Dear 22 year old me,
If I remember correctly, things are a little weird for you right now; so I thought I’d check in. I know every day that you have to sit in your cubicle at that big company that makes you feel like the tiniest of numbers, you think “I just can’t wait to get out of here.” I know every time you drive over the bridge into Kentucky you see the highway sign that says how many more miles before you get to Nashville. Every day, you imagine yourself passing your work exit, driving straight through to Tennessee and never looking back.
I know you’re tired of living at home. You’re not sure where you fit in at the house. You’re a college educated adult still living at home with your parents; eating the food your mom bought at Kroger. Part of you wants to stay young forever. Be the daughter, the sister and hit the pause button on life for a little while because the unknown is terrifying. Part of you is unlocking every door and rattling every window in the house like a rebel kid preparing to run away. Pining for the day when you can truly be independent.
I want to prepare you for what’s about to happen.
In a few months, you really do pass that highway sign. You keep driving, 4 ½ hours all the way to Nashville. You sign a lease in a studio apartment with not much more than your bed, a few kitchen items, a table and a plant from your grandma. You start to think “maybe this independence thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” You pay your first rent check, your first student loan payment and your first insurance bill. Your first electric bill will be paid late, your water heater will leak and your neighbors will cook spicy curry at 2 AM that make you believe they are actually cooking meth. You will call 911 for the first time in your life. You will break up with your first love. You will start to learn why there are so many TV shows about dating; because it’s horrible. You will be told your music isn’t good enough. You will start to believe you are not good enough. You will feel sad, you get angry, you will become complacent and then you will find your voice again. You will learn that Nashville is not for the faint of heart but you will also learn my darling young self, that we do not have a faint heart. Because even after countless "no's" and so many failures, packing up and going home was never an option.
You will go to new bars and learn how to handle your liquor. You will learn that some guys are truly bad guys. Like movie style, bad. Except in the movies, you can always tell when someone is a villain. They usually have dark hair and black eyes or have a crooked nose. Bad guys in the real world, you will learn, are very good at hiding their bad. There’s no way to avoid these guys. Just know to be prepared. You will meet them, you will fall for them and you will bounce back. But your heart will forever be a little less soft.
You will try new things with your hair, buy new clothes and make yourself believe that you are in the prime of your life. You tell yourself this because you are young, single, and healthy and that’s what everyone else is telling you. But we both know, you don’t really believe it. Living paycheck to paycheck, going on bad dates and searching through your car for that one coupon that gives you a discount on your oil change in your opinion, is not living the good life.
I’m here to tell you now, 6 years later, that it is. How many people do you know would take the risk that you have taken? To move so far away from the only life you’ve known for the chance of following your dreams. Moving to a city where you have no friends, no job and no idea whether this will last 3 months or 20 years. You are reminded every day that you run the risk of becoming a cautionary tale. “That’s what happens when you go off the beaten path.” But you do it anyway.
Robert Frost was not wrong, you know. Off the beaten path is where you and I belong. It has made all the difference.
I don’t want you to get your hopes up. Don’t start thinking that at the age of 28 we have life figured out; we don’t. Things are still hard, guys are still bad and every now and then we still pay the electric bill late. But, my 22 year old self, we have a good life, you and I. Then and now.
And just because you probably need a pick-me-up, I’ll leave you with this little spoiler: You know when you’re driving in your car and you imagine that moment of hearing your song on the radio for the first time?
It just happened.
And yes, we did cry.
Hang in there; It's worth it.
Thank You, God for my Headache.
You know when you feel like you have a million things to do and you’re so overwhelmed by the idea of where to start, that you decide it’s best to just do something else entirely?
Our album release is in one month.
Can you feel my anxiety just by reading these words?
Our show is also in one month.
Starting out this process, we had no idea how much goes in to the making of an album and getting the release ready.
Everyday there seems to be one more thing we have to consider, one more cost we have to budget. Headaches are pretty normal these days. I’m thinking I should invest in Tylenol; with the amount of money I’m spending on it, it only makes sense.
But with every headache, I remind myself where we were a year ago. A year ago at this time, we would be in limbo. Not sure where we were going to record or what type of songs we would end up recording. We didn’t know when the album would release or even if it would make a difference in our career. We were in separate places living different lives. We truly believed that we would get here but there were still those tiny, doubting voices in our heads saying: “maybe you won’t.”
Those voices are gone.
Well… not gone. I still have some voices in my head but they usually only surface when I’m hungry or stuck in traffic during Nashville rush hour. Those words are NSFW
I’m grateful to be moving.
Not literally… well actually with this headache, I AM grateful that I’m literally moving. I’m grateful that we as a band have made moves taking us closer and closer to accomplishing what we’ve dreamt about. When we used to talk about recording an album and going on tour, we would talk about it like a child talks about becoming an astronaut one day. It had nothing to do with self-doubt. That child believes he/she WILL go into space. But the thing that we hadn’t figured out yet was HOW to get there.
When we talk about a tour now, it’s with certainty. This album will result in a tour. That tour will result in these three siblings from Cincinnati, OH actually making a living by playing music. There are moments we catch ourselves grasping that concept and we just laugh. We’re actually going into space. (Again, not being literal here…) How lucky are we that we get to work towards making our dreams come true?
So, if you see me passing by and I look tired, I probably am and I’m probably battling headache #10 of the day. But know that inside I’m also so happy I’m constantly on the verge of crying. I probably just need a hug or a strong cup of coffee.
Unless it’s rush hour, then I’ll meet you at the closest bar.
Seriously, Nashville, get your Sh*t together.
Ryan Throws Women Under Buses
I'd like to clarify that the U-haul man said "4 hours should be plenty. Most families don't need anymore than that." Although to his defense, I should have known that we are NOT "most families"
Also, there were most definitely tears. Maybe not from big tough guy down there in the previous post... but not all the water was coming from the clouds that day. It was 3 AM it was raining and my feet hurt. Tell me that combination is not grounds for tears...
Then again, that's not saying much. I cried at the USPS commercial... you know the one.
Nobody likes to move. Movers don't even like moving
After months of searching and visiting various apartments, condos, duplexes and houses, we finally found a place to rest our heads at night. So now, apartmentfinder.com, if you could please remove me from your emailing list I’d greatly appreciate it—your emails are starting to look desperate/clingy.
We found a lovely place in Nashville that reminds me of a house you would see on a college campus... But at this point in my life, anything is an improvement from the shambley fraternity houses I lived in throughout my time in college. But I digress. We were officially allowed to move in starting July 1st, so we did.
The move was long and hard and consisted of blood, sweat (luckily no tears), cold pizza, speeding in the U-Haul because Megan only reserved it for four hours (four hours!?!?!), praying for the rain to stop, boxes breaking, hours passing, and a massive-devilish couch that we couldn’t fit through the hallway—we had to literally break through the ceiling and the entire side wall to just barely squeeze it in. So basically, it was a typical move… because moving never goes completely right for anyone. I swear Mother Teresa probably had at least one or two horror stories from moving. Actually she probably didn’t. I can see her being the only person ever to just love every part about moving. So maybe that’s a bad example, but you catch my drift. Moving sucks for (almost) everyone.
So I guess the poopy move should’ve been expected. But now that we’re finally getting settled into this new house, it’s slowly but surely starting to feel like a home—which got me thinking: what exactly makes a random house feel like a home? It could just be your own belongings hanging on the walls, or your bed in the place you designed to be your “room”, or the repetition of eating and sleeping in the same spot each day and night, or the monthly rent/bills you pay. All of these things do slowly force the brain to start to think of a random space as home. But I like to think it’s deeper than that. I like to think a house starts to feel like a home because of feelings you feel. Feelings of security and peace of mind, that come from surrounding yourself with people you love and living in a city you’re mesmerized by. I think that’s what makes a house a home, and I think we’ve done that with our little house in Nashville, Tennessee.
So now that the move is out of the way, we can now… wait for it… MOVE onto bigger and better things.
PS. Sorry Mother T., I didn’t mean to throw you under the bus up there.
PSS. ^^that is strictly a metaphorical bus by the way. I would obviously never actually throw a nun under a bus.
9 Hour Car Rides, Packaged Meat, Music, and Beavers: Our Time at Dockside Studio
On May 31, 2015 we left for Maurice, Louisiana at approximately 9:45 AM. Of course we’d planned to be out the door by 9:00 but we all knew that wasn’t really going to happen. We probably could have left a little earlier if it weren’t for the fact that we locked ourselves out of the house— twice.
After the required Starbucks run, we were finally on the road and headed west. We made a stop in Memphis to stretch our legs and eat some food. I know what you’re gonna ask and the answer is yes- we sang “Walkin’ in Memphis” the whole time. We only got a few eye rolls so I consider that a success.
The next 6 ½ hours were a bit of a blur. I know there were several bathroom breaks, a few stops to fill up the tank and I think we played the silent game at one point. After a quick stop at the grocery store in Lafayette to buy food, toiletries and to complain about how much more expensive this store was than the Kroger in Nashville, we finally crossed into the small town of Maurice, Louisiana.
There’s not much to this town. There is a small market that sells limited produce and packaged meat and there is a Dollar General which pretty much sells the same thing. At night, it looks like we could have accidentally stumbled onto a Texas Chainsaw Massacre set but in the day you see why the people in this small town stay here. After all, what more could you really need other than limited produce and packaged meat?
The next day, we met the band. Some were guys we were able to work with the first round of recording back in December and some were new. We got to work laying down the instrumentals that our producer, Justin Tocket, had envisioned for the songs.
This was my favorite part. These guys were so talented. I loved watching them come to the studio with one idea, try a different idea and ultimately perfect their part. They made our music come to life. It was like watching a dance or hearing a different language. I immediately told myself to go home and practice every musical instrument I’ve ever tried to learn.
Minus the flute- I sold that on Ebay.
The next couple days were spent tracking with the musicians. All the guys worked hard these first few days, including Ryan who had to play scratch guitar and vocals for all the songs. Meanwhile, Katey and I basically got to drink beer and watch the men work. It’s a tough life, I know.
We said goodbye to the musicians and Katey and I said goodbye to our life of leisure. It was time for vocals. For all of our songs, Justin had the mics set up in a triangle. We all faced each other as we sang. For the most part, this was perfect. It felt more natural to sing together than individually in a vocal booth. The only time it came back to bite us was when one of us (Katey) got the giggles. It’s hard to focus on singing when your sister is making her “I’m gonna pass out if I don’t laugh right now” face.
Each song we finished, we were both excited and sad. It meant we were getting closer and closer to being done which meant we were that much closer to leaving Dockside.
When we finally finished the last song on the album, we did what any other band would do- we went on a canoe ride on the river behind the studio. That’s normal, right? Hey, when in Rome…
We saw snakes, beavers and bugs who wanted to eat us alive... the bugs, not the beaver. Although, I wouldn’t trust the beaver either he seemed pretty shady.
We talked about the album, what it’s taken to get here and where we might be headed. We imagined best case scenarios and worst case scenarios. We spent the whole canoe ride smiling. We had just finished something that we had been working on for over 2 years. We just finished an album that could jump start the career that we have been fighting for and dreaming of our whole lives. It was the perfect ending to our time at Dockside.
And then I pushed Katey off the canoe.
It was an accident, I swear.
Here We Go!
Here is our attempt to keep you all in the loop about our daily lives: the exciting and the mundane. You guys asked for it and we will deliver! You may or may not live to regret this. Stay tuned...