This photo was taken almost exactly 7 years ago, when I was 5 months pregnant, in my last semester of Berklee.
I had just finished playing my very first album release show with an amazing group of über talented musicians and singers, all of them having played on the album, making it extra special. I was definitely glowing in this picture, and it wasn’t just from the pregnancy hormones 🙂 I genuinely felt like I accomplished something important, and the possibilities ahead of me seemed limitless.
At the same time, I was starting to face the reality that, as a 23 year old pregnant woman, it would be a huge uphill battle to be taken seriously by my peers, professors, mentors and basically anyone from the music industry. I didn’t reach this conclusion on my own, but through a painful semester of strange looks and awkward conversations. There were several times where I had to hear in a classroom setting, “even having a boyfriend or girlfriend lessens your chances of getting a good gig out of college”. I think it was fair to be told this, and be given a dose of reality, but it obviously didn’t give me any confidence that my pursuits were in any way realistic due to the life choice I made.
It also made me feel truly and utterly alone.
There weren’t and STILL aren’t many examples of women who have children at a young age and LATER achieve success in their career. Which I suppose is why people no longer took me seriously… it’s easy to point to a defined path and say “if you take these steps you’ll get there” and it’s hard for the average person to believe in a path that is barely visible and needs to be created step by painful step.
So this picture is me moving forward on a path undefined. I’d like to think I was being brave, but really it was part bravery, part innocent naiveté … I had no idea what I was getting into 🙂 And I still don’t know! But that’s ok. Life isn’t just a series of forked roads… it’s a lot more complex and interesting then that.