While growing up, I never talked much about getting married or having kids. Occasionally, I would talk about what it would be like having kids but I NEVER pictured my life with a spouse or children. I never had a plan or idea of what my wedding would be like because I never thought I would get married. Ever. I pretended so I could fit in but in my mind's eye, nothing seemed to add up the way it added up for all of my friends.Read More
Today, I am struggling with anger. Something with which my Mom has said I have always struggled. I am angry that in true Adams fashion, we have swept so many things under the rug that I may never know why I've been angry for so long. Sure, I can pin point certain instances and situations that foster anger but what happened when I was so very young can only be speculated.
Today, I am angry at my job. I am grateful that I even have one but after working there for 13 years, it is on it's last leg and we've been in talks of closing down for good. I'm angry about watching my team work diligently to keep things alive and feeling like they will never be compensated for their loyalty and effort. I'm angry about the stress that it has dropped on our COO, my brother in law. I am angry about the stress it has dropped on my spouse. I'm angry.
I'm angry for being so scatterbrained. I'm angry for trusting the wrong people. I'm angry for having to be patient.
I'm angry because my songs still sit on paper. I'm angry because I am not confident to do things myself. I'm angry because I have to rely on people.
Relationships, family, home, petty petty things...
I am angry.
I have tried typing my name a few times today...just working on different projects...and each time I accidentally typed Anger instead of Angel.
I figured that I needed to get some of the infection out so...I write.
Here it is...the announcement of the day. Hold on to your butts...it's a doozey.
I'm not perfect.
There it is...in all its glory. Announcement #2? I don't know how to spell "doozey" but...well...hopefully, you get what I'm trying to say.
I have been reminded everyday how blessed I am despite my awkward existence. Last week I was reading posts about one of my unwitting music mentors, Amy Grant, releasing a new album next month ("How Mercy Looks From Here" will be available May 14). This of course, reminded me about the time my sweet friend, Eric worked diligently with my friend Lionel to arrange a meeting with Amy. A meeting that was so surreal and meaningful to me that even today, I can not be reminded of it without having to wipe a "happy" tear from my eye. I am so grateful for the thought and work it took to make that moment happen. I thought about Amy and her music. Her strength...that pulled me out of dark and sad times during my childhood. I know that I've said this before but to see a woman so young writing and commanding a stage...it changed my life. It changed my direction.
I will be ever in debt to my friend Angela Calhoun for introducing me to "Angels Watching Over Me" and the Straight Ahead album. :)
This led me on a two week course of gratefulness and reflection. Something that I have spent hours a day on as of late. The more I got to thinking about how blessed I am, the more faces I could see. People who have impacted me in such great ways. People who pushed me to be better and raised the bar of compassion, intellect, thoughtfulness, and encouragement, the list is infinite.
From arranging lifetime meetings, buying cribs, car seats and stollers, replacing stolen Christmas money so I could buy my daughter's first Christmas gifts, hugs and laughs, unexpected letters of encouragement, kicks in the ass that I really need, a surprise coffee, smiles galore at just the right time, a look in the eye that says, "you can do it", a job, Facebook messages that say, "you're better than that.", teachers who make leaving my daughter every day just a little bit easier, French lessons just because, to cleaning my backyard because it looks like a ghetto zoo exhibit <<<yes, that's true, and did I mention laughs? Your random and not so random acts of kindness and genuine love for me and my family have built a better human being. Not quite a bionic Jaime Sommers but SUPER close.
And do you know what I love about these people? If any of them were to read this, they would ask themselves how they got on this list. These are the humans that act out of goodness. They show selflessness and without a thought of what anyone else may think, they just do because they can.
Vicki Peters, Steve and Lori Nance, Michelle Davis, Eric Himan and Ryan Nichols, Erika Hardin and Natalee Pendergraft, Julie Nikel, Lionel Vargas, Stephanie and Joe Christiansen, Cheryl Lawson, Michael and Catherine Ray, Barb Hauxwell, Joel and Kelly Russell, Stacy Acord, CC Lawhon, Kristi Perryman, Virginie Gill Dejour, Staci Walkup, Michael Shoopman, Travis Jackson, Howard Stump, Jessica Butchko, Billy Sauerland, Steven Nix, Kimi Hann and Chris Lieberman, Miranda and Phil Kaiser, Missy Wilson, Chrystal Kelly, Betsy Chase, Courtney and Casey Nichols, Michael and Amanda Mitchell, Janice Sawatsky Sahr, John and Jane Ray, Rebecca Smith, Deke Coop, Stephanie Schrepel, Caleb Taylor, and Jennifer Jako.
To my Hall of Fame: You have been rocks to lean on and hands to pull me up. You have been a crutch, a counselor, a clock, a mirror, a party, an icepack, a rope, a map, a compass, a hope, and my teacher. I have been changed forever (for the good) for knowing you.
Thank you all for your compassion, kindness, and grace. You give me courage and I will never be able to adequately thank you...but it's a start.
n. A relative by marriage.
I was sharing a funny story today about the video below with a friend of mine and some of the details were about a drive from my house to my in-laws house...which is a pretty good distance.
Now, I know that when I say "in-law", we all get different pictures in our heads and we've all had quite a bit different experiences as well. There are jokes galore.
THEY ARE NOT MY IN-LAWS.
SO...I'm sitting here at midnight on a Tuesday evening watching the Oscars on Hulu Plus. Congratulations to Hulu for creating such urgency for me to sit here and watch the awards show in it's entirety simply because you said "only one day left for viewing".
Well, here I am blubbering and smiling for all the winners. I do this because for me, all awards shows bring such inspiration. I love these shows. Even the ones with terrible hosts, technical difficulties, and... when my favorites don't win.
I've been beaming for Adele. It's not because I think that her song Skyfall is the best song ever written. Nor is it because I think that she is the greatest singer. Although, I can say without a doubt that I really appreciate the gift of her voice. She is remarkable. What I saw tonight was a young woman who stepped out and took a chance to follow what her heart was leading her to do.
I gotta say...I, at different times tonight, went from elated to super pissy. I was so inspired to write and sing and compose that I got all excited and anxious. And then...it started to spiral.
I'm just going to throw this out there. I'm really frustrated that I haven't put any music out in a record or single or even freaking cassette tape. I'm frustrated that I feel like I'm waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I'm frustrated that I see so many of my musician friends recording all the time. HOW DO THEY DO THAT? How are they able to get the people together to learn the music, to go to the studio, to do their part. How come I can't seem to pull my shit together enough to make this thing happen. For crying out loud, I don't want to be a superstar. I just want to write songs and let other people sing them and become superstars. I'm angry.
Then it hit me.
People might crap all over what I have stressed over and poured over and cried over and shared from my guts. And then I tried crawling back in my shell. What the hell. I realize that this is just a stream of thought but follow me.
It's not about people not liking my music, my voice, or my songs. I already know that not everyone is going to like my stuff. Every time I try to write or sing, I hear the voice of a childhood friend tell me that I "shouldn't quit my day job". I know that even some my closest friends aren't going to like it. It's just the way things are and I'm really okay with that.
It's about where these things come from....my life, my experiences, my emotion. Raw and visceral. By sharing any part of yourself, whether it be acting, music, writing, painting, blogging, you name it ...when you choose to share this part of you, you lift a veil. You lift a veil that so perfectly encompasses your ugly, dark, beautiful, and bright self. You are no longer protected by what shields you. This scares the shit out of me. And I mean this in every sense of the phrase.
Vulnerability. Being vulnerable. What a tragically horrifying and beautiful thing.
So, Mr. Oscar, you are a statue of sweat, tears, triumph and vulnerability and if I ever get to place my hands on you, may it be because you have frozen my very self into your being.
This is what I was told after the accident that left my little sister burned on over 50% of her 22 month old body.
It was 1977 and I was a sassy almost four year old with a curiously sweet and shy little baby sister. We were living in a place that has survived only as pieces in my mind's eye. I don't remember much of my childhood at all. I don't remember much of anything unless it's a story that's been told over and over again OR if it was something that was documented in a photograph...but this, I have held onto this memory for 35 years.
The accident happened when Jammie and I were in a kitchen and trying desperately to find a way to some chocolate donuts on top of a counter. In the midst of our endeavor, a crockpot was knocked off the counter top. The contents poured down the left side of my sister's head and face, down her left arm, and completely covered her back. I have no recollection of this catastrophic event. All I know of this moment is what I was told. Little Jammie was whisked away and taken to Hillcrest Burn Unit. She wasn't expected to live and what happened to her from that point, we only know from medical records. I am certain that the quick response of our mother is what saved her life. Sometimes we think, that in moments like these, we'll remember all of our training, all of our senses, all of our "know how" and for some, it's true. Regardless of what choices were made in that moment, I will never know how my mom was able to do what she did. Through shock and panic, she saved Jammie that day.
I don't know what happened to me in the moments after the accident. I don't remember anything but the feeling of suffocation. All I do know is that after absorbing the words, "you killed your sister", my mind shut off. They tell me that I quit talking and walking. My mom, who never left the hospital (except for when the orderlies dragged her out so she could "get some rest") didn't know what was going on with me until my aunt told her. Once again, it was my mom that came to the rescue. She took me to a therapist who, at that point said that the only way I would recover is if I knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Jammie was in fact, alive. The ONLY memory I have of any of this tragedy is the moment that I saw Jammie's face. They brought her frail little body to the doors of the burn unit. It was a typical hospital double door with the long and thin rectangular windows. I remember seeing her face through one of those windows and at that moment, a nurse opened the door so that her tiny hand could pass through the opening. They let me touch her. It's been 35 years and I still can't recall that instant without tears.
Adults do weird things in times of panic and mayhem. Placing the blame and guilt on my shoulders was one of those things. I need to say that my parents never made me feel guilty or made me feel the blame of the accident. They never uttered the words used to title this post, but when someone did utter those words, it changed my life forever. I walked through our school years hearing the taunts and watching bullies pick on Jammie because of her scars...I also beat the crap out of some of them. I carried the shame and guilt of this accident for a very long time. Now that we're adults, it's so weird to look back on that time...on all of it. She's such a strong woman. I am learning to be.
It wasn't until Jammie and I attended the World Burn Congress, presented by the Phoenix Society of Burn Survivors that I was able to shake free from an accident that was never my fault. Our time there was very emotional...we were forced to take a look at a very hard time of our lives...parts that had holes, stories with pieces missing. She and I were able to put the together some shattered, broken parts of ourselves. I learned that Jammie had moved past the accident way before I ever thought possible. She taught me that I am a survivor too. That it was ok that I survived. She also reminded me that we were just babies and that neither of us could possibly be held accountable for the accident. I was able to take a look at 4 year old Angel that still hid deep down inside and tell her that everything will be ok. That everything IS ok. That it was an accident. A terrible accident.
So...a chunk of my life that I carry, but that I no longer have to carry so harshly.
I don't know why I share this story now...maybe it's because my own little one is coming upon the age that Jammie was when all of this happened. Even now, it's kind of hard to look at my daughter and see how little she is, knowing that Jammie had to brave such a travesty with that same tiny frame.
I am so proud of Jammie. I am proud of the woman she has become. She is a brilliant writer, a fascinating mother, a cherished part of my heart.
There’s a guy in Tulsa, Oklahoma who is one of our city’s nicest. His name is Jeremy Charles. I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Jeremy now that he’s nearly super famous and now that my band no longer exists but, he is still someone that I treasure. I spend a lot of my social media time creeping his photographs and catch myself grinning at the mere fact that one of the good guys are being treated so well in this universe. He’s one of those creatives that keep me on my toes to do better…to be better.
Yesterday, while getting caught up on my Twitter, I caught a picture taken by Jeremy at the recent KISS/Motley Crew concert at our beloved BOK Center. As are most of Jeremy’s photos, this was extraordinary. However, it wasn’t his photo that caused me to stare into empty space for the next 5 minutes, it was his words. On two separate occasions, he used words that changed my guts, or what my mom calls my “knower”. You know that place that exists in you where you “know that you know that you know that you know”? Yeah, that place lit up…like it was on fire.
I started thinking about the greatness of these words and I realized that if I want these words to be mine…if I want these words to ever be used to describe me then I had better start fitting inside their definitions. In this case, it was used for KISS and them being titans of rock and their empire of success.
To be known as a titan of anything or be equated to having anything remotely connected to the word empire…can you imagine that? My mind started racing…the kind of racing where I’m certain you could hear whistles and clacks of train tracks.
I think that I’ll start writing my eulogy and once I get it, it should be a piece of cake…right? Working backwards from the answer in math was a flawless technique...as long as you freaking understood math. Let’s pretend that I’ve got my mind wrapped around this universe and go from there.
What do I want for my life, my legacy, and how do I get it? It only makes sense to start conforming to the words I want people to use to describe me. Today is the day. However, it's not just "the day" for me...it is for you as well. And I'm curious...what are the words you want in your eulogy?
I've been battling every aspect of performance and stage fright like a motha... I decided to suck it up and put something out there. I had some free time at work today and decided to work on revising a song. Here it is in all it's raw glory. :)
The lyrics were written in 2009, I think and the song has been rolling around ever since.
Be expecting to hear this on the album...probably much different than you hear it here once the producer gets a hold of it. Thank you for taking a listen and hopefully soon, you'll being hearing the rest of the album in it's entirety before the end of the year.
Seriously, this is the third time that I have started typing a post...what was supposed to be the first post of my life. I feel like I've been flushing a toilet in a rickety twin engine airplane and this tiny hole (a vacuum, if you will) covered with an off-white cracked plastic flap opens and sucks the words right off my screen and into this waste that seems to disappear into thin, crappy, air. Nonetheless, I have done it. I have succumbed to this...the writing of a blog. I'm thinking about the fact that there aren't many folks out there who are interested in reading about the life and times of Angel Adams but I am aware that there are a few around who might be...and for you, I invite you into my heart and head for a journey that I hope we all can see ourselves a part of . And by the by, I'm not worried about grammar or spelling...well, I'm a little worried about spelling. But for the most part, the words typed in this small window will be spilling out in the form of my thoughts and not so much in the form of my Sr. High English paper as annotated by Mrs. James. So...suck it.
So...here we are. The road ahead seems like a long unchartered mess (and that's my "cup is half full" version) and the road behind is full of potholes that are full of mire and dung (also "half full"). BUT, don't let that mislead you into thinking that this is a wah-wah downer of a life story blog. It is the contrary. The fun part is that it's my life...my amazing and incredible "how did I get here" life. I have trials and triumphs and super tall hurdles that this shorty of a 5'4" frame finds hugely uninviting but as I type I also hope that you see my every moment is focused on making those hurdles my bitch.
Other than that...I merely take every day as the miracle it is, good and bad. And believe me, there's a lot of both. We're effin human for crying out loud. Most of the time, I'm just looking around trying to figure out how I got here. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, you gotta wonder sometimes. I'm certain that I had no super powers in my possession that could get me to where I am today. This is my equivalent of "it wasn't me". Take that as you will.