Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.


A retrospective.

2003: Year in Perspective

I started the year with my dear friend J from high school, in a little pub in downtown Chicago, amused by the waitress and disgusted because I'd actually found a tequila that even *I* (who loves cheap tequila) thought tasted like ass. I was convinced that I was in love, I was nervous as hell because I'd finally worked up the nerve to do something about it, and I was basically hanging onto hope for dear life that I hadn't made the biggest mistake of my life.

Heaven forbid I have a nice, quiet New Year.

This month held some of the most ecstatic days of my life, and osme of the most frightening. In my over-analytical craziness, I ping-ponged between joyjoyjoy in my life, my music, my body, my job, my *everything*.....and the niggling uncertainty that kept me wondering if it was all too good to be true. As it happens, it *was* too good to be true, but there were times when I didn't even care. The moments of bliss, illusory though they might have been, were worth it.

This was the month where the other shoe dropped. Where a bucket of cold water dumped out over my head and I got the first wake up call, which I chose to ignore. This was the month where I learned that I was just as gullible as any other dumbass woman...and that I was really good at deceiving myself. Though there is something to be said about forgiveness and acceptance, which were the other lessons I learned here. Oh, and I also bought my gorgeous, beautiful, fabulous guitar. She's my baby, and I love her.

This was the month wherein the band landed our first "real" (read: paying) gig, which was an unmitigated success. The music was on track, my heart was happy again (stupid, stupid, gullible heart!), and my roomie and I managed to land a fabulous apartment. Sure, I doubted every second of happiness, but I was happy to take them, even if they were bullshit.

My birthday was here. It was lovely. I am, of course, leaving out all the agonizing I did when I started to get the feeling that something was rotten in the state of Tari.

Gosh, this was a fun month. Only not. The rug was pulled out from under me not once, not twice, but thrice. Everything I had allowed myself to believe, I could no longer believe. I spent several nights on the road for work, trying to come to terms with reality, and then deciding what was the right action at cusp, so to speak. I opted to take the high road, to set aside the injured pride and broken heart, to forgive the deceptions and misunderstandings and lack of communications....in favor of professionalism and being grown up about things. There were moments when I regretted this. And my roomie left this month to head to Arizona for a few months with her family.

Things with the band progressed. I spent a lot of time alone, thinking, grieving, hanging out with my good friends Ben & Jerry, and asking myself why the hell I hadn't built myself a network of friends in Chicago...all my friends in various locales around the country were wonderful, but they couldn't come hang out and watch movies or have pedicure parties or indulge in some shopping therapy....bleh. Not my best month. I did, however, work in some quality solo coffeehouse gigs, as well as book some studio time for my solo material. This was less about wanting out of the band, and more about wanting an outlet for stuff I didn't feel fit the band very well....girlie singer-songwriter material is a poor fit for a band that's 2/3 testosterone.

This was the month I finally admitted what a slutpuppy I can be. Yep, the month of the rebound hookup. This was therapeutic in some ways, but probably not the healthiest thing in the world, either. Also this month, I resolved to get off my ass and meet some people I wouldn't have to agonize over constantly. I started a Tarot class, hosted dorky little game nights, and generally worked the whole social butterfly angle. Woo woo.

Here's where I really started making connections with some actual local friends...a neverending source of absolute joy. I got a cat, a decision i agonized over but have not regretted since.

This month I played my first solo-solo gig, to an enthusiastic, if diminutive, crowd. My roomie was back in town (finally!), my new friendships were growing stronger, my community was becoming closer, my cat was eating me out of house and home, and every now and then I managed to squeeze in a little action with Mr. Hook-up. The band hopped on board with a theater company to do the music for a new production, including writing '50s-esque music for lyrics by Shakespeare. I'm tempted to put that on an album just so I can register a copyright with me co-writing with Billy Wigglestick. Fabulous.

I took a trip to the Southland, got sunburned, and (in true slutpuppy fashion) took a Southern Gentleman to bed. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family. The band rocked the house with '50s covers, including a seriously sexy version of "Sixteen Tons" that I swear will be going on a CD sometime during my career. I saw John Mayer live (and managed not to swoon into anyone's pierced belly-button). I was reminded again and again how very much I have to be thankful for, that I am blessed and lucky as hell.

I got a shock this month, as some truths came to light with the band...some truths that hurt me in unexpected ways, but also made me realize several things about myself and how I relate to the band. I went home for Christmas and enjoyed some quality time with my family and old friends. I have been overwhelmed by the love and support of the people in my budding community, and I honestly feel like it's time to really open the floodgates and let life knock me on my ass. I think maybe I can take it now.

So, that's my year. Ups, downs, but I still stand by every choice I made. They make me who I am, and even if everyone else thinks I'm an asshole, I love me.

I have to share some Mayer lyrics, because this song really hit home for a number of situations I was in this year:

Do you ever get the feeling that we started in the middle?
Or have you ever had the sense that we've been lying just a little?
I mean, come on
It's not like we've known ourselves that long

And I can't say I really blame you for being bored with the beginning
Always staring at the score to figure out who's barely winning
But don't you know
There is a reason strong moves slow

And I'm okay
If you're okay with wasting time
but when you trace
you always see the bottom line
We are tracing

I hope you know
We are tracing

And if you want to know the moment I knew that I was still alone
I found I never learned your number I only stored it in my phone
You'd think by now
I'd know the shape of calling home

And I'm okay
If youre okay with wasting time
But when you trace
You always see the bottom line

We are tracing
I hope you know
We are tracing
We're both alone
We are tracing

We are tracing

Did you ever get the feeling that we started in the middle?
Or have you ever had the sense that we were lying just a little?
I mean come on
It's not like we've known ourselves that long.

2003 brought me that much closer to being the person I want to be. Here's hoping 2004 does the same, but maybe without all the agony this time.

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