I don’t exactly know when I realized it, The moment I knew music was what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. When was it? I know that I’ve always had a different ear from most people in my social circle.
In grade school, the second to be exact, I was ecstatic about being able to hit this large snare. I wanted to know why that noise it made was different from the tapping of my foot or banging my desk. Sure drumming was fun, but after it was over I would spend some of my free time during the snack break to sit with the snare. I would tap it, then hit it, and then I’d do it in a repeating motion. Maybe that was the moment I got hungry to ask questions. In the third grade, I started to pluck the high E string on my dad’s guitar, writing music that didn’t involve me holding down any strings that would cut through my tiny hands.
I kept asking, and some teachers found it annoying. I constantly, regardless if it was or wasn’t music-oriented, raised my hand and asked. It became so much that the teachers over the years all repeated the same phrase “Anyone other than Kimmy?” as if to discourage me to stop being so inquisitive.
As I got older the rift between me and my peers widened. I would spend most of my time home with my diamond dove Olivia and my guitar. I felt as though I was on another planet those days with my bird and instrument, untouchable even. I would later get Garageband on my iPhone, and as if I was in the second grade all over again I would spend my time on Garageband fooling around with loops I thought sounded cool all while trying to mentally dissect what was happening.
This passion for knowledge and melody also was an outlet. When my dad was in the hospital, or when my grandmother passed – I was consumed by my music. The grief and anguish were all obsolete in my cocoon. Nothing was in or out of that hole I was deep inside of, It felt safe and warm from everything outside of it. Maybe it was in these moments I knew I could never have a life outside of this rhythmic cocoon I’d created.
It is important that I became so developed in one expertise, but I didn’t develop the skills necessary to talk casually with others. I was career-minded and focused so much on earning my keep in an industry that was never made to accommodate me – that I didn’t take a single moment to step back and breathe a little. I think that’s the parting message I want to share before we close out the year.
At the start of 2021, I wrote about New York City, my home. And how in a city known for never sleeping it did, in fact, sleep. It was starting to come back to life little by little. Now that Broadway is starting back up and live entertainment ( though limited ) is coming through town, this city is back to being the city without any winks.
So what does the city coming back have to do with the backstory? Well, I wanted to give you some context, and honestly, when I request this of you. I want you to take care of yourself.
Take some time to give yourself warm words and self-recognition. What did you accomplish? It doesn’t need to be going on that dream vacation or scoring a promotion, it can be but it doesn’t have to be! Maybe you took a bike ride and found a new route that was better than the older one, or maybe you found a new favorite food. Whatever it was, congratulations. As we get back to our pre-pandemic lives and things go back to the same-old-same-old I don’t want people who might have been or are like me to fall behind.
It is so easy to get consumed with the day-to-day; to lose yourself to routine. This holiday season give back to yourself and treat yourself right. I was a person that was at one point that only ever made room for one thing – it was when I opened myself up to others that I really did grow as a musician.
Sure, I had plenty of fake friends along the way, but I also met some real gems. These people are still in my life and I am forever grateful for them. So consider talking or reconnecting with old friends or acquaintances. Maybe meet some new friends at a karaoke bar? You never know what might happen.
Just remember to take care of yourself, you are important and valued and no one can say different.
Next year I am looking forward to being back with the laundry list of things to talk about. Maybe some gear talk, and more resources as I come across them. Whatever comes next year we will grow as people together.
Thank you to SoundGirls for the amazing year despite the ups and downs, I’ll see you all next year!
( side note: If you are feeling anxious or depressed I’d encourage you to call or text these numbers. If you are feeling suicidal please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline! They are available 24/7 free and confidential! )
Resources for Mental Health
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
Friends for Survival: 916-392-0664 OR 800 646-7322
The Trevor Project ( LGBTQIA ): Text START to 678-678 OR Call 1-866-488-7386