Category Archives: Music

All I Want For Christmas

 It’s a perfect 68 degrees in Austin right now and my Christmas tree looks strangely out of place next to my T-shirt, open window and the palm tree outside of it.  After several years in Texas I guess a part of me is still not used to the holidays without snow or fully adapted to some of the changes in my life that seem to be more apparent with the season.  Still etched in my brainfamily-at-radio-christmas-1920s is the idea of a cold, white Christmas snuggled up by a fire, wearing ridiculously colored fuzzy socks and rolling my eyes at my family’s idiosyncrasies while we smile and laugh gaily over some festive drink like Bailey’s on the rocks or spiced wine.  I’m not really sure where the image in my head comes from as my holidays growing up were a vast array of different experiences, mostly not resembling that.

Some of them were lavish parties at my grandparents house involving a 12 foot table overflowing with food, over 200 people speaking blends of Turkish, Greek and English, roller skating and ping-pong in the basement and a drawer of silk nightgowns to choose from before sleepily tracing the wallpaper with my finger in “The Blue Room” as I drifted off to sleep.  Some of the holidays were spent with my immediate family exchanging glances with my sister in squirmy silence as Dad read bible passages and stated that, despite the mountain of beautifully wrapped boxes already under the tree, it may be ungodly for us to give gifts at Christmas.  Awkward.

FullSizeRender (7)I’ve spent holidays alone with my dog eating pastries and drinking wine, with strangers and in complete misery because I can’t handle one more football game, holidays with other peoples families when I wasn’t welcome with my own, holidays drunk in a bar because my boyfriend was “asleep” with a naked girl all over him and really the list goes on.  Yet every year the magic of the season washes over me and I feel excitement and hope bubbling up.  The Buddha next to my Christmas tree displays just how much I disregard convention and this year as the end of the season approached I found myself wishing for just a few things and hungry to create my own unorthodox traditions.  Instead of the fictitious picture I held in my head for so long of what Holidays should be, I allowed myself to open up to the possibilities of what they could be. 

This year I wished to be surrounded by people I love.  I wished to open just one gift without thought of what it would be, because after all the best part is unwrapping the present.  Lastly, I wished for some surprise happy event–a Christmas miracle.  Sure it’s cheesy, but cheese is delicious and when you look for the magic in life, it magically appears.  I’m taking my first trip home for Christmas in over 5 years which is sure to be an adventure and to this day being around my family is like a situation comedy that will no doubt provide some great stories!  I’mtwo-wine-glasses-christmas-fireplace-merry-christmas-hd-wallpaper looking forward to the chilly Northeast weather, to spoiling my niece and nephew that have grown like bamboo shoots, hugging my mama and bonding with my sister.  People I love?  Check.  Present?  Maybe.  Christmas miracle?  Stay tuned, there just may even be some Bailey’s on the rocks or spiced wine.

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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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