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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Fiance

Engagement - Isn't That a Warfare Term?

Rae Hering

A year ago, I got engaged to my fiancé, Jonathan.  We were uncharacteristically sitting at a hooka bar when he told me that when I was ready, he would marry me, “no matter if it’s one year from now, five years, ten years, or even twenty.”  (Insert SWOON!) I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  For a few days I existed inside a surreal bubble filled with love, rainbows, lemonade and big red balloons (Jonathan was like, “does this imaginary happy place really have to be a little kid carnival?  This is kind of creepy.” And I was like, “YEP.  Live with it, sucker!  You’re mine now!”)  I have never been more elated in my life.

DSC09176
DSC09176

And then the buzz kill came when I told my parents.

I imagine a day many years from now when I’ll be able to fully appreciate the parallel between my life and the countless comedy films with “wedding” and “parents” in the storyline.  But right now, things are still a little raw.  Basically, my huge Life Step marched right onto a land mine.  My engagement triggered all the hidden issues my family and I had been ignoring.

I spent a good half a year convincing myself I was A-OK and that I wasn’t freaking out about planning a wedding.  But the more I tried to please people who weren’t excited about us getting married in the first place, the more I realized I was practically half naked seeing how much I had completely unraveled.  I love my parents dearly and I know the love is reciprocated, but man, it’s been a tough year.

Brawling my Brains Out
Brawling my Brains Out

One of my good friends told me that engagement is one of the happiest times I’ll ever have, and to relish it.  But bawling my brains out was no way to spend the happiest time of my life.  So I decided to seek help through a therapist.

The second half of my engagement year has been a slow uphill climb in learning how to separate my happiness from the fulfillment from my parents’ expectations.  And I can say with confidence that my parents are working towards coming to terms with how I’ve chosen a different path than the one they envisioned for me.

Now I want to show you the illustration that inspired this blog post.  My talented and impossibly sweet friend Chris Longs is doing the album artwork for my forthcoming double EP, “The Shy Gemini Sessions.”  It’s still a work in progress, but he sent me this as a preliminary sketch.  I fell in love with it immediately.

Dark Cloud Sketch
Dark Cloud Sketch

When I look at this illustration, it feels as though I’m looking at my reflection for the first time in a very, very long time.  It’s as though I have been wandering through a world without mirrors, unable to truly see the person I have become until suddenly, now, I encounter myself again.  There I am!

Puzzle piece
Puzzle piece

I can’t stop staring at it.  I’m incomplete and scattered, but my lines are formed and that’s all I really need. I don’t need to be whole right now, I just need to be in the process.

Going through this tumultuous engagement year, I’ve lost perspective, composure and a little bit of sanity, too.  Thank goodness for music though.  I was able to inject my emotions into the songs that turned into “The Shy Gemini Sessions.”  And now, here I am, on the other side, looking at who I’ve become.  A rough sketch, but I think it’s turning out beautifully.

Endless - The Torture of "Tick Tock, Tick Tock"

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110911238" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] I’m angry with my 22 year-old self.  She was aimless and flippantly said things like “it will all work out somehow.”  I bitterly ask her what the HOW part of ‘somehow’ was.  She would daydream in her music business classes and ignore songwriting for other petty projects that sidetracked her.  I want to scream at her, “what were you thinking!?”  I’ve imagined an unhealthy amount of times how it could have been if she hadn’t wasted so many precious years.

“Youth is wasted on the young” – George Bernard Shaw

The 22 year old Me.
The 22 year old Me.

I haven’t been able to forgive that lost 22-year old girl yet.  This game of mental torment is a poor placeholder for forgiveness, but I keep coming back to it.  I bang my head against the fact that I can’t go back and do things differently.  It’s a familiar story – I’m sure many of you can relate.

I spent my younger years being clueless in my music career endeavors.  I regret this tremendously.  I stayed in relationships that were not conducive to pursuing making a living with my music.  I maintained the belief that it would all fall into my lap.  I chose to pointlessly drink with friends at the bar more nights than I stayed home to work on songwriting.

If you ever argue with yourself to no avail, if you’ve found yourself defending your regrets and obsessing over your loses, if you can’t stop seeing life as a series of mazes and dead ends, then this song, “Endless,” is for you.

I wrote “Endless” as a sort of letter to myself.  Through the writing process, I acknowledge my hurt, even though it is self-inflicted.  I assure myself in full conviction that my Spirit extends much further than the narrow field I draw myself into.  I tell myself that I am Endless, so I shouldn’t stop here, much less wallow in a pity party.

As of right now, the pity parties still happen once in awhile.  Last Friday I found myself stifling tears in the corner of the bathroom stall at Jed’s Sports Bar and Grille in Nashville.

Jonathan and I at Jed's in Nashville, TN.
Jonathan and I at Jed's in Nashville, TN.

I’ve been going there every week to play and get my music out there, but still, my negative thoughts were on repeat (…I’ve wasted so much time, so much TIME, all gone, wasted, wasted, WASTED! )

I went back to my seat to find my fiancé, Jonathan, who knows I struggle with this regret.  I am thankful for having someone like Jonathan in my life to remind me that my thoughts are hurtful to myself.  To remind me that I lead a good life, and that everything is as it should be.  It takes a lot of reminding, but I do believe this.  When I sing “Endless,” not only am I singing it for the audience but for myself.

(FYI: The recording of "Endless" included in this blog post is an un-finalized version I'm making for my new EP entitled "The Shy Gemini Sessions."  I'm shooting to be finished with the project early 2014).

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110911238" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Moving and Moving On

Rae Hering

A little over a year ago I was living in an apartment with three other girls.  It was...exactly how you might imagine it would be.  Anyhow, Jonathan, my boyfriend at the time (now fiancé!) told me I would love having my own place.  I didn’t know what he was talking about until I felt it for myself.  Just me and Simon the cat, in our own little spot...

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I began my journey into my new place with a massive 5 week, yard sale-ing extravaganza.  Not everyone's first choice for finding home decor, but for me there was nothing better.  I happened upon this original painting called "Trois Bijoux" by artist Karen Dupre.  Struck by my obvious resemblance to the middle woman, this painting became, over time, the heartbeat of my apartment.  I imagined the woman on the left as my younger, more naive self.  The woman on the right represents the older and wiser self to come.  Here I am now, somewhere in between the two...

I believe that emotional and physical change happen concurrently.  In my case, each time I’ve moved residences has signaled a bigger, deeper change in my life.  Change is, after all, movement. In tai chi philosophy, movement arises from the interaction of two forces, yin-yang.  Yin is internal energy, yang is external energy.  It would make sense that when your heart is moving on, your physical self needs to move with it.

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For me, having an apartment to myself allowed me the creative space I desperately needed.  As a result, I grew a lot as a musician and writer.

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It was my place for uninterrupted work and a refuge for relaxation.  Also, I have to admit that I LOVE having my things exactly, particularly where and how I want them (can anyone relate??)  Hey, there's a time and place for reveling in guilty pleasures.

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Now, I’m moving from being a single lady in my one bedroom apartment to planning a wedding for next May and moving in with my fiancé.  I took these photos as a way of looking back on the phase of life I’m leaving behind.  My first, and now only apartment I will ever have all to myself...

It was glorious.

Goodbye, beautiful apartment.

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