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Confessions From the Past

The Chapter About Moving Eight Hours Away


Bitch, what were you thinking?

Today was my first day at the Really Hard Three Month Long Music Program Where They Make You Do Push Ups If You Mess Up Anything.

Remember that? How you were so scared of getting up in front of everyone and playing something you’d written? I have a feeling you’re thinking to yourself, Future Self, “Oh, honey, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” (I don’t know why I always make you sound like soulful black woman. We both know your scrawny white ass is going to be that way forever.)

But alas, I am here. I made it. I begged and cried to Mom telling her not to leave me here in this new, foreign place all alone, insisting she move here for the next three months until I finish but, of course, she couldn’t stay. I’ve bawled the last three consecutive days and any time anyone mentions the words “family” “home” or “boyfriend” but I haven’t jumped on the next flight home yet so I’m pretty damn proud of myself for that, at least.

Today, I had to perform immediately after possibly the greatest and most beautiful singer I have ever heard in my life. She is gorgeous and talented and makes me want to hide in my closet watching old reruns of The Office ignoring life altogether. (No, I haven’t actually done that yet but I can tell it’s coming.) There were no cheers of “Great job!” or “You did amazing!” from a single person after I’d finished, no small town fans wanting to buy my music online. Where was the approval I always seem to be searching for? I’ve been in music school for the last two years and it seems like all I’ve gotten in that amount of time is criticism! But, to my surprise, alongside all my thoughts of “I look like a potato compared to her,” and “I am never singing again,” were thoughts of “I can do this,” and “Let me try again.”

Remember the first day of Pre-K? I was only four years old but I can still remember so it well. Mom drove me there and walked me in and the whole way there I was crying. So she talked to Mrs. Jones for a while in the hopes that I’d make some quick friends and not notice her leaving.

Yeah, right.

As soon as I felt her heading for the door I latched onto her foot with all my little four-year-old might. I cried, screaming “Mommy, no, don’t leave me here! I DON’T KNOW ANY OF THESE STRANGE PEOPLE!” Eventually, she and Mrs. Jones had to quite literally peal me off and sit me down on the carpet with all the rest of the kids. And, wouldn’t you know it, just as I was finally starting to finally breathe a little, the little blonde haired girl next to me looks over and says, “Mrs. Jones, the new girl isn’t sitting on the red line.”

I looked around me. All my classmates were sitting in a circle on the rug, each of their little bottoms atop a red line of tape laid out on the floor. I looked down. My own little bottom was about three inches in front of the red tape.

“Who does this bitch think she is?!” I thought. Okay, maybe I didn’t think that at four years old but I’m sure it was something like that. Who DID she think she was? I’d just gotten there! I’d just gone through a very traumatic experience! This was a whole new world to me so, sorry Blondie if my ass isn’t perfectly placed where you think it should be!

But, ya know what? Mrs. Jones made me move back those three inches. And Blondie sat there with the biggest smirk on her little freckled face.

I tried flushing her teddy bear down the toilet that very same week. He was too big to swirl down into the vast ocean of sewer water and dead gold fish like I’d hoped but it still got a good cry out of her, so I was satisfied.

So, I guess the moral of this story is that I’m four years old again. I’m in a new, terrifying place with new people that make me feel like my ass is just a little bit off that red line and not in perfect symmetry with the rest of the class. Maybe I should flush something of Blondie Fifteen Years Later With The Beautiful Voice’s down the toilet.

I guess life really doesn’t ever just hand you things. There is always going to be a better singer, a more beautiful looking person, and a whole bunch of people that don’t give an F about how you feel about that. Maybe I just need to suck it up and do my best and remind myself that I’m capable of so much more than I think. Maybe I should take this as an opportunity to work harder and perform better.

But, seriously, I could just flush her bracelets down the toilet.

…I’ll keep you posted. (Even though you already know.)