Energy.

Some days you have it and some days you don’t.

Today is one of those days.

Today I feel charged with creative energy. This presents a problem, sometimes, because I work in a fixed environment. I can’t just go pick up my guitar and start writing. Instead, I keep a little notebook next to my keyboard on which I will jot little song lyrics, notes of things to remember later, or just random thoughts that pop into my head. I took a walk on my break and just smiled because all week I feel like I’ve been under a cloud… While it was sunny outside… But now its cloudy outside and I feel pretty light. Interesting.

Happy Friday!

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Brave Little Girl

I wasn’t going to blog about this because it seems so personal and so recent… But I can’t get it out of my head and this is what I do. I write things out of my head.

I want to share. I don’t want the attention. I want the attention to go to the many situations that we walk past every day. The many kids that are just waiting for someone to ask, “Are you okay?”.

So here’s what happened:

Sunday night Ethan and I were driving home on i-95 on my way back from NY. It was 9 at night, cold and dark. Suddenly a young woman appears in my head lights on the side of the road. She’s walking alone in a light sweater and jeans. No car in sight. I pass her just like everyone else does, but the image haunts me. Who is that girl? Why is she walking down the highway alone in the dark, miles until the next exit? Maybe she needs help?

I say a quick prayer for her. I pray that God brings someone to stop and help her. Obviously I had already passed her and I was in a hurry to get to my destination. Besides, I had Ethan in the car and this woman could be a psycho. I pass one exit. I think about how many people I’d walked by that I couldn’t help just within the last few days… And the image of the girl was still there. I pass another exit.

I can’t help her? I’m in a hurry. Surely, someone will stop. I prayed about it… So *someone* will stop… Another exit…. And I sigh and turn onto the exit pretty abruptly. I wish I could say that I was confident and fearless about this decision but that would be a lie. I was annoyed. Irritated. Worried. And the guilt was eating away at me.

“Where we going, mom?” Ethan asks.
“I have to see if that girl’s okay.” I responded, hoping I’m not giving him a terrible demonstration by choosing to talk to a stranger.

I called my friend who had been waiting on me for hours to pick up my dog and let her know what I was doing. In the back of my head it was also a way of letting someone know what was happening in case I end up shot (I don’t live in the nicest of neighborhoods). She tells me to be careful. Which freaks Ethan out a little.

Ethan and I said a prayer and I assured him that if God thought this was bad He wouldn’t let us go through with it. Funny, isn’t it? How afraid we are to help people…
So I drive back to the exit before I’d seen the girl and hop back on the highway… Sure enough a short distance from where I’d originally seen her, there she was.

I pulled over, put my hazards on and beeped. She stopped and slowly turned around. I will never forget her eyes. They were huge, like a cornered animal. I rolled down the window and asked that question.. “Are you okay?”.

Slowly, she approached the passenger side of the car. I rolled the window down a little, still wary. She looked so young.. But her expression was so worried and frightened I couldn’t tell what she would do or say next. I asked again. “Are you okay?”

And she started to cry.
“I’m just trying to get home and i’ve been walking since 3 o clock and I’m so scared and I just want to go home!”

My heart broke. I opened the door and told her I’d take her home. She told me where she lived, and being from my neighborhood I knew where. She said she was fifteen. She had been left alone in the neighboring state by a family member after a fight and even though she knew she’d be in trouble for walking home, she was more afraid of what that family member would have done had she come back for her.

It takes a lot of guts to do what she did. And a lot of fear.

The young girl went on to explain that she’d been walking since 3PM and 3 guys had stopped to offer a ride but she was afraid of them. I told her that I saw her walking and felt like I had to stop. She told me that her family was abusive, but she didn’t want to tell anyone because she didn’t want them to get arrested and she loved them very much. I dropped her off near her home but not in front of it, not wanting to get her into more trouble than she already was in.

I told her that I was abused when I was a kid too and it takes a lot of courage to tell someone about it and she was very strong and brave. In my head, I was conflicted. I wanted to help but what could I do? Before I knew it, my hands were reaching for a pen. I gave her my phone number and told her if she ever needs help to call me. I told her I’d be praying for her and her family. She said, “Thank you, God bless you” and left…

My heart breaks for those children who love their families so much that they keep quiet about their own abuse. I wish I could find a way to reach every kid in that situation and tell them it’s not their fault and that it’s not normal. We live in a society, unfortunately, where it’s much more “normal” than we know.

Lessons Learned from 2011

1. I am not a booking agent.

I love to host. I love to create reasons to get together and I especially love to create reasons to share music. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t stress me the hell out! There were a few shows I put together in 2011. They were great! And the shows themselves were fun. Not to mention it enabled me to share the stage with some great talent and raise money for a good cause. The downfall however is that I become less of the artist and more of the promoter, booking agent, and well… Host.

2. I am not a promoter.
In addition to #1. I love to promote other acts. I love talking about how AMAY-ZING Phillybloco (http://www.phillybloco.com), New Sweden (http://newswedenmusic.com), Revolution, I Love You (http://www.revolutioniloveyou.com), Jessica Latshaw (http://www.jesslatshaw.com), etc, etc, etc, are but I find it extremely difficult to talk about… ME. I just… haven’t figured that out yet. 😦

3. I am totally capable of holding my own during a performance without a band.

Over the last few years I’ve heard many many times: “You need a band.” or “Noone’s really interested in [solo acts, singer/songwriters, acoustic acts, “girl with a guitar”]… Quite frankly I’m sick of it. I appreciate the constructive criticism for the most part, but putting a band together is not an easy feat so I’m just going to keep doing what I do until I find the right people and then *I* will decide whether or not I want a band. Besides that fact, without a band I still manage to get everyone’s participation, smiles, and much appreciated love at the end of the show. So stick that on your record player and scratch it 😉

4. I am also very ready to find the right bandmates.

Not to discredit the above statement, but I think now I know what kind of people I’m lopking for in a band. I need people who understand and have the same vision that I do. Musicians that speak the same language (figuratively) that I do. People that understand the need to create music, connect musically, and work hard. WORK. HARD. Etc.

5. I love performing at weddings.

I don’t want to be a “wedding singer” but I really do enjoy singing at weddings. I love being able to give that little touch to the ceremony. I love working with the couple to provide just the right song. I love the pretty dresses and the good times. Yay weddings 🙂

6. Music is the only thing that makes sense to me.

Yup.

oh so glamorous

Its no secret that I’m a single mom. Its not news that its hard. I’m not going to complain!

This morning I wake up to BUZZZZZ!!! Followed by WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!(etc etc) at 6am sharp. That was the doorbell and my dog, if you couldn’t figure that out. I won’t go into detail (not enough time) but anyway.

So after that, I was awake! And after our morning routine of rushing around, making sure everyone is fed and has used the bathroom (except for the turtle and the cat, I don’t need to make sure they use the bathroom!) we are on time and on our way out the door!

Until.. We pull up to his school.

“I forgot my backpack.”

“what?”

And so I dropped the munchkin off at school, thinking “Sure, it will only take like 5 minutes to grab his bag and drop it off and I’ll be on time for work!” right? No. I get home only to find the dog has gotten into his bag and eaten his sandwich. At which point I freaked. Why? Well, this was going through my head:
ohmyGodihavenobreadnomoneyandnotimeforthis! AND Icantsendmykidtoschoolwithnolunch! AND IAMTHEWORSTMOMEVER!

And of course I’m saying all this in a loud tone, grumbling at my dog who is now hiding under a kitchen chair (yes, a large chow mix under one solitary kitchen chair) as I tear through the kitchen looking for SOMEthing suitable for his lunch. I come up with nothing. I have no bread, no time to cook anything, and as the minutes go by I’m worried that I will soon have no job. Finally, and after yelling at the dog a few more times, I took a deep breath and grabbed a plastic container. Mommy will just have to settle for half a lunch!

I poured half of my red beans and rice into a container, popped a plastic fork in there and rushed out the door. Fuming. Not at my son and not at my dog, merely the situation. I was late for work (again) and feeling like a failure at life. Its times like that when you just feel like life would be so much easier if you had someone to share it with.

So, I say a little prayer to try and change my perspective and head in to E’s school. I took his backpack inside and I’m greeted by 3rd graders whispering “That’s Ethan’s mom…”… And my mood lifts dramatically.

Yup! Ethan’s mom to the rescue! I said hi to the class, dropped off his backpack and explained why Ethan will be eating rice and beans for lunch, then gave my little monkeyman a huge hug and a kiss.

Still late to work, but that’s life.

So glam. Kids are the best.