Author Archives: hellothisisthesiren

1, 2, 3…Tinder! or Mama Takes New Jersey

Despite her gorgeous hourglass figure, youthfulness and spritely face, my mother turned 60 this year.  After her divorce 2 years ago–which was actually a really great thing for everyone involved–she had settled into her own condo, a job and had transitioned from 30 some years of wife and mother to full blown independent woman.  Hooked on personal development podcasts and optimism, she had let herself be talked into joining Tinder by my sister and I.  “It’s like shopping,” I told her comparing it to her favorite pastime to ease the apprehension of online dating.  “You can just window shop and then if you like someone, you decide if you want to talk to them.”  After a few days of dramatization over every swipe and message,

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she was chatting with several men and back in the game!

At my consistent urging that she “be a hussy” (which for someone who had only slept with one man ever might involve one french kiss by the end of the year) she extended the age range of prospects to include 40-somethings.

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One afternoon I get a call from her that a man–let’s call him Maurice–who she had been talking with regularly on the phone, wants her drive to the Jersey Shore and spend the weekend with him at the beach for their very first rendezvous.  “I mean it’s 3 hours away and I’m tired.”  Her voice held an excitement I hadn’t heard in a long time as she waited for the verbal thumbs up I knew she had called me for.  While personally I probably wouldn’t have driven 3 hours without meeting someone first, I couldn’t deflate the hope that was alive in her once again.  With one word of affirmation from my lips she all but hung up on me “ok well I have to go pack and get on the road!”

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I stood looking around the room for a moment and then dialed my sister.  “Um, I just told mom to drive 3 hours to stay with a guy she’s never met from Tinder…that’s ok right?  Like, she’ll be fine and everything?”  We both uneasily made our way toward feeling good about it and covered all the necessary precautions including a parental like call to speak with this Mandingo Maurice where he assured me she had her own room and was to be worshipped like royalty.

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A text from Mama came through, “he has the cutest accent and says ‘chow’ instead of goodbye!”  I laughed out loud in my apartment as I explained to her that ‘chow’ is the first word of an Asian dish 

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and if she said it back to consider spelling it ‘Ciao.’

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Well as it turned out the chemistry in person was not as sizzling as it was when being bounced off of multiple cell phone towers.  The second day she told him that the sparks weren’t there for her and a very disappointed Frenchmen was reluctantly friend-zoned.  She left early and got back in time to spend an evening happily alone in her condo.  As she filled me in on the details of how he tried to run her to death on the beach with no hydration, I laughed and filled with admiration for this courageous woman said “well, you can’t expect a home run on your first swing.”

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Following My Whimsey

This year I coined a phrase that I love and whenever people ask me why I’m doing certain things I say “I’m following my whimsey!”  When asked why I’m dancing when there’s no dance floor, “I’m following my whimsey!”  When asked why my hair is red, “I’m following my whimsey!”  Why am I writing this blog?  I’m following my whimsey!

I’ve found that personal fulfillment is one of the most important things when it comes to being happy in life and if I’m happy, the whole world is happier and benefits.  When you are not happy you turn into one of these people.

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This week my whimsey said “there are some of my songs that will not be released unless my voice is the one representing them.”  It was like when Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky and insisted that he star in it.

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It doesn’t have to make sense to other people because sometimes I can’t explain why I feel certain things and it defies what seems logical, but ask any successful person and I bet they won’t say that they got to where they are by ignoring their impulses.

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Following your whimsey is a lot like following The Siren.  It’s honoring that little voice within more than any that come from without.  It’s making the hard decisions and sometimes other people tell me I’m crazy.

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So I just assume I’m the weirdest person in any room.

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And when someone tells me I’m selfish for following my whimsey

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because I know that it’s even more selfish for someone else to ask me to follow their whimsey.

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Life should be beautiful 

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and fulfilling

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and fun

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whatever that looks like for each of us.

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So never give up on hopes and dreams,

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be true to who you are 

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and above all, always

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You Are Scary

It’s always been easy for me to sing the praises of others.  I’ll be the first to tell you how beautiful my mother is, how talented my sister is and how one of my guy friends could charm the skin off a snake.  Presenting my own highlight reel on the other hand, has always seemed a little bit more difficult.  Growing up I didn’t see a lot of women I viewed as role models and so like many girls, I stepped onto the long and winding path of figuring out who to become.  I tried on a few different personas from shy friend, to emotionally damaged artist, to party girl in the small dresses.  Not very comfortable, those little dresses, and none of the aforementioned characters were my forte.  It’s funny how what you are meant to be is usually who you have been all along and sometimes other people see you more clearly than you see yourself.  So here are some of my favorite compliments from my friends that remind me of who I am–hopefully one of these will help remind you of who you are too!

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The Bat or Rebirth

For my birthday, one of my good friends gave me a tiny wooden bat.  That’s right, a bat.  We’re the type of friends where little things always seem to have some deeper meaning or broader implication and being my own particular brand of wacky, this was actually the perfect gift.  Some girls like jewelry or purses (don’t get me wrong I certainly  would not turn down a Louie Vuitton!) but I love originality and thought so the next afternoon I sat down in the daylight and without my vodka goggles on to take a better look.  It came with a little pamphlet describing how a bat symbolizes the idea of Shamanistic death.  I know what you might be thinking, sounding a little dark for a celebration eh?  The pamphlet explained that in Meso-American tribal legend, the bat involves shedding the past or old identity and stepping into your destiny.  Rebirth. 

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I could definitely identify with that after my Guts and Gucci Episode!  For the last several weeks I felt like I had been swimming in deep waters and this structureless, reflective space was surfacing all sorts of emotions.  Some days I felt like I was on top of the world and I could see my aspirations for the future materializing effortlessly.  Some days I felt lost, like I couldn’t find my identity and a dark sea of ambiguity was swallowing me whole.  As I sat examining the detail in the carving of this little wooden bat I realized I wasn’t lost at sea, I was submerged in the embryonic fluid of rebirth.  Not like Keanu Reeves in that gnarly scene at the beginning of The Matrix

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(Ew)

but like a beautiful and poetic water nymph from ancient Greek mythology.

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(Yes!)

Well this recognition didn’t change the current flux and flow, but as the the days went on I began learning how to ride the waves instead of fight the tide.  I remembered Science 101 and heard the spirit of Isaac Newton whisper in my ear “what goes up, must come down.” Days I felt high I would take advantage of the opportunity for perspective, do work and just be grateful.  When I was low I trusted that clarity would come again soon and as I dissolved fear, I began exploring a whole new world in each new layer of myself.

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I know that I have a habit of dismissing my emotions and as I embrace them more openly now it allows me to see both myself and others in a more compassionate light.  I know that my emotions are not something to ever be dismissed or degraded as “PMS” or “being dramatic” but that they are a sort of divine guidance.  A lot of people feel perspective when they look to the stars or observe the grandeur of the ocean, but that same auspicious wisdom can be grasped from deep within.  My emotions tell me where I am in proximity to where I need to be and they deserve to be respected, that’s why people are always saying “follow your gut!”  Or as I like to say

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I have always put a lot of pressure on myself and although it’s helped me accomplish a lot, it feels good to let some of that go.  I have become friends with the bat and this idea of rebirth, embracing the words of Lily Tomlin “If trying harder doesn’t work, try softer.”  

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A woman I admire very much always says you can see something as a roadblock, or you can turn it on it’s side and make a stepping stone.  She says opposition creates a bridge from where you are to where you want to be and as far as I know there are only two things to do with a bridge; burn it, or cross it.

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It’s All Gravy, Baby

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Took this at a beautiful little birthday potluck for a friend of mine and something about it struck me.  This year a big lesson for me has been that I am enough.  My words, my voice, my body–it’s enough.  The sign doesn’t say “you’re dish is good” or “it’ll do in a pinch.”  It is a blessing.  Whatever you bring to the table in life is your gift and it is perfect.  For today, join me and appreciate your own beautiful being as it is.  Know that you can’t say the wrong thing and whatever you bring to the table, well, it’s all gravy baby.

Enter The Siren or Guts & Gucci

     Tomorrow is my birthday and it seems to always mark not just the change of the seasons, but a change of tide for me. The last year has been full of so many lessons, so many extreme highs and lows and it has all caused me to take a step back and reevaluate things.  From a small town girl clumsily strumming my guitar and cathartically weeping words of heartbreak I had yet to experience, to the materialization of said heartbreak and working side by side with some of the top writers and producers in the music industry, the idiom has certainly rung true that the difficult part is not in getting what you want, but figuring out what exactly that is. Let me rewind for a minute and tell the story of how I got here;

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     At what seemed to be a pinnacle point in my career, adorned with my first pair of Gucciʼs and suddenly tasting a life that would evoke envy from the most virtuous of budding rock stars, I heard a little voice in my gut screaming like a Siren. Something was off and in spite of the glitz and glamour, I knew I was dimming my star and allowing others to dictate my career path. It was decision time–put pen to paper and live the next year in the shadows while someone else represented my work, or jump ship. Despite several attempts to ignore Her, the Sirens dull cries had intensified into unavoidable shrieks and I was compelled to pull back from the seemingly propitious opportunity that was unfolding before me. The next day, I felt like a high speed train that had just reached full throttle and then slammed to an abrupt halt, but then I realized it was just the bottle of peach Saké from the night before.  This is Sophia Monroe looking concerned.

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     After locking myself in my apartment for days on end with Thai food and re-runs of the 90ʼs alien show “Roswell” as a means of coping, I awoke one morning with alive with purpose. I realized the train hadnʼt stopped at all, but saw that it was heading toward a Wile E. Coyote cliff drop and like an intelligent and well informed train from some futuristic cult film, had simply slowed to change its course. This was by no means the end, it was the beginning.

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     I have always had this vision of success and somewhere along the way I found myself willing to settle for a diluted version of it. Thatʼs what the Siren was telling me, it wasnʼt a warning she was screaming, but roar of declaration and avowal. A demand for attention and remembrance. A rallying call. Selling out in the music industry has nothing to do with writing mainstream music or fitting into the “Pop” genre, it has to do with losing your voice and your authenticity. It has to do with sacrificing your big dreams for a ring from a crackerjack box just because it fits your hand. Now, itʼs time to wipe the red chili sauce from my chin, put on pants–literally, not metaphorically–and mount the dragon. Itʼs time to explore how I define myself with what I do and what I want to broadcast to the world. Itʼs time to use my voice, not just to talk but to say something. Not just to sing but to scream. Itʼs time for courage, valor and pussy power. Itʼs time to don the Gucciʼs.

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