The last two years have been a blur of busy schedules, seemingly endless amounts of work to do, coffee/dark circles under my eyes, and moments of piece/rest/laughter sprinkled in the middle of everything. It has been hard finding the balance in it all, figuring out how much I can handle…and also figuring out how much I should allow myself to handle. It has been a constant ebb and flow in order to find out what works. I’m not even sure I ever figured out the perfect formula for pushing myself vs. pushing myself too hard. (I guess I have another three years or so to figure that out though…) What I do know, is that it has all been worth it (even if it didn’t always feel like that in the moment.) because I graduated last week with my associates degree in Music Engineering and Industry.
Here are a few things college and these last two years have taught me:
1. Setting realistic goals is important. I like to be working towards something at all times. I like the idea of having something to put my energy into. I love progress and the way there is always room for more of it. These last two years, I have had to be more intentional about the goals I set for myself, because it is far too easy for me to get carried away and set these crazy unrealistic goals, and then be disappointed when I can’t reach them. I’m still learning this one, but I think I’m getting better at it all the time. (Progress! Am I right?)
2. Stick to the things that interest and challenge you. I have learned so much about the music industry, audio engineering, recording, performing, and writing these last few years. It is never ending! There is so much to know and learn! But i have found that it is really important to be true to what interests you. Pursue those things. Seek out ways to learn more about the things that intrigue you, the things that push you, and the things that come naturally. These are the things that make you who you are.
3. Sometimes, you just have to ask for help. I have always been a pretty independent person, so asking for help is not my first instinct a lot of times. There have been times throughout my life though, that I am so thankful I swallowed my pride (because that’s what it is…isn’t it? Pride?) and asked for some help. It doesn’t make you weaker or less independent if you ask for help. Don’t forget that.
4. You may not always love what you love. What I mean by that is that is that you aren’t always going to love playing music or writing songs. You aren’t always going to love audio or performing, and that’s okay. Having those periods where you don’t feel outrageously excited about what you’re doing are normal. It is part of life. It took me awhile to understand that, and maybe I am still in the process of learning that lesson. The point is that you shouldn’t let those dry spells scare you into thinking that you are not exactly where you are meant to be.
I am really happy to be have been able to graduate in two years with a degree that challenges and intrigues me. I am also really happy to be able to continue pursuing this field of study. In the Fall, I will be going to The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Oklahoma City. I think it will be a bit of a change of pace, a bit intimidating, but mostly a really great place to grow. I will tell you more about all of this as it gets closer.
Next week, I will be sharing with you all my summer plans, and what I’m working on next! Thanks for reading!
My set list this year:
I've Built These Walls
It's too late
And be Better for it
I've Got My Ticket - Ukulele
(You and I) - Ukulele
You and I - Ukulele
(Where you lead) - Ukulele
I have played at Norman Music festival for the last three years now! The first year I played, I had really only been performing live shows for a little under a year. I was nervous and a little unsure, but it went better than I could have hoped! A picture of me playing was even put in The Norman Transcript!
Last year, I was much more comfortable with my songs, my instrument, and just playing in front of people in general. I sang to a completely crowed room and accidentally left with someone else's guitar. (Which of course I turned around and gave back as soon as I noticed!) It was definitely a memorable show for me.
This year was really different for me though. It has been awhile since I have played a gig, and I was mad nervous. But then there was the buzz....that buzz in your veins that you can't get away from once it starts. Michelangelo's was very busy and loud again this year, which is both really fun and intimidating at the same time. During my first song of the night, there was a moment where I had to either decide to let the nerves that were building under my skin get the better of me, or I had to use them and turn them into something good. It was a single deep breath, a sliver of a moment, and I think it is one of the biggest things performing live has taught me....Over the last three years, playing at NMF, a lot has changed for me...but I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to do what I love. Feeling that buzz while I was playing was like a sigh of relief. This is still good. This is still what I love. I'm going to be okay.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out, and for everyone who stayed and listened! It was such a blast playing for you all! I look forward to playing at Norman Music Festival 10 and seeing how much this year will change me as a musician. <3
Find what you love and pursue it, because even when it gets hard, it is still so rewarding!
A couple weeks ago, Connor and I went go see one of our favorite bands, Mumford and Sons!
The first time I saw Mumford and Sons was in September of 2013 at a two day festival-like thing in Guthrie, Oklahoma. That weekend, I brought my guitar and played my songs on the street for a bunch of strangers. It was the first time I had ever played my music for anyone outside my friends and family. Those sunny afternoons were my first big steps into performing. It was nerve-wracking and I felt utterly vulnerable....but also excited by the fear. In those moments, I felt alive and I loved it!
Flash forward to April of 2016, about two and a half years later...I have been performing ever since that day in September 2013. It has been challenging and exciting all at once. It is interesting to have that time stamp in my mind, to see where I started, to see how all of this began because it puts the challenges I have had with my music lately in perspective. Music is what I love to do. There is no getting around that. Seeing it, hearing it, playing it...it all excites me! Thanks Mumford, for reminding me of that!
Live music has a way of bringing people together and that will always be one of my favorite things about it! <3
Snapshots from this last week:
My new Kala Concert Ukulele just came in the mail yesterday, and I am sooooo excited! I have been thinking a lot about what I want this Summer to look like, since I will only be working (aka will have some time to focus on more things!), and I am really interested in making this something of a ukulele summer. (Which basically means lots of covers of songs and some time spent writing....I will get more into this in a few weeks!)
Also, I included some pictures of Connor and I. I had a terrible cold/flu thing going on last week and I am still kind of recovering from it, but once I felt well enough to do things...I wanted to get out of the house a little...soooo Connor and I explored a little in the Plaza District, and cooked some awesome food together over the weekend. There was also an incident with getting ice cream that involved us driving for 30 minutes (and then another 30-45 minutes to find parking) in Bricktown. We were kind of all over the place. Haha!
NORMAN MUSIC FESTIVAL 2016 is HeRE!
I will be playing tomorrow night (Friday)
at Michelangelo's Coffee and Wine Bar
Starting at 9:00pm!
I hope to see you there!!!!
Come early and stay late to hear some awesome musicians sing/play their hearts out! <3
If you know anything about me, you know that my favorite TV show of all time is Gilmore Girls. I have been watching (and rewatching) Gilmore Girls for the majority of my existence! It has always been a sort of home base for me, a place I go to refuel. It has basically served as the background noise to my life so far. As weird as it sounds, this show has taught me a lot about what it means to be a strong woman. It reinforced the idea in my head that it is okay to enjoy school and reading. It taught me that you can be smart, pretty, and funny all at the same time and none of those things negate the others. It showed me that having strong women and coffee in your life is an absolute must! So, what I'm trying to say is that this cover song has been a long time coming (Especially with the new Gilmore Girls Reboot coming up!!!!!)
Here it is! I hope you enjoy it and it makes you feel something good!
Friday April 22, 2016
Norman Music Festival
Michelangelo's Coffee and Wine Bar
207 E. Main St.
I think sometimes, you have to bounce back by yourself, on your own time, at your own pace. That means trial and error. That means bursts of enthusiasm sprinkled in with flashes of sharp discouragement. This picture looks like life with my music has felt lately. It’s been a constant push hard and pull back even harder. My relationship with music is much like any other relationship — with peaks, valleys, and plateaus. I think that’s okay though. I think its important to acknowledge when things are hard. And let me tell you… things have been hard. Slowly but surely, I’m getting back to it.
I took this last month off from writing for my blog because I needed a chance to catch my breath and get my footing back. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago, and I’m going to celebrate any step forward that I can!
Here are some things that these last few months have taught me:
1. It can be really exciting to learn something new. While my general formula for learning anything musical has always been “1. I can’t do this — 2. I’m not going to stop practicing until I get this stupid measure down — 3. *Two hours later* Wow, I can’t believe I thought that was so hard.” Taking some time to sit down with something that’s challenging and new can be rewarding.
2. It's okay to take time for yourself. Actually, I think sometimes you have to take time for yourself.
3. Nothing is as easy as it seems from the outside. I have to keep reminding myself of this one. It is really easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself/your music to others, and the truth is that you don't see the whole picture. You only see a glimpse, a little snapshot of what it actually takes to create the music. It's like that cheesy quote that says "Don't compare your behind the scenes to someone else's finished project." Or something like that. Cheesy or not...it actually has some truth to it. The majority of people out there are only showing everyone the good bits of their life, and even when they do share the hard parts, it is often still a watered down version of reality. You just have to put your head down and focus on what you are doing. You never win the comparison game.
I will be posting every Thursday (#thoughtsforthursday)
Next week, I will have a new cover video for you!
And I will be playing more shows in the next few months!
So Stay tuned, Thanks for reading, and see you next week!
*Side note : Right after I wrote this post, I was listening to "The Way Fam Podcast" and they had a couple musicians on the show and they ended up talking about the same comparison game thing that I have been going through. So I guess I'm telling you this because it reminded me why it's important to share things, because you never know who is listening/reading/watching. You never know who you might be affecting.
Lately, every day seems to be a constant give and take. I give my time to something and it takes all my energy. I take a break and it gives me anxiety. I give myself some slack and it rips the carpet out from under my feet. This season has been really dry and really exhausting. I have been having a hard time getting back into writing music, which is a terribly difficult thing to admit out loud. It’s like screaming all your secrets into a room full of people. The only things I have to show for the time is a handful of semi-musical ramblings on my phone that I haven’t been able to sit down and work through to form an actual song yet. While sometimes, the excuse of not having enough time is pretty valid, I think I would be lying to myself if I said that was always the case. Often, the time is available, but the motivation is what I am missing. I think it’s important for me to acknowledge that, because one of my biggest fears is that I will go through this life and not learn a single thing, that I will remain the same. Five years from now, I don’t want to be sitting here writing this exact blog post to you all with the same heaviness in my heart. Ten years from now, I don’t want to be stuck in this rut that has had it’s hold on me for awhile now. If it stays around any longer, I am going to have to name it and give it a bigger bed, and I have always been bad at naming things. Sameness is the enemy here, and I am going kicking and screaming before I wake up next year and find out that I haven’t changed, or grown, or expressed myself at all.
There is a part of me that feels this weird responsibility to be cheerful and excited and encouraging all of the time when I talk about my music life. I almost feel guilty for having other feelings, for experiencing the shitty bits of being a creative being. But the truth is that all your favorite sad songs were written because of these feelings. So, maybe this is good, maybe this means I still have things to write about, maybe this means I am exactly where I am supposed to be…so I can write a couple more of your favorite sad songs.
Being a musician, a writer, a songwriter, means you have to be horribly honest with yourself when your instincts tell you to turn around and run for the hills. It is not always pretty…actually most times it is not very pretty, but it’s real.
This semester, I am taking :
Audio Engineering III
Computers and Music III
Music in life (online)
(Next 8 Weeks) Intro to Psychology
and I am a studio intern
I’m really happy to be back in it. Last semester, I didn’t have any music or audio classes, and that was pretty rough for me. This semester is going to be good! <3
This last month held a lot of new things/exciting things/changes for me, and I am still in the beginning stages of processing it all. I might be a little slow getting back into writing each week, but I will get there! I'm not posting a #wordsforyourwednesday today. My classes (FOR MY LAST SEMESTER at Rose!) started yesterday, and I am not quite used to my new schedule yet. You can expect a post next week though! (And maybe a cover video in the next few weeks!)
I do have this little thing for you all...so feel free to check this out!
I started 2016 in a pub in Dublin with my sister (think a mix between Cheers and Friends), surrounded by people who were both strangers and familiar faces from the last two weeks. There was a countdown that came way too quickly, free champagne, lots of people hugging and celebrating, and this overwhelming feeling that I was on the brink of something really amazing. Sitting there in my little corner at the bar, with Santas all around me on the wall, I remember feeling really small, but also like I was a part of something huge, something important, because I was keenly aware that every person in that place had their own story, and history, and life. Everyone there had their own dreams and fears, and knowing that made the celebration of a New Year, surrounded by all these sweet souls, that much more significant.
New Year’s Eve just does something to me. That same feeling I get when I am in a new place exploring…that’s the feeling the New Year gives me. City’s speak to my soul, but new beginnings own it. This year I am making my resolutions less about meeting really specific goals, and more about bettering myself as a whole, as a human with thoughts, and feelings, and dreams, and fears all of my own. 2016 is going to be an amazing year, because believe it or not, we get to decide that. I am claiming 2016 as my year.
Something for my heart:
I really want to write at least 12 songs this year that I really love. Unlike last year, I’m not going to put weekly deadlines or terms on this. It’s important for me right now to get back into writing what I feel because I’m feeling. I think this will be a good way to do that.
Something for my mind:
Being in school, I rarely make time to read anything that isn’t for a class. It is so hard to remember how much I love reading, when I’m only reading things for a grade, but every time I open a book and start reading because I want to, everything melts away. For me, it is always one of those things I forget how much I love it until I’m in the middle of doing it. So, this year, I want to read 12 books for me, because I love it and it’s good for me, and not for any other reason.
Something for my body:
This is a little generic, but I want to be healthier this year. For me, that means getting back into working out regularly (Because it makes such a huge difference in how I feel physically and mentally), and being more mindful of what I put in my body. It’s as simple as that.
I’m really looking forward to this year, and all that it will bring with it. I have been in desperate need of a new beginning. The last few months of 2015 dragged on for me, but it is a new year, and I’m ready to take it on.
Thank you all for being patient while I took this last month off from writing. It was a much needed break for me. I ended last semester strong with a 3.9 GPA, and am headed into my last semester at Rose next week. I am going to keep posting every Wednesday, and will be booking some more gigs soon. You can expect a few blog posts in the next week or so, because I have a lot to say so far this year.
I hope 2016 is treating you well so far!
The end of December is going to be an awesome, exciting time for me! I am headed to Philly in a couple of weeks, and then I am traveling to Ireland and London with my sister for a couple of weeks! So, I will be taking a small break from my blog posts while we are away! Depending on my wifi availability, I may post a couple short updates/holiday posts from across the pond! So, stay tuned, and I will see you all next year!!
11. Performing is equal parts connecting with your audience and also connecting with yourself. As a songwriter, performing is not just performing…it is more about sharing little bits of myself with others. I always think of that Avett Brother lyric “I cut my heart wide open, they come and watch us bleed.” It’s about being vulnerable with yourself, and with others. It’s about letting yourself feel, and in turn helping others to feel something. In the last two years, that is what I have come to know as performing.
12. Working out is not just good for your body. I am going to be honest…I haven’t worked out in a while. Hah! But there was a time when I was working out almost five days a week, and I don’t think I have ever felt better physically or mentally. It’s something I really am interested in getting back into. They aren’t lying to you when they say it is worth it.
13. Cities speak to my soul <3 This is something I have known about myself for awhile now. I always say that I have never been to a place that I didn’t fall in love with…and that is still true. I have been a lot of places (at least for someone my age). I think the tally right now is something like 5 countries and 12 states? Every single one of those places holds a tiny piece of my soul. I love the way traveling and experiencing new places (or old places in a new way) fills my heart with wonder!
14. It is important to surround yourself with people who are passionate about something. (It is even better when they are passionate about the same thing you are). I always find that when I spend a little bit of time with other musicians, or audio engineers, or actors, or people in the industry, that my excitement for what I’m doing increases.
15. Being thankful is a must. This doesn’t need a lot of explanation…but there is a wonderful power in saying thank you.
16. Lists are your friend ;) I love lists. Lists help me keep my life from spiraling out of control….simple as that!
17. There is no shame in doing things by yourself. Over these last few years, I have come to really enjoy doing things alone. That isn’t to say that company is not lovely and fun, but there is such a stigma on not having people around you all the time, and I think it is completely false. It’s okay to eat a meal alone. It’s okay to get coffee alone. There is no shame in it, because it helps you learn what you really enjoy, what you really like without having anyone else influence you. Dance to the music you enjoy. Eat the strange foods you like, and let it be that!
18. It’s okay to get excited about things! It is good to be interested in things. It is good to be excited about the things you are interested in! There is no point in trying to play it “cool.”
19. Learn to cook things. This is a big one, because food is kind of essential for this whole living thing. I’m really stoked about this next year because Connor (the fiance) and I are going to start cooking meals together each week when he moves here to find recipes that we like. Then we will compile a L I S T of our favorites and make a little cook book. I will tell you more about all of that in January! <3
20. Last One: Learn to finish the things you start. I think it is really difficult to put things into action sometimes. Coming up with the idea or the plan is just a small part of it…but seeing it through is a whole other monster. I am a lover of all things challenges/projects. A 30 day jogging challenge? Sure why not (I have yet to finish one of those. Whoops) A 40 day sunrise project? Absolutely! A year long cooking project with the love of my life…Yes Please! I think it keeps life interesting! So, here’s to seeing things through!
1. It’s okay to say no to things I don’t want to do. With all the endless people-pleasing tendencies floating around inside my head, reminding myself that I can say no and not feel guilty about it is a huge relief. Of course, it doesn’t always happen like that, but when I started being more intentional about the things I agree to, it empowered me to do things I actually enjoy with people I actually enjoy! Couldn’t we all use a little bit more of that in our lives?
2. There is always something I can improve on. I think one of the biggest things I love about the music industry is that there is no end to the things you can learn and get better at! I will never know everything about everything, and that is so exciting! I love the idea of “perfecting my craft” and I also love the idea that “my craft” can extend to as many things as I want it to. “My craft” can be songwriting, playing instruments, singing, producing, mixing, live sound, recording, performing….it never ends!
3. I can handle a lot more than I think I can. This one is a hard one for me to say out loud, but it is one that Connor (my loving and wonderful fiance) reminds me of every time I get to my breaking point. I can handle more than I think I can, and everything is going to be okay. I may shed a few tears, but things always work out.
4. Loving my best friend/fiance is one of my greatest joys! This seems like a natural progression, so here it is. Twenty years on this earth has taught me what kind of person I want to be for other people, and it has taught me what kind of man I want to spend my life with. Thankfully, it didn’t take me twenty years to know that Connor was the one. (That took about twenty minutes). So for anyone reading this, don’t settle for anything less than what you want/need. When you have someone who is such a constant support and source of endless laughs, and even better when you get to be that for someone else….nothing seems as hard to handle.
5. There is no such thing as too much coffee. Caffeine may not be “good” for me, but it sure is good for everyone around me! ha! But for real, I’ve gotten to the point that coffee is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes! (and I’m strangely okay with that)
6. Doing what I love makes loving what I do really easy. It is amazing how much of a difference it makes when you can get excited about the things you are doing. It is way too easy for me to get caught up in all the details and forget what it is like to do something because you like it and not just because you have to. There is joy in the details and there is joy in the grand picture…and as my mom always says “Enjoy the process.”
7. Taking breaks is important, and knowing when I need to take a break is just as important. This is a lesson I have been learning for the majority of my life. I’m getting better at knowing when I need to stop and breath, but sometimes it takes something like..oh I don’t know…getting tendinitis in my right hand before I decide to work a few less hours and take a little time to relax. One day, I will figure it out, right?
8. There is no end to the goodness of supporting other people. This is something that I am so passionate about! I cannot tell you how much my life has changed because of the support of the people around me, both friends/family and strangers. I love being able to support and encourage other people to do the things they are too afraid to do, but the things they desperately want to do. I was there, and am still there all the time…I love being able to do that for someone else. Humans are delicate creatures, and believe it or not, we all need a little support sometimes.
9. I can be feminine and laugh a lot and also be good at what I do and demand to be taken seriously. Being a woman in the industry is both a scary thing and also a wonderful privilege. I think one of the most important things I have learned about dealing with people in the industry is that I have to demand to be taken seriously, because often times, if I don’t demand it, then it won’t happen. However, I think there is a way to demand that respect and still remain humble and kind, and true to yourself. It’s a balance, but it’s worth the effort.
10. My feelings are valid. If you all don’t know by now, you are in for a treat…because I am an emotional human. I feel things deeply, and let myself be affected by things. I am slowly learning that this is not a bad thing. I deserve to feel the things I feel, and so do you!
This week, I started enrolling for my last semester at Rose. It seems both crazy to say that and as if it has been a long long time coming. This semester has been long and busy for me. I am just trying to make it through these next few weeks....and then a whole new whirlwind of wonder and somewhat stressful things will be coming my way. (including a trip to Europe with my sister, my fiance moving to Oklahoma, a move of my own with a friend of mine, and a new beginning in the form of New Years Day...which as you probably know by now is one of my favorite holidays!) I'm really excited about all the new things coming around the corner.
In terms of my music, I am going to be spending a lot more time creating some EP's for you all. Starting the process of this is going to be a little daunting (and expensive), but once I have all the equipment I need in order to record at home, life will be a lot easier and you will have some new music in your hands! I will let you all know ways you can help me with this in the next couple of months. My goal is to produce at least two 3-4 song EP's in 2016. I'm am doing some planning for all of that now!
Are there any specific songs of mine you would like to hear on an EP?
I will see you all next week, hopefully with a new video of a song!
Saturday November 7, 2015
7:00 - 9:00pm
Michelangelo's Coffee and Wine Bar
207 E Main St.
Norman, Oklahoma 73069
I'm going to be really honest with you all today. The thing is, these last few months have been quite difficult for me in regards to my music. Lately, it has felt a lot like going through the motions. I've been making music since I could talk, and never have I ever doubted (at least for any real length of time) that this is what I am meant to do, what I was created to do. While the random thoughts always crept in, lately it's been a lot harder to silence those thoughts. I think that is to be expected though, right? I am at a point in my life where I am figuring out a lot of things about myself. I'm a couple weeks away from being 20 years old, and maybe my quarter life crisis is just coming a little ahead of schedule. I always have been a little mature for my age. Hah! Anyway, these last weekend, I was in Chicago for CD Baby's first annual DIY Musician's Conference, and in a strange way, this conference answered a lot of questions I didn't know I was asking...
Let me explain...
The second day of the conference, I was feeling pretty freaked out with myself. Here I am surrounded by all these musicians and all of them seem so passionate, so excited about their careers and the possibilities...and I don't feel that like I used to. I am not excited right now. That scared me a lot because the whole trajectory of my life has been to make a career in the music industry. Is this still where I am supposed to be? I just started a spiral of worry and then worrying that I'm worrying because no one else seems to be worried. And I sat down and prayed for a sign. I just wanted to know these last few months of disconnection have been a season that I will come out of. I just wanted to know that this is still where I am supposed to be.
The last event going on that night was a showcase of a few musicians from the conference. I was pretty drained from the day, and the emotional roller coaster that comes with questioning your entire life...(and having to stay up until 2:00 in the morning the night before to write a paper for my women's history class in the hotel room)...needless to say, I wasn't all that thrilled to listen to live music...sleep was beckoning me, and I was ready to let it take me down. However, I was also interested in hearing this one particular artist who I heard speak earlier in the day. She ended up going on second, and it wasn't a moment too soon. This artist (Shannon Curtis) wrote an entire album titled "Connections" which is all about the human experience of connecting with each other. As she sang and told some stories about her songs...it was as if she was speaking straight from a script in my head...
"Don't you know that little voice that comes by every time something really great happens?
That voice that says "Oh, it's not that big of a deal. Something will come a long soon enough
that will ruin this awesome thing and then what are you going to do?"
She talked a lot about the trap of self-doubt and the struggle of simply existing sometimes, and it hit me hard. Her performance made me remember why I started writing music, why I started down this journey....it's all about the connections...
I started writing music so I could figure out how to connect....
...with myself, because sometimes I lose sight of things and struggling with depression for a lot of my life makes connecting with myself a complicated mess.
...with other people, because music has always said the words I didn't think I could say myself, and writing songs gives me the power to say all of those things.
...with the world, because sharing bits of yourself with the world is a really humbling experience, and being vulnerable is a terrifying and challenging, and rewarding place to live.
The biggest thing that this trip taught me is that I'm not passionate about the same things I used to be, and that's okay. It's like these last few months I have been looking for my excitement for music and passion for what I'm doing in the same box I always kept it, and I'm realizing that I keep it in a different box now. It wears different a different face, and that is not a bad thing! The most moving moments for me during this conference were 1. The situation I just described above. Re-remembering that I desperately need connections. and 2. Going to a presentation on using ProTools and seeing a WOMAN AUDIO ENGINEER teaching the class!! That's what gets me excited! I love audio engineering! And I love the idea that I could be an example to other young women who think that audio is just for guys! The world of audio engineering is vast and opens up so many incredible opportunities for my music! I am so excited to self produce something for the first time. That's where my passion is right now! My passion is in connecting and in creating music in a new way through audio engineering. I think because audio was always supposed to be kind of a backup contingency plan that I wasn't expecting how much it would impact me and how much I would fall in love with it. But how incredible is it to be in love with your "backup" too?!
Another little added layer to this trip was my deep, intense, and somewhat melancholy adoration for cities. (Yes! I love cities so much that I get sad about it! I just get so overwhelmed with how much I love them that I just feel it deep in my bones.) This was my first time being in Chicago, and I kind of feel like through all of this self-discovery, Chicago now has custody of a piece of my heart! I feel a very intimate closeness to that city now. So, Thank you, Chicago, for letting me stay for awhile and learn in your arms. Until next time...