jan marie

After some time you learn the difference,
The subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t always mean security.

And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

You learn that the circumstances and the environment
have influence upon us,
But we are responsible for ourselves.

You start to learn that you should not compare yourself
with others,
But with the best you can be.

You learn that it doesn’t matter where you have reached,
But where you are going to.
But if you don’t know where you are going to,
Anywhere will do.

You learn that time isn’t something you can turn back,
Therefore you must plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure.
You really are strong,
And you can go so much farther than you thought you could go,
If it wasn’t for the fear of trying.


- Excerpts from Veronica A. Shoffstall’s, “After A While” (1971)

Ben Howard - Black Flies

My roommate has a thing about the month of November. Everything poignant or tragic or pivotal in his life thusfar has happened in that month, so every year it comes around again, something changes in him. There’s a reliving and a retelling of those same stories, to reflect, reset, and move into the next month with grace instead of ties to the past. It’s like New Year’s Eve for the rest of the world.

April is my November. Many of the men I’ve loved have been born in April, I’ve often initiated break-ups and cut ties in this month. It’s actually strange when some kind of crux doesn’t appear on April’s horizon. This April is one such strangeling.

This time last year I was the type of woman who chased boys. Not men, mind you, and not that their maturity makes the chasing any better. They still were searching, for “she” or “it” or “something you can’t quite put your finger on.” They thought of themselves as incomplete, in the way children read about in storybooks. The Big “O” seeking their “Missing Piece,” if you will.

I, too, thought of myself as incomplete. But furthermore, I didn’t really believe I was worthy of being completed. Therein lied two falsities:

Not only am I a complete being, who is insanely talented, attractive, witty, generous, gracious, and giving, but I am—as are all of us—entitled to happiness, partnership, similitude, mutuality, and a feeling of wholeness.

My ignorance allowed for so much to get lost in translation, and so much hurt to creep in where confidence couldn’t make its way through. The allowances I made for uncertainty were unprecedented; I settled for lukewarm feelings and halfhearted attempts at connection. At a point it became easier to anticipate things like disappointment and a deep feeling of unsettling because although I knew what I wanted, I was never brave enough to communicate it to others, for fear of being judged, or worse: rejected.

I made decisions based on the opinions of others instead of my own. I let my fear of failure control me. In the end, I had become weak of mind.

But last month I had a wonderful revelation. I want to share it here because I want the world to feel as self-satisfied as I do right now. If you’re reading this and feel yourself to be “searching” in some way, I sincerely hope this finds, and serves, you well.

Revelation part 1:  I am totally awesome. No, I did not know this before. My mom spent much of our time together telling me I was not good “enough.” I spent lifetimes comparing myself to other singers, other dancers, other teachers, other women, kinder people, more laid-back calm-of-mind folks, more energetic doers. There was no end to this list. But what I learned was: there will never really be an end to the list of things that someone is more or less of than you, nor the list of things that you are more or less of than someone. You are. Period. Someone will love you as you are if you are willing to embrace yourself. In fact, loads of people probably already do. Once I realized all of this, I started to appreciate people as people more.

Revelation part 2:  I am totally worth it. Contrary to liberal propoganda/social media, every human is “entitled” to a few things. Things like respect of their personal space, and decency via forthcoming communication. Long ago as a young girl, I loved the concept of “your body is a temple.” Somewhere in the midst of growing into a young woman, likely in the growing guilt of occasionally trashing my own temple, I decided to make allowances for others to disrespect it as well. This went on from the time I was twelve until just recently.

I also made allowances for disrespect of my time and my energy. I spent most of my young adult life waiting for people to make up their minds about me, instead of making my mind up about them, and letting their level of uncertainty signal how heavily or how long I should lean on their word.

Now I have accepted this truth: that lines are an ok thing to have, and that people who don’t respect your lines—built out of your values and priorities—are not doing a good job of showing their respect to you as a human being. Demand that respect, because you are worth at least that.

What has happened to me: I have been able to have the first positive, platonic, consentual, engaged conversations and relationships with men that I have ever had in my life. Previously this entire species of humans was unequivocally put to purpose or otherwise removed, by which I mean: if a relationship did not serve a sexual purpose, or work towards a future partnership, it was otherwise devalued. How sad is that? Horrid, I know.

I have also been able to have the first positive, mutually-appreciative, growth-inducing, supportive conversations and relationships with women that I have ever had in my life. Women were once one thing and one thing only: competition. Now they are allies. They are my community and inspiration. They are kindred; no man could ever relate to me, comprehend my inner workings, as a woman does. I finally understand the term “sisterhood” in a colloquial context.

Mind you, it helps considerably that I have decided to remain celibate for the foreseeable future. Removing sexual intention from the picture removes a lot of confusion and uncertainty as I begin to re-lay the bricks of my moral groundwork, and determine how exactly I want to enact that.

If you find yourself at a place of unsettling, I would recommend looking inward, as I have. I imagine you’ll find there what I did: that much more is hiding within you than you now realize. Go unleash your inner strength and beauty.

3 days ago / 1 note / Played 30 times

David Byrne - Glass Concrete and Stone

Brain, what were you thinking? Making plans wherein your pleasure is entirely contingent on other people is the only surefire way to be disappointed. 

Had I stayed, would I have strengthened friendships that were beginning to bud? Would others not have faultered in the empty void? Would I have been able to say more “yes’s” than “no’s”? And perhaps most importantly, would I still have two arms to hold me?

That’s all I want to know. The opportunity cost of all of this. How many less things could I have broken had I just… stayed? Would it felt any more or less like a house, not a home?

((music: the last song I DJed for DJX Weekday—so good))

1 month ago / Played 0 times
Me right now! I have started going through my iTunes library sorting everything by song title, starting at “A” and listening until I yearn so hard for something new that I just get up and make it myself.
explodingdog:

My Favorite Songs

Me right now! I have started going through my iTunes library sorting everything by song title, starting at “A” and listening until I yearn so hard for something new that I just get up and make it myself.

explodingdog:

My Favorite Songs

via explodingdog / 3 months ago / 1,095 notes /

Emma-Lee - Flow

I’m leaving town in 14 days. I thought I would feel good about starting a new chapter. But instead I’m restless. I haven’t even slept through the night since Tuesday. Hopefully things will be different tonight, now that all the paperwork is actually filed. 

But I fear it’s probably the absence of a body that’s really making me uneasy. It’s baffling how quickly syncing happens…

fingers get used to lacing
hearts get used to racing
skin gets used to skin
and to cradling safely in

That’ll go into a song soon, I’m sure. Until then, there’s this song. Dealing with distance and parting and taking a giant breath, this has been getting me through. Enjoy, everyone.

And to You, well, I bet you think this song is about you… and you’d be correct! :)

Let it break but don’t stray
You know I’ll wait for you
It’ll be messy but we might pull through
It’s a little strange for us to part ways
But I understand what you need to do
And it’s a little hard ‘cause I’ve known it from the start
So how can I be mad at you?

It’s only lonely when evening turns to night

Then my head will rest where yours belongs
Your sheets will hold me while your hands are gone
And sleep won’t be easy I’m crazy I know
But I just flow, flow

Take back the words you said to me
'Cause right now I just cant feel a thing
With an ocean in between
Relieve me of my dependency
Tell me it’s done so I can leave
Just let me go
And flow

3 months ago / 1 note / Played 40 times

Amy Winehouse - Teach Me Tonight (Live)

People often compare my voice to that of Amy Winehouse. I don’t actually like most of her radio singles or pop hits, but when I heard her do this version of Teach Me Tonight, I could finally hear in her what everyone else hears in me. 

But it got me thinking about what people get remembered for. Amy Winehouse is the bouffant. She is overdramatized cat-eye liner. She has a look, and even though she does also write songs refusing drug rehab, when people describe her, they start with her physical features.

Same with people in town. Jesse Dee is his hair. Samantha Farrell is her hair. Greg Klyma is his glasses. Caroline Alden is her red lips. Meshiya Lake is endless tattooery. Carsie is a fro-bob and (now also) endless tattooery. And they are famous because there is no confusion about who these people are. People will also know who you’re talking about, whether a positive feeling about these people’s sound comes to mind or not, you know “the man, the myth, and the legend” of each of these characters. And if you like what you see, you can just as easily rosy retrospect your way into a positive image of that performer’s music, as well.

*This is not to say that the aforementioned musicians are just a shell of their exterior image. Oh, no. They have talent! But from a marketing perspective, their look attracts just as much, if not more, of their fan base.

And that’s what I want! To be indistinguishably known.

How would YOU describe my look? What does it say to you?


Jan Marie - NSFW New Year

Good morning, readers. I wrote you a song this past hour. Well, I wrote a song for all of you who are making resolutions. Who have decided on some level that whatever or whomever you were last year was not enough. Here’s what I think of that notion (lyrics below):

Countdown’s time to pause.
Every year we resolve to be better than we were before.
Handsome fears recalled.
Bent on fixing (what we call) flaws, wondering if the same are in store.

365 days, 365 ways, to fuck it up all over again.

Lose a little weight, before it’s much too late.
You 110 lb cow.
How do you’ll find you’ll find a husband now? 
Turn down much more beer.
But don’t you think it’s a little queer, that you just keep sucking down gin?
Still drinking all the bad shit in?
Is this how you wanna begin?

365 days, 365 ways, to fuck it up all over again. 

Maybe next year then,
We’ll figure out what it means to not fuck it up all over again.
Maybe we’ll just do what we can,
And leave the rest to be a recipe… for someone else to damn. 

Sorry for all the creaks and echos; it was recorded on the floor of an empty room. If you like it enough, I’ll record it for real sometime in the future. Just let me know.

3 months ago / 1 note / Played 180 times / nsfw, newsong, nye, new year,

Billie Holiday - Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You

I have never understood this song, until right now. Consequentially, I’ve also refused to perform it. I simply can’t put power and feeling behind songs that mean nothing to me.

I also never realized this song had so few lyrics. But, you know, the kind that punch you in the stomach. 

The life of a giver will always be something that goes without recognition… until songs like this emerge and re-emerge. Thanks, Billie. It’s nice to sometimes not go unnoticed.

3 months ago / Played 50 times

I have a deep love of Auld Lang Syne, but for the past year, this has been my new favorite “holiday” song. 

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and have found someplace warm and cozy to ring in 2014. :)

This year has by and large been the hardest I’ve endured. I thought it would never end; I tried to end it prematurely. But there are now merely 4 days until a new set of the same months, a second chance to do things better, will be upon me—upon all of us.

Is it an arbitrary point of renewal? Yes. But taking the time to evaluate where we are, where we’ve been, where we’re going, needs to happen at least annually. At a point when everyone is high on libations and love, when you either are or are not pressed tightly against the person you want to enfold you causes that once-tiny voice to raise to a bellowing call-to-action: do what it is you are “waiting” to do… right now.

I think that’s why the last scene of When Harry Met Sally is so right-on. Nothing is more compelling that realizing what you’re missing all in a 10-second countdown.


Switchfoot - Learning to Breathe

Have you ever met someone that made you want to be better because they were just so good themselves?

I have. At various points, the goodness in others has compelled me to be my best self—an easy task when you’re in their presence, a much more difficult one to apply to the rest of life without them there to remind you of your potential.

I could use a fresh beginning, too
All of my regrets are nothing new

It’s also really nice to start from square one with people. I’ve never felt so adverse to sharing my past in my life. It matters less and less the more I live through its effects; either it’s changed me or it hasn’t. All that’s going to “creep up” on me from my skeleton closet has already done so at this point in my life. And I’m still living it.

I’m living again, awake and alive
I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies

Here’s to new beginnings. And to 2013 being almost fucking over. Praise the high heavens. Let the turn of this next leaf bring some insight and better decision-making and rationale. Let’s hope I can learn to be my best self, with or without the “inspiration” above.

4 months ago / Played 20 times / new year, switchfoot,
 
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