Pride

Last weekend was the world Pride parade. Thousands of people came together in one place to celebrate who they were. It was a precious moment of shared self-love. A precious moment of shared love for everyone else around. An important moment. It’s so important to love yourself. To celebrate yourself. To be happy with yourself just the way you are. I am taking this energy to heart. In every aspect of myself – my sexuality, my identity, my physical body, my place in the world – I feel proud today. I feel proud of who I am and of where I am. I feel proud of how far I’ve come.

This week is really busy for us. We have a show at The Guthrie Center on Friday, and then we’re leaving on Sunday for a week-long trip to LA. In the days between, we need to pack, to practice our set for our show on Friday, and learn four new cover songs that we’re going to record while we’re in LA. I am really excited to go to LA. I love being there. We are playing a show at Hotel Cafe with labelmates Amy Wilcox and Car Astor, spending two and half days in the studio recording cover songs, meeting with people, and hanging out with our Blue Elan crew relaxing and enjoying the sun. I can’t wait.

This morning I was feeling the crunch of all the things on my to-do list. And then, almost simultaneously, I felt a surge of pride. All of these things that I have in front of me are things that I dreamt of doing as recently as a year and a half ago. I am busy. I am busy doing what I love. I have shows to prepare for. I have studio time to rehearse for. I have trips to pack for. I have a label that I love. I have a partner who does all of this with me. Our house can be crazy sometimes. We have two kids, aged 5 and 1. They are growing up hearing their mom play the piano in the living room. Hearing their dad wreck on the drums in the basement (the sound infiltrating the entire house), knowing that when their parents travel, it’s for music. They are getting to see that a career in the arts is a career just as a career in medicine or a career in architecture is a career. I am proud of that.

I am proud that I am actually living the dream I have had for my whole entire life. On social media and everything, I mostly share the successes that I have. It isn’t all success. There are shows where no one shows up, there are times when I cry in the bathroom, there are times when I feel like what I want is far from where I am. But lately I feel like my hard work, the dues I have paid, are paying off. I got my first mechanical royalty check in the mail earlier this week. It was the most beautiful 58$ I ever saw. I have offers coming in to play shows. I am getting ready to make my second album with a producer I love. Things are happening. And I know how hard I’ve worked to be in this place. There were times when I could have given up. But I couldn’t have, not really. This path is too important to me. It means too much. It’s something I have to do. It’s something I love with all my heart. And it feel like, right now, in this moment, it is at the center of my life. It is no longer a dream on the fringes, far away. It’s a career. It’s building. It’s alive. I can look at my partner Shawn and say ‘I did this. We did this.’ and I am really proud of that.

What are you proud of?