I caught up with some close family members today in person. We were socially distanced and wearing masks to be safe, but just the act of getting together in person felt incredible. It was a reminder that “socially distanced” does not mean emotional isolation, and doesn’t even mean absolute physical separation if you follow regulations and safety precautions such as wearing masks and keeping your distance. There was a lot of hand sanitizer used as well. 🙂

This is the new normal. There won’t be a “going back to the way things were” for a long time, if ever. While it does make me sad because I loved the life I had, the key thing moving forward is to make sure that we continue to find ways to be human and connect with each other. I realized last week that I was trying to just wait it out until we get to the other side, but I’m not sure that reality exists.

The past few months have been difficult and draining for me and a lot of other people. There are a few folks like my brother who are perfectly fine, though he has his puppy for company. For more social folks like myself who rely on communities and gatherings and seeing people face to face (which I absolutely love), it’s been a real challenge. I’ve missed my family and friends, I’ve missed the random connections with strangers in the city, I’ve missed the shows, the music, the art, the culture.

I’m not sure what the future will look like right now, but I need to figure out how I can define my own sense of connection in it. If I can think of it as an interesting new problem to solve, or pretend like I’m an astronaut or a space explorer, I might be able to make it something fun instead of something that’s cause for despair.

Only time will tell.

Red and Pink :)

I’m the kind of person who often wears black on Valentine’s Day just to make a statement. But this year I’m wearing pink and I’m going to help decorate the office in bright, bold colors tomorrow. I feel like I’m at the stage where I want to celebrate everything I can, and add as much color to my life as possible. Even if it’s Hallmark Day. 🙂

Hope your weekend starts with love, hope, and forgiveness! Here’s one of my favorite songs from Broken, Perfect:

Broken, Perfect (Album) – I can’t believe it’s finally over

A huge thanks to all the people I roped into this project: we did it. 🙂 Robert sent me the final versions of all the masters for “Broken, Perfect” last week, and I uploaded all of them on Soundcloud on Friday. Here’s the link!

My friend Maira (an amazing graphic designer) designed the cover, and captured the heart of what I was trying to convey incredibly well. Thank you!

I can’t believe it’s done. Strange mixture of emotions, relief (we made it to the finish line), happiness (OMG, I’ve released my second album!!), but also a very real sense of loss (what’s the point of my life now??). A part of me almost feels shell shocked, because we’ve been pounding the pavement so hard for a while to get the album done. I think this is what empty nest syndrome must feel like. 🙂

The next project is our show at Brick and Mortar on August 6th (Sunday). The date is coming up really fast; I feel like this crazy year’s been speeding by.

Wish me luck on everything else to come, and hope you all had an amazing weekend!image1

Ah, She Drowns, She Drowns!

I went swimming today, and it felt great. Over the past few weeks it’s become a regular activity, which is doing me a world of good. I feel like I can work out all my issues in the pool, and the water just holds me up gently.

Today has brought me back to Lana Del Rey’s Video Games, which sucks. As long as I keep it playing in my head in bits and not out loud on Itunes I should be ok. It’s really sad to see the end of a relationship, and to watch people pull away from each other even as they don’t want to. Our lives have become pretty complex, and people have built up a lot of protective layers to guard themselves. People are really afraid to be vulnerable. I was prone to putting up walls when I was younger, and I grew up being shy and having a small circle of friends. But as I grew older, I realized how important it was to allow people in, as you gain so much from it.

When I was young, it felt like I had some control or power because I held back parts of myself. Part of it comes from being an introvert, which I cannot (and don’t want to) change about myself and am perfectly comfortable with. But the rest of it points to having deep seated insecurities. I was lucky, I grew up in South East Asia on a bunch of islands. People there are really mellow, and really open, friendly and caring. I learned a lot because of it. I also grew up around a lot of people from different cultures who moved around a lot, so you have to get good at getting to know people quickly and opening up to them because otherwise you’ll miss out on really great people and always feel lost in the sea of constant change.

Which brings me to my current state. I really let go this time, and I’m glad I did. Even though I’m feeling overwhelmed right now as I’m trying to keep up with the job hunt. I sincerely hope I’ll feel safe enough to do it again someday.

The one very constructive thing that’s come out of the dips in my mood is an artistic period; I’m coming up with a pretty decent number of song ideas and really wish I could spend more time working on them and recording the ones for the short album I want to finish. This would be the perfect time to get in a studio.