My Body, My Choice, My Love

Every tattoo that I have I got in an attempt to love myself more. To love my body and make peace with the way it is and the experiences I’ve had. I grew up slightly bookish and in my own world most of the time. I don’t remember feeling really “cool” or “in” or “popular.” [...]

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What am I getting out of music, teaching and living life?

I enjoy music more because I sometimes have to listen to bad music, like the music of a kid who is not in tune, who is not counting, who cannot count or who is too afraid to sing and is mumbling into the microphone. Sometimes, I have to listen to music like that, and I [...]

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Black Mystique, Part 2

“Same hair!” Imagine it’s the first year of your 30s. You’ve traveled a bit. You’ve chased your dreams. You’ve jumped out of perfectly good air planes, and now you’re taking the ultimate adventure and working on your fitness. You stand in the gym next to your trainer, and her son walks up, who you met [...]

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Crave the life you want

After I came off The Voice and into 2014, I was really down on myself. All I saw in my past was glaring errors and failure artistically (read: professionally). My depression was bad. I was constantly making lists in my head of all the things I had tried that hadn’t worked out. I was always [...]

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Black Mystique, Part 1

“You’re already Black!” Picture yourself as a kid. You’re 14, and it’s your first year in high school. You’re sitting in a Spanish class full of upperclassmen, because you’re not an idiot, and you tested into this section. These kids have cars and facial hair. These kids have fake nails and go to keggers on [...]

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Things must change

A few years ago, I was on a boat sailing around the Mediterranean and singing with new friends. In Italy as a joke, another singer told me that I looked like the girl who played “Precious” in the movie by the same title. I came apart. I cried for three days. In my eyes, not [...]

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Love and all its shades

I left town last Sunday and was gone through Tuesday night in Portland for rehearsals. Some might argue I missed Wednesday as well because I didn’t get home until 1 AM Thursday morning. My partner was in bed waiting for me on top of the covers. You need the bed the way I like it. [...]

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Stand up for yourself, I will be by your side!

I’m just incensed when it comes to homophobia. How can you be a grown person and be homophobic? I remember not liking gay people when I was in middle school, knew nothing about life, knew no gay people and watched a lot of Jerry Springer. I also remember in high school getting teased for being [...]

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Now accepting invitations

There was a girl who went to my college that I only remember from one year. At one point in freshmen year, she told everyone that I stole an item from her room, which wasn’t true. She gave this information away at the end of December. I started my first job during January term, and [...]

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Because the time is now, and it is for me.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. I had two friends forgive me this week. One friend forgave me for my temper. We had a falling out over a gig that happened last summer, and it prevented us from being in contact for ten months. This is the guy who played all the lead riffs on my [...]

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