I feel lazy. So I put more things on my “to do” list. Then I get less sleep and so the work I do the next day is a bit lackluster.

But I am happy.

Everything that I’m busy with today will pay off tomorrow.

I know it 🙂

To: 15 year old me.

Dearest Evangelina,
Yes, I know the world sucks. I’m sorry, but that does not change. I do, however, want to share a few things with you.

1.) Stay in school. I know you don’t want to be there, but trust me, it’s much harder to go back later. (And you will go back. I know this, because I’m future you and you have gone back).
2.) Don’t waste your time on any of those crushes you have/had/will have. If he’s not into you, move on! They are definitely not worth the stress.
3.) Don’t listen to that guy who tells you (when you’re 19) that people only want to hear your music because of the way you look and that you can’t be a musician and a wife/mother. That’s horseshit.
4.) Please stop, you are not fat. You are beautiful. But don’t eat processed foods, they’re making you break out.
5.) When you go to the Silverchair show in 1998, leave immediately after Silverchair and go backstage to meet that man. Silverchair is not going to tour the US again for another 9 years and you will not be single at that time.

Okay, this started as a philosophical blog post, but I’m very sleepy and so went off on some random things.

So, 15 year old me, scratch all that I just said. Don’t change anything, because you’re going to have an amazing little boy, some extremely interesting songwriting material, and everything is going to work out according to God’s plan. (You should really try to catch Silverchair when they come back in ’07 though. Just leave the boyfriend home.)

Love,
29 yr old me.

Not my bag. wait…. Nope! Still not my bag.

So I did terrible in school. Like terrible as in I dropped out after three years of trying to get enough credits to get out of 9th grade (I was in all 11th grade classes, just not enough credits!).

I’m not ashamed, but I’m not proud. I wish I had done better and been more focused in school but I wasn’t and it is what it is. I dropped out at 17 and got a job. At 22 I decided to go back to school. I got my GED and in 2008 I enrolled at Strayer University so that I could get a business degree. Why? Because I worked for a corporation and I wanted to eventually run my own business. Over the next 3 years I realized two things.

1.) I’m smarter than I realized!
2.) All I want to do is make music.

I loved my classes (except for Finance, Economics, and Accounting!), especially Psychology and Sociology! I love learning! (Who’da thought???) and the professors were really great! I enjoyed my classmates and the staff. It really was a great experience and I’m glad I went to Strayer. I graduated in 2011 with honors and a stronger sense of self. I graduated knowing that I…. want to be a musician full time.

I don’t mean to say that I wasted money or time going to college. I am really glad I went and the things I learned at Strayer are definitely going to help me manage myself and have really helped me at work (i.e. dayjob).

Today my phone rang as I was stepping into my apartment and I picked it up. It was my school telling me that I had qualified for a scholarship to come back for my bachelors. It felt really great to say “Thanks, but no thanks.” She didn’t know exactly what to say when I said I wasn’t coming back. “Really?? Not at all!?”

I smiled and said, “Nope… my life is going in a different direction. Thanks!”

It’s nice knowing which bag is yours 🙂

You are exactly where you need to be :)

(a post in which I will reminisce, reflect, and drop a buncha names)

Funny how life works, huh? Sometimes we know what we want to do with our lives when we’re kids, but we’re told that those are “silly” dreams and we need to be practical.

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a famous singer. When we would ride in the car, I would sit in the back and press my cheek against the side of the seat and sing along to whatever was on the radio (Mariah Carey sticks out in my head) and annoy the crap out of my sister because I was too shy to show that I was singing along, but too loud for her not to get a headache!

One day one of my school friends caught me singing on the bus and she said, “Hey! Sing louder!”…(I’m pretty sure I was singing Mariah Carey then too)…and continued to encourage me to sing louder until I was singing full voice. I must have been about 6 or 7 at the time, because we were still living in Claymont. (Shout out, Forewood Elementary! lol).

Anyway, fast forward to 2003. I had stifled that dream, for several reasons, and proceeded to push it further and further from my list of possibilities. Fast forward again to 2007. What a difference 4 years makes! I was in a relationship that ended with my ex basically buying me a guitar and telling me I was living a lie (in so many words).

Really, he told me that he could tell by the way I talk about my music that I wished I was pursuing it. He bought me a guitar, broke up with me, and left me with a whole lotta pain and a whole lotta songs to write!

But this post isn’t about me. I just wanted to give a little intro as to why I think I’m so excited about what’s going on right now.

In 2008 I started writing again. In 2009 I started doing open mics. In 2010 I started booking shows. In 2011 I committed myself to focusing on my dream now that I was finished school. FINALLY. So in the last 12 months, I’ve met a lot of people who well.. are pretty damn awesome!

I first heard Jessica Latshaw with Shane Palkovitz (The Paper Janes) on WSTW’s Hometown Heroes. I remember this because I was like “Oh. I like this” when their song came on. (Exact words.)

Later, I had the pleasure of meeting Jess and Shane at an InDEpendence Musician Network event here in Wilmington. I had been advised previously by the lovely Sarah Czechowski (FelixHunger) that I needed to meet Jess because she was super sweet and we all needed to take a day and hang out in New York and talk about lead singer-y type stuff (not exact words… and we have still yet to do this!). So I introduced myself to Jess and I gave her my card and booked The Paper Janes for meOW Show! In fact, I’m pretty sure I said “Hi, I was told I should meet you!” Which is true, but I also wanted to meet her because I could tell she was pretty awesome.

Since we’ve met, I’ve only been able to see Jess a handful of times, but she’s one of those people who you feel like you’ve known forever within minutes! I remember at one point I told her that I’d always wanted to move to New York and do musicals and that I would live vicariously through her if she didn’t mind (and she didn’t mind). So right about now I am *ecstatic*! Jess has gone viral! And I’m so excited for her!

I’ve never seen this kind of process before. I’ve seen people get lots of attention locally, but I’ve never seen anyone get GLOBAL attention INSTANTLY, and I have to say it’s thrilling! I can’t imagine how she’s feeling right now, because I’d be going crazy! But I’m so happy because it really demonstrates the fact that things like this really do happen to people who deserve it.

It really does show that as you go on about your day, doing what you have to do to get by, pursuing your dreams, and keeping faith in God’s plan for you, He truly is working on your behalf… and at any given moment, when HE sees fit, He will give you just the break you need. Even on a subway on your way home from getting groceries.

Anyway, I’m happy for you, Jess! I really am 🙂

Home is where the heart is.

Yeah, I used a cliche title. What?

I love my family. We’ve been through so much together, my clan. I didn’t have the ideal childhood, mind you, but our trials and tribulations brought us closer. My heart breaks for families who can’t say the same thing.

Earlier in the month I heard some friends talking about how their families hold them back. Then last night a good friend and I talked about how people with “good” childhoods (non-dysfunctional!) will never truly understand what it’s like to have lived through that (and visa versa!). This isn’t a bad thing, but it presents a challenge sometimes when you’re trying to understand each other.

When I was a teen I was surrounded by people who were hurting because of something going wrong in their family. It brought us together as friends. I couldn’t fathom for the life of me that there could be a family that did not have at least one abusive parent, one addict, poverty, or just plain hate. As an adult I’ve met a handful of people who amazed me by talking about how awesome their parents are (BOTH of them), how they’ve never truly struggled with money, or how they didn’t have any family members who suffered from substance abuse. Amazing! You mean happy families really exist?!

Seriously, that is SUCH a blessing!

Anyway, back to the point, as I have gone completely off the topic I wanted to write about. I’ve moved around a couple of times since I was 18. Remaining in the same state, but different cities and different living situations. Each place I was able to feel at home. All it took to make that happen was… my heart. I brought it with me. I suspect that if I moved somewhere away from where my heart wanted to go, I would not feel at home at all.

I have another dear friend who is trying to find her place in the world (physically and practically). She doesn’t feel home yet. She will, when she gets to where her heart wants her to be. 🙂

Another friend who’s heart is pulling her across the country. Her family is here. Her friends are here. But she feels stifled. I told her to go where she feels like she’d be better suited to follow her dreams. Sometimes we get too comfortable where are friends and family are and we forget to take risks and make efforts to accomplish our dreams. Maybe not so much that we forget, but we are afraid.

It’s scary to leave your comfort zone, even if it’s the best thing for you. But the heart will go where it wants and you won’t find peace until you’ve found your home.

I hope that makes sense because I don’t feel like proofreading or editing! 😉 Goodnight!

Just a little different.

I’m weird.

Yep.

Not in like a creepy way (I hope!). I’m just different. I mean, we all are, aren’t we? It’s what makes life work! If we were all the same it’d be pretty boring. <–these muses can also be made by a 12 year old. Yes, I realize the immaturity of these statements.. but sometimes we have to remember things that your 12 year old self thought.

And so I forgot what I was going to blog about. I'm sitting on the floor of my little apartment, listening to Pandora, waiting for a friend to pick me up and watching my dog watch me. Fun times.

How many times do you underestimate the people around you? Just curious. I like to people watch. I like walking down a busy street and hearing bits and pieces of conversations from around me. I like to check out what people are wearing, what they’re reading, what they’re listening to, just to see if I can figure anything out about them… but we really don’t know what anyone’s capable of until it’s right in front of us. I like to think that everyone is exceptional in at least one way. Everyone has at least one skill that they can do better than anyone else. Maybe they haven’t figured it out yet.. maybe they have,but they’re afraid to show it. Either way, it makes them pretty awesome.

Happy Friday!