Dear 15-Year-Old Me: You’re Okay

This is hanging on my dad’s office wall. Me at 15. I saw this picture at my dad’s house, and it broke my heart.

Me at 15.

I saw a gorgeous 15-year-old girl, but that’s not the 15-year-old girl I remembered.

The 15-year-old I rememberer was chubby, with braces, looked like a boy, and was much too much.

Too much, physically.

Too much curly hair.

Too much love to give.

Too much of a talker.

Too much of a singer.

Too much of an actor.

Too much of a kiss-up.

Too much for her parents.

Too much for her brother.

Too much for boys.

Too much for herself.

Too much everything.

That is not who I see now. I see someone who was just enough.

I see this picture and see a gorgeous 15-year-old, with a big personality, who was painfully insecure. More than anything, I wish I could go back and tell myself: “Embrace your curves. You’re never going to be a size 0, so stop fighting it so hard. You’re only wasting time and energy. Embrace your talents and loving spirit. You don’t need to be your big brother, best friend, or anyone else for that matter. You just need to be you. It’s enough. Don’t be afraid of being different. It’s the very thing that will change your life for the better. You’re enough. You’re special. Life is going to be so sweet. And, lastly, you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay.”

I dedicate this post to all girls in middle school and high school out there, and their parents. I promise it’s going to get better. YOU’RE okay, you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay, you’re okay.



I remember.

Today. September 11th. It never gets easier.


Our recovery comes in our remembering. And our peace comes in our memories of the ones we lost. Here’s what I remember.

I remember being woken up by frantic phone calls from my mom and ex-boyfriend, Chris Telles, in Texas. It was still dark out here on the west coast and the sleep in my eyes would barely let me make out the horror that was playing out on the television. It was right before the second tower was hit. It felt like it was the acopalypse and at that age, I don’t know if I really even knew what that meant. I just remember thinking it. With these two calls, I remember feeling both loved and very, very alone.

I remember needing to get out of the house and desperately needing to be with other people. I did NOT want to be alone. It was unbearable. So I went over to Ned & Sarah Brower’s apartment on Spaulding. There, we sat in Craig Weaver’s apartment watching the footage. I realized I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to be alone. And I am still so thankful for those people.

I remember LA felt like a ghost town that day. I had to go grocery shopping so I went to the Whole Foods on Fairfax and Santa Monica where I exchanged sad, gentle smiles with strangers to whom I felt instantly bonded. I don’t go back to that location very often because it will always remind me of that sad, scared, empty feeling.

I remember going to meet my new Hawkeye band members, Jeff Bell and Kalai King at their apartment with my roommate at the time, Lauren Kahner and her boyfriend – and our amazing piano player – JK Morrical. We sat there and talked for hours, listening to music and drinking wine – and I knew that I had found a family of a sort.

Hawkeye at The Roxy


James Taylor’s Fire and Rain came on and we were all silent. That song would always mean that mournful moment to me.



I remember that I loved Ryan Adams’ Gold that fall and his song, “New York, New York” will always give me chills and take me right back to that sad season. Songs are powerful elixirs like that.




I remember that after that evening, I didn’t feel alone anymore.

These are my memories and they are as vivid today as yesterday and I didn’t even lose anyone.
Blessings, love and healing to all of those remembering their loved ones today.



BF Asks: Where were you on the day the world stopped turning?

Love, Patience & Understanding

This past October, I was invited to experience one of the greatest showings of love I’ve ever witnessed.
It was a moment alive with honesty, humor, tears, laughter, enthusiasm, comfort, family, friends and home. And dancing. Lots of dancing.
I count it as one of the single most magical experiences of my life.
It was the wedding of my dear friends, Michael and Gabe.

Gay, straight, what have you. Literally, the best vows I've ever been invited to witness. My favorite quote was from Michael in his vows to Gabe: "I used to look forward to leaving my house every day. Now, with you, I can't wait to come home." Home is where the heart is.

Yes, a “gay wedding”. But do we really need to call it that?
A wedding is simply a celebration of marriage. So while it may have been gay in the sense that it was indeed a very happy affair, why must we refer to it as that? We don’t call other weddings “straight weddings”, do we?
So why must we be voting on this basic human right at this point in our history?

Listen, I truly cling to the belief that everyone is entitled to their own politics and religion.
I really do. I’m a big proponent of american politics like that.
I truly embrace those American values.
I do.

But until you’ve witnessed two of the best men you know saying “I Do” and joining into a forever-partnership, you might want to withhold your unkind words.
These vows do nothing to you.
They don’t break any bond.
They don’t sever the relationship that marriage represents.
They don’t “teach a lesson” about the modern degradation of values.
And they don’t have an impact on you or this country.
They’re just 2 people getting married and starting their own family.
Yep, it’s that simple.

How would you feel if you weren’t legally able to marry the love of your life?
Maybe this doesn’t look like your love…but it’s their love and it’s love, nonetheless.
And, be honest here, folks. How many of you have been questioned at some point for your taste in love?
I sure have. We all have. It’s not a good feeling. And unless your love is being questioned because you’re truly marrying a bad person, it’s not helpful either.

I know a lot of people who oppose same-sex marriage and they are good people. Smart people. Kind people. So now I speak to them and to those of you on the fence.

Think with your head.
But feel…and empathize…with your heart.
And let it go.
It’s not YOUR fight.
It is their lives.
As someone once told me, when I was 16 and espousing my belief about no sex before marriage (it didn’t last), “You don’t ‘believe in it? It’s happening. It’s not a matter of belief.”
Believe what you want but it’s going on. It’s happening, people.

Any union of two loving souls connecting makes me believe in love, have faith in humanity and – as a single gal -hopefully gives me a little hope.
But above all that, it gives me patience with people and love. Because right now, that’s what my friends are having to do, too.
Here’s to hoping that they don’t have to be patient much longer.


Freewriting Friday: The truth about the past…

A myriad of memories...One of my MANY collages over the years...

Recently, I had a nice, long talk with a friend about the power of memories. We agreed that some days, a memory can burn brighter than the sunshine in any modern moment.

And that, my friends, can be deceptive.

We build up the past in hopes of it taking away the pain of the present. Or the boredom. Or the troubles. Or simply the routine. It’s our escape into something that’s familiar while being just foreign and different enough from our current situation.

After many questions, a few tears, a couple glasses of wine and a goodbye, this is what I emailed my friend.

The past is precious because that’s exactly what it is.

It has PASSED us. Or, rather, we have passed it.
Memories remain those beautiful moments frozen in time for a reason.
Like a scene from a favorite movie we can’t  forget. 
Or the lyrics of a song, from the soundtrack of our life, that we will always recall.

As much as we may try to thaw out those memories, to recreate them…
we cannot.
We never will.
They will live THERE forever.
We must remember them. Cherish them. Share them. Grow from them. Let them live on in us. Pass them on. And move on.
Who we were is not who we are. Who we wanted to be is not always who we have become.

But, in the promise of the the wishes of the dreams, the hopes for those plans,  and the phantoms of our expectations, we become who we are meant to be.
And the adult us is way better than any child could have hoped for.
We wouldn’t have liked the person, now, that we wanted to become, then, very much anyways.
So cherish the past, relish the present and procrastinate, as much as possible, when it comes to the future.
We will wish for the very day, we are having now, one day down the road.

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