Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Well, since I can't seem to finish any of the songs I've been working on lately, I'll blog. Just a side note...I love writing, but lyrics make me crazy! There has to be a better way of approaching them...

I haven't blogged in awhile but I am happy to say that life has been pretty good to me during my absence. I've met lots of new people and had lots of new experiences. I've spent most of my time alone, but I find that being alone forces me to be honest with myself. I've stopped looking for the deeper meaning in everything...sometimes, a moment is just a moment and it is meant to be enjoyed, not analyzed. And, when it boils down to it, isn't that all life really is? A series of moments? Living in and for those moments has been increasingly freeing for my mind and my soul.

I may change my mind later(and I reserve the right to do so whenever I may please) but, as of now, my goal in life is not to make a name for myself. It is to travel, meet interesting people, & see the world. I may eventually decide to have children or settle in to one place, but not now. Not any time soon. I've been in Austin for 3 years and I still love it. But, I know that I'm going to move within the next couple of years. I think I will end up in Austin for good in the long-run, but I'm 26(in 2 days!) and I have a lot of places to see and embrace while I still can. That brings me to San Francisco...

I recently spent a full week there. For most of my 20's, I have been reluctant to acknowledge that California might be more than self-absorbed money-moguls, beaches, & plastic surgery. I guess growing up in the South instilled within me a massive amount of pride in where I come from and I didn't want to acknowledge that any other region of this country might be cultural. I will always, ALWAYS be a southern(and more importantly, a LOUISIANA) girl. But, California really won me over. I could get used to that life. One week definitely wasn't enough!

In my 7 days there, I ate good food, met great people, and saw some amazing scenery. I partied with locals, saw Paul McCartney in AT&T Park, hiked in Yosemite, and relaxed in the bountiful Wine Country. Pretty awesome, right? I know that living there(eventually) would afford me those experiences more often. I have seen what there is to see in Texas and in Louisiana. I do believe California is next on my list of states to dominate. :)

I'm going to attempt to keep this thing updated more often, but no promises. I have been focusing my creative energy on my music, which usually leaves me mentally exhausted. It still makes me immensely happy, so every little hiccup is so worth it. I have a possible last-minute gig Friday night and a huge showcase at Antone's on Sunday. I was hoping to debut some original tunes this time around, but as I mentioned, the process is taking longer than expected. So, here's my lineup for Sunday"
"Black" - Pearl Jam
"Just Like Heaven"- Watson Twins version
"Come Undone" - Duran Duran
"Proud Mary" -CCR
"In My Life" -Beatles
"With A Little Help From My Friends" - Beatles
"All You Need Is Love" - Beatles, full band

I'm pretty excited. I'm spending the remainder of my week rehearsing, as well as celebrating my 26th birthday. Can I just say how happy I am to be approaching my 30's? I'm so over my 20's...

Until next time!

"They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lover's glass like friendly wine
So, I'd give this world
Just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California Stars"

-"California Stars", Billy Bragg and Wilco

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


On Tuesday, I began learning my first Janis Joplin song. I'd say that's a milestone for me...most definitely. Later in the week, I began learning Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and, the icing on the cake, George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Music has been utterly consuming my world lately. If it weren't for those damned barre chords, I'd be a guitar badass. It'll all come with time, I know. But, as I journey deeper into the realm of listening to and playing music, I'm finding that my musical tastes are becoming so varied. It's awesome. Seriously, I don't push the "Next" button on my iPod nearly as much. I feel like I'm really hearing and feeling music like I never have before.

On a related note, there is a silver lining to depression. Everyone has highs and everyone has lows. Most people live day to day only experiencing the in-between. When the lows cut you down the point of near non-existence, it's the worst pain in the world. But, in turn, when the highs come back around, they are even more magnificent. One is much more likely to acknowledge them and appreciate them. It doesn't have to be much. Rain can be falling all around you for lengthy periods of time, but that one rainbow that peeks through unexpectedly is the most beautiful thing & that moment is one to hold on to. And remember.

Sometimes, I can't believe how something as simple as my guitar can give me so much hope. There is a feeling that comes with perfecting a song that I've been working on for weeks. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to perform for an audience on a regular basis and have such a wonderful organization of supporters. For those few moments on that stage, the world can't touch me....I am as high as high can be. The entire music experience leads up to that moment...hearing, feeling, and finally emoting. It's intense and incredible.

I'm still fighting the uphill battle against my depression and anxiety, but one week into my new meds and several guitar practice sessions later, I feel like I've taken a step. One step. That's all I need for now. It's progress. I've willingly seen the sun more this week than I have in ages. I've pulled myself out of my house a few times just to run a menial errand or two...something I literally did not have the strength or willpower to do one week ago. I even dressed up once just to feel pretty for the day. For a few hours, I did feel pretty and it was nice.

Who knows what next week holds for me...as long as I don't digress, I consider everyday progress. I've realized that I have to take the "one day at a time" thing quite literally and that's just fine by me. Adam and I will celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary on Monday. I have my 3rd showcase next Sunday. I am playing 3 songs. Throughout my entire life, 3 has been an important number. I don't know what significance that has here, just thought I'd mention it. I'm thinking I may finally officially join a gym this week. It's always nice to have something to look forward to and my birthday is coming up in July. I'd like to be healthier...and thinner...but, healthier first.

I leave you with a lyric from a song that I am performing next weekend. It is quite fitting, in my opinion.

"Strange how hard it rains now
Rows & rows of big, dark clouds
But I'm still alive underneath this shroud...
Rain, rain, rain...."

-Patty Griffin, "Rain"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Letter to Mother: My First Mother's Day Without You

Dearest Mother,

I don't know what I expected to feel when I decided to come home for Mother's Day this year. The drive here(and the week leading up to it) had me in a heartbroken panic. I still cannot believe you're really gone. All I want this weekend is to cook breakfast for you, sit on the couch together, and talk with you like we used to. I remember when I was a kid, we'd make you breakfast every Mother's Day morning and bring it to you in bed. I'm sorry we stopped doing that. Correction; I'm sorry I stopped doing that. I really should have appreciated you more while you were here. I cannot change the past, but just know that I love and appreciate you immensely now. Hindsight's always 20/20, right?

Sometimes I find butterflies around me and I like to think it's you trying to make your presence known. This time of year, butterflies migrate through Austin. They're everywhere, Mom! One followed Adam into our house one morning last week. It sat in his shoulder as he climbed the stairs to our bedroom, where I was sleeping. It woke me up by crawling all over me. That was you, wasn't it?

Last year, we were all together on this weekend. It was Kelsey's graduation. We made you breakfast and we all had dinner together at Carino's. You looked beautiful. I distinctly remember thinking that. You and I spent hours together at your work office. I cut your hair in the back bathroom. You loved it. That weekend is one of my most treasured memories. It would be so great if we could do it again. Someday, I guess...

We all miss you so very much. Life is just not the same without you. You should still be here. We should be celebrating this weekend together. But, I do know that you are now in a much better, more beautiful place with Grammy and Lonzo. Sometimes, that is not much consolation to me because all I want is to see your smiling face and hear your infectious laugh once again. I still have voicemails from you. I listen to them often. I'm afraid I'll forget your voice. Hearing you say "I love you very much, girlie" always makes me smile through my tears. I keep your picture by my bedside. It's so weird not having you, Grammy, or Lonzo here when I come to visit. It just doesn't feel like home anymore. Nowhere does, really.

I'm trying my best with Krista. Sometimes, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing, though. That's when I need you the most. She is such an amazing kid, Mom. She's such a true blessing to have in our home. You did such a great job with her. I only wish you could be here to watch her grow into a young woman. She does so well in school but she seems lost without you. I guess most 16 years olds are lost in one way or another. But, I can't imagine my life without you in it at age 16. I remember we butted heads quite often and most times pretty intensely, but I know now that it was for the greater good. You loved me enough to let me be angry with you.

As much as it pains me to say it, your grave is beautiful...like you. Flowers, wind chimes, pinwheels, & pretty little flags surround it. It radiates light in a weird, but beautiful way. I wish I could visit more often...

I'll be honest, though. I didn't visit your grave today. I'm in so much pain and I only wanted this day to be over. I slept through most of it and avoided people like the plague. It was hard to watch Adam and his mother interact today. I will even go as far as to say, I felt a little resentful. I find myself feeling so alone these day, Mom. Even when we were on the outs, I never felt like this. I knew you were right around the corner if I needed you.

It's been such a sad, sad day without you, but I allowed myself to feel the pain. I even dreamt of you. In the dream, we were together and we went to Grammy's house for dinner. It's unfortunate that what once was our reality and now my fantasy...a distant memory. It won't ever happen again. For the living, death is so final. Knowing that you can never again have what you once had is a hard pill to swallow. The reality of it all is very difficult to come to terms with. I'm just glad you never had to feel any of this.

Mom, I still can't wrap my head around it all. I mean, I have no choice now but to live the remainder of my life without you. That is just too big for me to accept, even now, 10 months after your death. I know it will take time. But, I am impatient. You know that...you were the same way. It's such a shame that you passed away without fully knowing how much of an impact you had(& still have) on so many people. Especially me.

I feel as if I could write forever because, in some way, it makes me feel like I'm really talking to you again. You never were one to listen for a long time and I was always one to ramble on & on & on. By the way, Kelsey gets her short attention span from you, which is all too obvious now. I find it funny, really. For your sake, I'll wrap this up.

Mom, you mean the universe to me. You were/are my mother and that can never be taken away from us. You will always be my Mama. Even when I become one myself. This year I write to you with a heavy, broken heart but the memory of your smile sends butterflies racing through my soul. Most importantly, thank you. There is nothing I could ever say or do to express my love and gratitude for you. You carried me & nurtured me and, without you, there would be no "me".

I believe there is a special place in Heaven for mothers. I hope your day there was beautiful beyond words. Please tell Grammy that I thought of her so much today and I love her immensely.

God, I miss you. I love you. XOXO.

Your forever loving daughter,

Kira Marie
age 25

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bringing the Walls Down

My friends, I've hit the lowest of lows very recently. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was trying so hard to keep everything in my life, including my emotions, under complete control. I didn't allow myself to be as sad or as angry as I truly felt. I didn't want my walls to come down. I didn't want to feel what I feel now. It is utterly excruciating, exhausting, frustrating, & intense.

I've been reading through some blogs and some manual journal entries that I have written throughout this past year. For some reason, I always felt that I needed to leave everything on a positive, happy note. It was forced. I guess I felt like I needed to put on a brave face & convince the world(& myself) that everything was ok. The truth is, everything is not ok. My denial is over. I guess I couldn't take it anymore, & the breakdown began. So, now I feel like I should be completely honest, no matter how raw my thoughts & emotions may be.

The things I say from here on out are not cries for help. I am getting help, that I can assure you. I just want to chronicle this journey which will hopefully end with the light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. It can't hurt. It may help. I may learn things about myself in the process. I may not. I honestly have no clue what I'm in for, but the journey has to happen.

I've found myself in recent weeks experiencing prolonged periods of severe pain & depression. The pain, physical & emotional. The depression, very severe. Two nights ago, I truly scared myself. Not that I'd ever become suicidal, but I found myself honestly thinking & saying aloud that I'd rather not be here. So often have I wanted to just not exist anymore. Any trace of a positive attitude has been sucked right out of me. I believe that making one's way through loss is never an easy journey, but the sheer quantity of the loss I've had to endure over the course of 9 short months has just broken me into little pieces. My mother, my grandmother, my father-in-law(Lonnie had been a huge part of my life since I was 13 years old)...all gone before I could even wrap my head around the situation. My father & stepmother have pushed me & my sisters out of their lives & I consider that yet another loss. I've taken custody of my youngest sister & I'm trying so hard to help her but I can't even help myself. My husband has lost his father & his grief combined with mine has caused a major rift in our relationship. I talk too much & he doesn't talk enough. The lack of communication is killing us. I feel like we are losing one another. On some level, I wish he would leave me so I can get as much loss out of the way as I can. I'm so terrified of someone else I love leaving that I'm completely pulling away from everyone who means anything to my life. I feel worthless and sad and like I am burdening everyone around me. I don't ever want to leave my bed because, when I sleep, I don't feel. I sleep so much, just not at night. I sleep for the purpose of avoidance & simply because I just cannot take it anymore. I rarely leave my house because I'd rather be isolated. Solace is hard to come by these days.

I am completely broken. I am in thousands of tiny pieces on the ground and I just don't know how or when I can start rebuilding. I don't think I'm ready but I've made psych appointments. I am willing to go on stronger meds to help me gain control again. When my mother was told she was terminal, I made the conscious effort to stay one step ahead. I went on meds, started seeing a therapist, & began mentally preparing myself for the inevitable. But, what I didn't know then is that there is no preparation for what happened. I kept my guard up and braced myself. Recently, all of it has just pummeled me & left me for dead. Loss and grief are so evil. I can only hope that maybe I'll "find" myself throughout this experience, as I've been told I will. But, hope is far from my capabilities as of this moment.

Today, life is not beautiful. I feel naive for trying to convince myself of that. I prefer being naive and being able to convince myself that life has a purpose. I want that back. But, reality is cold & harsh & sometimes completely unfair. Maybe one day I'll begin to think positively again but I'll always be somewhat jaded. Innocence lost, never to be returned. As of now, my outlook is bleak. I'm just being honest.

So, I will continue to write & work through all of this. The girl you and I knew is lost & drowning & may be gone for quite some time...or maybe forever. Trust me when I say that I am trying, though. I don't want to completely give up without a tangible fight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So, I was told 2 or so months ago that my depression seemed to be going into remission. But, with Adam's father passing away recently, I think I went into a mini-tailspin. I quit my job & I don't have much interest in anything but music anymore...and I sometimes have to coerce myself into enjoying that. The job I don't miss. It was a good decision and I haven't had even on doubt about it. When I left the first time, my heart was heavy and I missed it. This time, I feel none of that. I just wasn't getting anything out of it anymore. Where that leaves me professionally is yet to be determined, but things will work themselves out eventually.

I'm sleeping throughout the day and staying up until dawn every night. I don't know why that happens to me but it's not a new problem. I can feel the depression seeping back in. Every time someone mentions my mother or I think about her, I break down. My therapist says that the emotional elements of loss never truly go away. They work in cycles, sometimes taking years to transition from one stage to the next. So, the truth is that, although it will decrease in severity, the pain of my loss will never go away. I have lost 3 very close family members in the past 9 months. I believe that I have every right to be depressed. I have every right to feel my pain and not try to suppress it. Not fighting what I feel has made my depression more bearable, if only by tearing down the wall I had built around my true feelings.

Life, in my opinion, is still beautiful. I am still an optimistic person...just one going through a rough time. I'm still going to live while I can. Some say people never change. I'm here to attest that we can & will, given certain circumstances. I am so very different now. I'm thinking it may be time for me to change my direction in life. I think I want to go back to school to study psychology. Not for a career, but I am obsessed with how humans work. I want to write about my findings. I want to share my experiences. I want to put myself out there. Maybe I can help someone else. Maybe someday I can form a support group, or something like it, to help people in my position now.

For the time being, I want to volunteer. I've been looking into things I can do for the American Cancer Association. Some may say that I'm doing for my own well-being but I can't honestly think of a better way for me to heal. Helping myself while helping others. If we're not helping one another throughout this test we call "life", we're wasting our capabilities. When you think about it, all we really have is one another. Human relationships & interactions, no matter how shallow or deep, are all significant in some way. We should take something from every person we meet, but also remember to give in return. We're all connected.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just Breathe

Today, I'm feeling amazing. There is peace in my mind and in my heart. I play better when I feel this way. :P

Listening to very inspiring, very stripped down music(right now- Jack Johnson's rendition of "Imagine"). Feeling like I've found the key to happiness. Interestingly enough, there isn't just one key. But they all unlock the same door.

I resolve to no longer settle. I will no longer take this beautiful journey of life for granted. I'm aware that everyone has bad days, but there is beauty even in sadness. You just have to look for it. Work hard for what you want in life but remember to have fun in the process. Your existence is what you make of it. You get one chance. Make it count for something.

My heart is full and I am smiling with genuine happiness today and life is just beautiful. Even on the days when my heart is heavy and the tears flow, life will still be beautiful. Take it in.

Live freely, laugh heartily, love unconditionally, & share with others.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." -John Lennon

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Austin Nights

Guitar jammin'. Hole-in-the-wall bar, having beers with great friends. Coming home to crawl drunkenly into bed with my beloved husband. Knowing that I'm getting up to go to a job that I love in the morning.

These things make me smile....especially when they all happen on the same Austin evening. I've been so out of touch with this town lately. I've been giving so much love to New Orleans(& rightfully so) that I temporarily blanked on all of the amazing things that I love about Austin. This place & it's people are so incredible. I'm so grateful that the universe brought me here & continues to send amazing people & experiences my way. This town has made so much happen for my life. I am forever indebted.

Tonight may have seemed like a run-of-the-mill type of night around town, but I felt something that I haven't felt in awhile; a connection. My life is beautiful. I forget that sometimes. But, you can't really fault a person for always wanting a little bit more. It keeps life exciting!

So, to the entity that made tonight a night for laughter, reckless abandon, & great relationships, I thank you. I hope in the next life, you bring me back to be me again, because moments like these make everything worth while.