All You Want Is To Be A Rockstar

“All you want is to be a rock-star.”

“You suffer from delusions of grandeur.”

“You disdain motherhood.”

These three statements, made by a person I once called a friend, have reverberated in my head nearly everyday for six years. I allowed them to permeate my heart and there they festered and poisoned my self -esteem, my dreams, and my hopes. I let them. Heaven help me, I let them. I began to think that everyone saw me this way. That I was seen as a woman who was too much; who was too big; who wanted too much; who wanted more than I had a right to want.

This fact used to embarrass me. Why was I letting the words of this person bother me so much? Then I grew angry and I wanted an apology. But slowly, over time, I began to realize that these words were spoken by someone who didn’t understand me, who was riddled with their own insecurities and doubts, and, most likely, couldn’t stand to see someone think outside the box, to see someone decide to not be bound by what is expected of them. That’s when I began to feel empathy for this person. I thought about the idea of forgiving them. Then I thought about it some more.

Then I actually did.

All of a sudden I was free. Oh, it’s such a cliche isn’t it?

It’s true though, like most cliches always are.

A couple of blog posts ago I wrote about my time of solitude out at the Serenbe Farm near Palmetto, GA. It was there that I really wrestled through this. It was there that I had a bit of a break through over the fear and doubt that had been ruling me for so long. I allowed myself to rest. I offered myself some grace. Let myself off of the hook I had been re-hanging myself on everyday. I looked in the mirror and slowly, one by one, began to pull out those barbs that had settled so deeply into my heart.

I have always been a little afraid of the things that I think up. Since I was a little kid. The ideas that I have, oh boy - I have lots and lots and lots and lots of them. By afraid, I mean that I was afraid of what others would think of me if they knew what I dreamt about. I operated under a shroud of false-humility.  (Donald Miller has an incredible blog post about this. If you want to have your gluteus maximus kicked in a well written way, go read this ) I spent way too much time denying that I had big ideas, and big aspirations, and that I was talented, because one isn’t supposed to think that way. Somehow, (sadly mostly from the “church”. I’m pretty positive this pisses Jesus off big time) it was communicated to me that to believe in myself, to believe that I had a lot to offer, was wrong and vain.

When I got home from my respite at Serenbe, I noticed the manifestation of the time I had alone by the way my piano no longer mocked me when I walked past. It looked…friendly again. It wasn’t a reminder, a kind of remnant of what I used to do. Of what I used to love.  I sat down. Let my fingers wander over those familiar friends, those smooth white keys, and let the colours of the notes shyly step into my brain.

That was four months ago. I have written several new songs since then. Not all of them have been any good mind you, but they have been brought forth into the world. I have allowed myself to be creative again. I have allowed myself to dream big dreams again.

That is a big expletive deal.

Here’s the thing.

I got over myself.  I got over my dang ol’ silly self. I started thinking about the things I’ve said to friends of mine, who are seriously and amazingly talented (I’m thinking specifically of a conversation I had with my friend, Liz Chai), where I pretty much chastised her for not believing in herself. Where I said that she had so much talent, so much to give, and to stop comparing herself to other people who seemed to have it more together than she did.

Fuck Expletive ‘em” I said. “You are too good to hide behind doubt.”

I've been talking with my friend, Betsy, like I do, and she told me how she keeps a picture of herself at five years old up in her painting studio as a reminder to be that wide open. To be that alive. To be that free. It was in mulling over this conversation that I had a sudden revelation.

That I need to tell myself what I would tell myself if I wasn’t myself.

This is what came to mind when I decided to do that:

I am really, really, really, talented. I am good at a lot of things. And I should celebrate that. Not hide it. Why should I be ashamed of my talents? Why should I apologize for them? I have ideas of how to bring some beauty and wonder into this wide wide world; moments to sweep you away, dear reader. Moments to make you think. Moments to help you push through your past, to inspire you to create, to inspire you to fight off the same depression and shame that I have walked though. I want to do this because I need these things, too, not because I want any sort of accolades or admiration. Expletive that. I will do these things because I truly believe they have been placed in my heart by God to do. Ideas and dreams that will not be silenced any longer. And I want that for you, too. I really, really, really, do.

(I just used the word “really” six times. Just letting you know that I noticed it, too. And I’m leaving it that way so THERE.)

I will fail at some of them. Oh I will, I will. But I will not cower to that anymore. I will fail big. I will celebrate the losing. I will welcome the inevitable failings because, at the end of the day, I freakin’ TRIED.

Perhaps, you know, somebody, or lots of somebodies, will say that I suffer from delusions of grandeur.  Well then fine. If that’s the case then may I be deluded for the rest of my life.

At this moment I am sitting in small studio, on the Westside of Atlanta, literally one mile away from where, six years ago next month, so much pain was wrought in the community I was a part of. Because I made a choice to step outside of what was expected of me. I asked for a divorce from Phoenix’s father and chose to make a new path for myself. And people were pissed at me. However, out of that choice so much joy, and love, and growth, and hope, and life, and redemption, and FRUIT has been born. These songs reflect that. Some of them are old, from years ago, songs that I dusted off and welcomed back, and some that are so new they’re still teething. I can’t wait to share them with you.

I have made peace with the fact that I will never fit into normal. I am a messy-sparkly-clumsy-loud laughing-tight hugging-beautiful-slightly fluffy-funny-rubber faced-firecracker of a breath of fresh air.

Damn it all, I am PROUD of that. I've grown weary of shutting myself down because I just might make someone uncomfortable.

So now I ask of you, what are you hiding in yourself? What are you shutting down for a "someday"? What are you waiting for? Your children to get a little older? When you’ve lost some more weight? Who has told you that you are too much? Or, conversely, that you are not enough? (I think you’re allowed just a wee small moment of imagining that you’ve told them to go jump in a vast boiling lake. After that, though, you need to work on the forgiveness part. It’s kind of important. Just sayin’…) It just might be yourself telling you all these things and if that’s the case, may I suggest you do what I did.

Tell yourself what you would say to yourself if you weren’t yourself.

I dare you.

"All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was.  I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory.  I was naïve.  I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer.  It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:  that I am nobody but myself." 

Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

The Need For Solitude

I haven't blogged in 84 days. So.

There's that.

I am not a blogger. But you probably knew that already.

Currently I am writing in a "Starbucks" in a Barnes & Noble somewhere in Newnan, GA.

Why Newnan?

Because the wifi signal at Serenbe went kaput earlier and I decided to go for a drive and find one. Now I'm here. It's the closest place that I could find that had a wifi signal that wouldn't relegate me to sitting in an Applebees. Or a Krystals. I can't decide which is worse.

I arrived at the Inn at Serenbe a little after 5pm on Monday, the 9th of January. The girl at the Guest Relations house immediately knew I was who I was because I was the last person to check in for the day. She gave me my key with the small cowbell on it, showed me the layout of the community, and wished me a good stay.

It took me 10 minutes to actually find my room. I lugged my suitcase up and down stairs in the Farmhouse, trying to find my room number. I finally found it, off of the front porch, completely secluded from the rest of the house. I unlocked the door, dragged my suitcase inside, took a look around and promptly began to weep.

I mean weep. I mean the long makes-the-stomach-hurt crying.

I have been battling some seriously bad depression since the beginning of September. I had been sliding into it for a while before that, but I refused to acknowledge it. I hate, utterly abhor, feeling weak. It's a problem. Zack says it's my pride, which is probably true. I don't like needing anything. I don't like feeling vulnerable. To admit that I wasn't doing well felt like defeat. And I was already feeling so defeated in every other aspect of my life that to admit that I was depressed felt like I had nothing left at all.

I was defeated in my music. I was defeated in my writing. I was defeated in my journaling. I was defeated in my painting. I was defeated in my mothering. I was defeated in my everything.

Or so it felt.

It was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning. Everything made me feel on edge and anxious. It was if all my nerves were on the outside of my body. Like a sunburn of the soul. I was a hairpin trigger away from blowing up.

So here I am, at Serenbe, in a last ditch effort to try and regain a bit of myself back.

(I'm now back in my room, by the by. Shortly after I started writing, three pimply faced boys sat down at the table next to me and proceeded to play wretchedly bad music over their laptop speakers. Loudly. In the bookstore. I glared at them. I raised my right eyebrow to show my annoyance. They were clueless. I left.)

On our GoogleCal it reads, "Meghan Out Of Town to Write Her Book".

I've done none of that. Of the 6 chapters I've written thus far, not a single word has been added to them. Not another chapter. Nothing.

I brought a journal. Wanna know what I've written so far?


"I tend to draw snails a lot."

"Pinot Noir. Stuff in a jar. Martha the waitress. Harry Connick overhead And a restaurant to myself."


"OMG. Lamb Risotto at The Hill in Serenbe for the win!"

I know.

I know.

The sheer brilliance that was wrought forth from my hand is almost too staggering to be believed. Please. Stay your desire to begin sharing with the masses as I'm not sure the general public is ready for such heady artistry as this.

I have been doing a whole effin' lot of nothing. Mostly sitting here in this room. It was pouring here yesterday and yucky and cold today, so I haven't done any walking about the farm here. I've been sleeping. A lot. Reading a lot.

Feeling guilty. A lot.

I know that I need this. I know it. I'm just having the damndest hard time accepting it.

Why is it so hard for me to accept that I am enough just sitting here? That if I didn't sing another song or write another word that that would be okay? That I would be okay? That the opinion of those who love and know me best wouldn't change?

I can feel myself recharging. This is a very very good thing. I am an introvert. People who don't know me well tend to think otherwise but really, when I am in social situations, I assume a role; I think of it like real life theatre improv and by the time it's done...I am done. I think it's safe to say that for every hour I'm around people, even my family, I need two alone to make up for it. I was so far overdrawn in my recharging that I was damaging my body.

Well. I'm going to go sit someplace else now. I have the whole Serenbe Inn to myself right now so I'll go look and see if there is anything to read in the library.

I hope that all of you are well. I hope that perhaps this makes sense to some of you, or that perhaps this helps you make sense to yourself. That you are enough. Where you are. I'm learning it, too.

For those of you who are introverts as well, I think you'll enjoy this article. I know I did. It made me laugh!

Caring For Your Introvert

"The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit." Marya Mannes