Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Nobody can be okay all the time....
~Charlotte Martin. Interview with Musical Discoveries, 2006 

There is music that touches us, changes us in ways we never imagined. That change can either be immediate, either by having us reflect and remember. Affording us a soundtrack for a special moment or event that we will forever remember and will help share our future. And then there's music that inspires; gives us something to strive for. We imagine the day that we will hear this song and all the pieces will be in place.

In 2008, I stumbled upon this song almost by accident. I had recently discovered Charlotte Martin's music and was exploring her work. All while I was in the thick of graduate school and struggling with my own demons. I remember hearing this song and immediately began daydreaming of the day I could listen while embracing the words.

Every tree has got her root
And every girl forbidden fruit
And got her demons

And the path I chose to go
A different girl so long ago
I had my reasons

And she's in my head so loud
And screaming,
“Shouldn't you be proud of what you came from?"

“Oh you've been crippled and you've walked and 
You've been shut up and you talked
So let's talk some more”

(One, two, three
The flashback to get me
On a one, two, four
The threat of the memory)

One of the curses of infertility and loss is that it makes you doubt yourself. While others move on to a milestone seemingly effortlessly, one finds themselves struggling with worthiness and feelings of damnation. Too often I've heard women in this community question whether they deserved to expand their family. That their desires for pregnancy and holding their children were going unfulfilled because they didn't deserve such happiness.

Like so many, I questioned myself and my motives. There were times I felt guilty and selfish with my quest. But the more I dug to explore my grief, the more I realized that this feeling of guilt and selfishness, of unworthiness, expanded to all aspects of my life. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I came to the realization that having a baby wouldn't cure me from these feelings. That it would require actually confronting my demons and forgiving myself.

And it's ripping at my heart
Because I'm dodging all the darts
And on a slow train

And then I'll wear it 'til it tatters
And it shatters on the floor
In instant replay

Oh, we're all rotten
And we're pure
And we're just looking for the cure
That feels like spring snow

And all we have is who we are
And where we been got us this far
So let me go

A few days ago, following a night of reflection with Grey about pain, I found myself humming this song. Reciting the lyrics in my head, I found myself for the first time feeling that they felt true. Despite surviving graduate school, multiple rounds of fertility treatments and the loss of our potential children. Despite achieving a pregnancy that resulted in our beautiful Beats. And despite recent rounds of rejection in career and uncertainty about the future. Going through all that hasn't made me whole. 

What has helped me get there has been a journey of self reflection and self forgiveness. A journey of self acceptance, wrinkles, flaws and all. With a final realization that though it's not perfect, and though the pain is still very real, it's finally okay.

Where is the hand
For me to reach?
Where is the moral
I'll never teach myself?
In all the black
In all the grief
Through all the pain
And unbelief
These are the words
That they all scream
I am redeemed

2014 has been a year of healing and resolution for me. This journey is far from over and there is still much to learn and overcome. But this year, for the first time in a very long time, I've found a reason to stop and reflect. To recognize not only how much has changed, but my role in bringing that about. And that is something to be proud of.

~Redeemed, by Charlotte Martin

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