“If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what age would you return to, and what advice would you give?” This question has been posed in various forms on social media for some time now. My song, Pearl, is my answer to that question.
When I was in eighth grade, we had an election for student government, and I was on the ballot. I didn’t know anything about government, and I was sure I didn’t know what was going to be expected of me if I were to win the election and be part of the student government. My opponents were my classmates in “Group A”, or as we named ourselves, “The Planet of the Apes” group. We were the “smart” kids.
So, being in the smart group as I was, you would think I would have had been clever enough to vote for myself. But I did not. Now, maybe it was because I had a crush on one of the candidates, I really don’t know. I don’t recall all of the particulars. But the part about not voting for myself has stuck with me, and haunted me ever since.
I ended up not winning, of course, but I did get an appointed position as a representative of some sort. My duties as a representative of my class? I remembered having to check the bathrooms and make sure no one was smoking or getting into trouble in the women’s room. This would make me break into a cold sweat, because the only kids that wanted to smoke in the bathroom were the toughest girls in the class. Did I mention that I was from a rough and tumble neighborhood? I also remember being put in a room with the whole student government and one of the really troubled kids that happened to be high as a kite that day. I think one of the teachers thought it would be a great experiment if we “counseled” our peer to quit smoking weed and be good in school. I heard in later years that he ended up in jail for murder, so I’m not sure that experiment had any merit. I can only hope he found better counselors along life’s way, and that he’s in a good place now.
Had I known that bathroom checks and drug counseling were my duties, as unqualified as I was for either of those roles, I wouldn’t have run for office.
But I digress.
I was a very fortunate young girl, because all through my life, although I was very much a misfit, I had strong women around me in older sisters, teachers and music mentors. I had older siblings that made big mistakes from which I learned hard lessons without the hard knocks. But looking back, I often feel I was too afraid to make big mistakes myself. Why didn’t I take bigger risks back then when drama was my middle name, and I had the resilience of youth? What kept me from pursuing my dream twenty-five years ago?
I offer this pearl of wisdom to anyone who has dreams. “It’s okay, make your mistakes. There’s something that’s called grace, and it comes along right when you feel done.”
You can download Pearl on CDBaby at the top right of this page, or listen on Spotify, Soundcloud below. Soon to be available on iTunes, GooglePlay and wherever else you purchase music.