Bean here, something strange has just happened. Maybe we should put it into the category of Christmas Miracle. Another one of my wonderful lady friends has written a post for the blog. Maybe everyone’s feeling pressure because we won’t be 20 somethings for much longer…
Anyways, remember those ’20 Something Lady Posts’ we had been doing for a while (see more on the sidebar)? Welp, there’s another one and I’m pretty excited about it. Kristina (Tina) has been one of my best friends for the past 10 years. We’ve lived together. We’ve lived apart and missed the crap out of each other. We’ve been best friends since David and I got together in 2004. She knows a lot about me, and I know a lot about her–we’ve shared a lot of life experiences, mostly good, some bad, and I’m so lucky to have her. And it just so happens that she’s got some pretty great things happening in her 20’s, and I feel like they should all be celebrated. So without further ado, here’s Tina y’all.
There is an offshoot of our Camp Mikell Lady Group that now lives in Boulder, (Whit is the most recent addition; Cat and Dot have been out here since 2008 and 2010, respectively.) I moved in 2008, mostly to be with my boyfriend, James, who I met in 2007 while completing an internship to finish my degree from Clemson (Go Tigers, ORANGE BOWL BABY!). The four of us Colorado lady group women get together in some iteration on a weekly basis; we are extremely blessed to have each other out here, as I think this offshoot group keeps us strong in the larger group as a whole. Anyway, we had our Christmas-Ladygroup-Winter-Solstice-Celebration last weekend. We spoke about, processed, and released to the universe our thanksgivings, our burdens, and our 2014 intentions.
One of my thanksgivings is that I am thankful for growing up. As I mature out of my twenties, I’m starting to realize more and more what matters and what doesn’t: fancy clothes don’t matter, but relationships do; how messy/clean my house is doesn’t matter, but my happiness does; how successful other people are doesn’t matter, but the steps I take towards my own goals does, and on and on. This year, 2013, has been a great year for me…MUCH better than the last three, that’s for damn sure.
I’m a musician. First I was a hobbyist, then an amateur, and now, it’s what I identify myself as. I guess you could say I’m “not fully a musician” (as some musician friends have pointed out), yet, because I still have a job, but, I’m working every day at music becoming my full-time job. It’s hard to know the joys and struggles of being a musician if you’re not one. Also, here is the greatest quote I’ve ever seen about musicians. Really, my friends think I’m a supreme music snob, and, though it might seem that way, I just have “big ears” and a very particular filter (OK, I’m a music snob). I’m a singer, a songwriter, and guitar player, and I released my debut album in November (you can listen to it here, and buy it on Bandcamp, iTunes, and CDBaby!).
These songs are all original, written by me or with friends. I have a band, and James, who is my sweet boyfriend of six and half years, is also my guitarist and my musical partner. I am blessed to have someone who shares equally, and perhaps more fervently, in my passion for music; who works on it with me on a daily basis, pushes me to be better, and who shares in the aforementioned joys and struggles. We’re a strong team and getting stronger each month; we makin plans y’all. To say that music is hard is an understatement and anyone who says otherwise is a fool. But “it’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
Also, we have a dog, Etta, who we’re pretty obsessed with (who rescued who!?).
I play country and rock n roll: my two musical identities. (And actual country music like this, this, and this not that Taylor Swift “country” crap.) As a child, I heard Pasty Cline and Loretta Lynn on cassette tape, but it wasn’t until I met Bethany and her Terri Clark CD at Camp Mikell in 1995, that I really fell in love with country music. The rest of that is Kristina Country Music Lover History. But Rock N Roll was always around my house: Dylan, Allman Brothers, Paul Simon, The Band, Zeppelin, CSNY…always on while dinner was being made or on trips to the beach…the background music of my childhood.
In 2010, my dad, who I was close with, passed away. His death was sudden and unexpected; indeed, he actually drove me to the airport less than 24 hours before he died. He was 64. One of the ways I coped with my daddy’s death, as you can imagine, was to write songs about it. Three songs on my album are about my dad: ‘The Year Georgia Ran Dry’ chronicles the immediate days after his death; ‘One More Year’ describes my heartbreak about one year after his death; and ‘Carolina Sea’ is a true story about putting his ashes in the ocean. During the first couple years after his death, I obviously went through a roller coaster of emotions. However, I remember the first time I felt the first hint of peace about it, acceptance. I was riding home from work, on a grey, cold, wintery afternoon, staring out the window. ‘Graceland’ was on the radio, and I suddenly felt a wash of peace come over me. I thought to myself, I realized, “Ok. Everyone dies. Everyone will die. Ain’t it just like my dad to go first, to show us all that it’s OK. “
I’ve been grieving for my dad three years now; yes, it takes that long. But one of my burdens that I released on Saturday was my grief; my intention is to turn my grief into acceptance, appreciation, and loving remembrance of his life and our life together. One way of doing that is to remember and incorporate the lesson in his passing…and here it is, my advice for myself and for 20-something women (adjust to fit you as necessary):
If this is it, if this is really the ONE and ONLY life I have, live it completely and with happiness and the way you want. Why not hop in a van and travel around the country (or world!) sharing little tiny pieces of myself? Why not bare my soul in song? Why not have another bourbon? Why not have another piece of bacon or extra-chocolately dessert? Why not love your loved ones with reckless abandon? Why not forgive them within hours or minutes of them wronging you? Why not adopt another dog from the shelter? Why not write another country song? Why not show up at the end of your life in a beat-up pine box having enjoyed the ride? Every moment spent in unhappiness is a moment of happiness lost.
Hey, you only live once.
Bean here. Wow. She’s pretty great, huh? Check out the “In the Making…” of Tina’s debut album, ‘Unravelin” on You Tube. She’s pretty great. She’s a totally amazing country rocker who always makes us want to down whiskey and sing songs and she continues to blow me away with her strength and talent. She’s that girlfriend that you always think…I wish one day I can just “not give a sh*t” like Tina. She does it in the best possible and most loving way, she’s one of the most special people in my life and I’m so happy some of you have now gotten a chance to “meet her”. Now click on all the links below and like her on Facebook (more likes/followers get’s her more gigs folks, and get’s her closer to that dream of being a full time musician). I bought 10 of her CDs, and I hope you’ll do the same. When they came, I was like, “ah man, what am I gonna do with all these CDs, but we’ve distributed them to important people, and just keep spreading the word and the love. Life’s short folks, right? Let’s do what matters. And huge thanks to Tina for sharing her words and love, just in time for the holidays–just in time to remember what’s really important in our lives. xoxo
Kristina’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/kristinamurraymusic (give it a ‘Like’…it really helps her out!)
Kristina’s Twitter: www.twitter.com/kristinammusic
Kristina’s Instagram: @kristinamurraymusic