Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here is out now! You can listen to it on your streaming platform of choice here.

This song has only been out a little over 24 hours and it already has sparked some deep conversations. I'd like to talk about some of them here. Trigger Warning: Depression.

Depression is a beast. As someone who has been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, I know this all too well. October was a big, beautiful month for me. My album came out (Call Home is still very fresh and lives at the forefront of my recently played music queues), I did my TED Talk, the album release party was fire. So many wonderful things. Then, outside of me, more beautiful things were happening. My best friends had a baby (hi L'Oreal & Jeff!), we celebrated more birthdays than I can count (I love my Libras & Scorpios for real), and Halloween was LIT. On top of all that, fall is my favorite time of year and October really exemplifies the fall spirit.

Then November 1st came...and I woke up sad. There was no rhyme or reason to it. I had been preparing with my therapist for the potential of a "system crash" after having so many big things happen in October, and yet, when depression came knocking, I simply wasn't ready. I cried every day for a week. I felt myself withdrawing from friends & family. Work was kicking my ass, so that didn't help. Suddenly, all I wanted to do was sleep.

That is the mental state I was in when I wrote "Wish You Were Here." It was my depressed self longing for my "normal" self (which is complicated, I know). I just wanted to be here, to be present, in the fullness of joy that I know I'm capable of...but I just couldn't. When I sang, "This Christmas, all I really want is for you to love me like only you can," I was singing to myself. Depression tries to convince me that I am unlovable. And I know that isn't the truth. I know I am Love, and I know I am Loved. But in my lowest of lows, it's easy to second guess. It took me a bit to get out of that place and step back into my power. But I'm grateful for what November 1st taught me.

Maybe you've been in a similar place with your mental health. Or maybe you're experiencing loneliness. Or self-deprecation. Or seasonal depression. Or maybe you're just in the mood for a good cry. Maybe, you're in a damn good place, actually, and you just wanna vibe (WYWH is an excellent song to vibe to, if I do say so myself 😏). Wherever you find yourself when you read this, I hope you know you are Love and you are Loved. Always. And I hope you enjoy Wish You Were Here. I'm immensely proud of it.


PS - Reviews have started to roll in for #WYWH and I'm in awe!

In Due Time

I received my very first Pushcart Prize nomination and I'm crying!

What's wild is that the poem they chose was "Seeing The Real Her" which is a very emotional poem for me. It is a poem I wrote about my estranged grandmother after her death. But also it is the poem that sparked the blog post "Anyone Can Write a Poem."

You see, "Seeing The Real Her" is the poem that was rejected by an Ivy League magazine (🙄) back in January 2021. The editor gave me very harsh feedback and in so many words, suggested that I wasn't a good poet. That conversation hurt me. I didn't write for about a month. But I'm glad that when I picked up my pen again, I wrote the open letter because "Anyone Can Write a Poem" became the basis of my TEDxChicago submission. And guess what?

I was selected alongside about 12 others to give a TED Talk at TEDxChicago!!! My TED Talk is now available to watch here. It is all about poetry being everywhere and for everyone because I truly do believe there is poetry in us all. I'll work to never allow anyone to discredit that in me again.

It was wildly serendipitous that I learned of this Pushcart Prize nomination on the same day that my TED Talk was released on YouTube. God's timing is impeccable.

The next time someone tries to tell you who you are, trust yourself. And just know that a "no" might become the best "yes," in due time.

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