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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Youth

Behind the Song "Hitchhiker of the Universe" and the Legendary Hippie Halloween Costume

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/117798723" params="color=441b66&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] What’s your favorite or most meaningful Halloween costume you’ve worn?

Hippie costume
Hippie costume

Mine has got to be the Hippie costume I wore in 5th grade, replete with seed beads, head scarf, rag purse and the tie skirt my Mom handmade when she was in her twenties.  Although the costume was, in my opinion, fabulous, that’s not the only reason it means so much to me.  My fun disguise reveals a poignant time of transition in my life: from girlhood to womanhood, the beginning of restlessness, longing and exciting discovery.  I ached to be an adult without knowing what that really meant, of course.

As with most adolescence, signs of my transition came in the form of many a frustrating remark to my parents.  I remember changing into my costume at school before my Mom picked me up to take me to the ALL IMPORTANT CAN NOT MISS THIS EVERYONE IS GOING TO BE THERE Halloween Party.  The not-so-logical part of my attitude was that I was embarrassed to be seen at school wearing a Halloween costume on (gasp!) Halloween of all days!!  Oh travesty!

I can hear my Mom’s confused and exhausted voice saying, “But Rae, you never get embarrassed.  Why now?”  I just sank further into my angsty frustration, trapped in the minivan as we headed to The Party, a place of anxious unknowns.  What if no one else is wearing a costume?  What if I stand out like a sore thumb?  What if my costume is stupid and everyone else’s is cool?

The toughest part about going through this transition stage is that everyone has a place on the social ladder at school.  Mine happened to be just a nose hair above the lowest of the low.  Here I was, so caught up in my internal conflict I didn’t notice that I was about to enter a place where the social playing field would essentially be leveled out.  I mean, what does a costume do anyhow?  It makes you become someone or something you’re not.  It disguises your true nature.  It transports you into becoming a silly whim or your deepest desire.  I was heading towards a free ride with my peace-loving, hitchhiking Hippie Child garb on!

But can you expect a hormone-enraged pubescent to think this clearly?  So there I was at the Halloween Party awkwardly mingling with my gossipy schoolmates while getting a taste of non-parental guidance.  And you know what?  I have to say with shining honor that my (oh so embarrassing) Hippie getup won the Best Costume Award.  Take that suckkkers!!!  I can see the envy in all those parochial school girls’ eyes now as I received my prize, a Boyz II Men CD.

“Hitchhiker of the Universe” is not only about longing to be older, more experienced and independent, but it’s about looking back at that time now that I am older.  It’s about reconciling with my younger self for being so naïve and thinking that I’m some “casual prophet of youth” who’s got it all together.  Even though the person I am now doesn’t look like who I thought I’d be, I revel in the strange comfort of knowing that who I think I will be twenty years from now is absolutely unimaginable.  Dream on, Hitchhiker of the Universe…

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/117798723" params="color=441b66&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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" /]