Obstacles, hardships, and growth...

With the beginning of 2015, I find myself reflecting on the events of my life up to now. I've had some wonderful moments but I've also gone through a great deal of difficult situations in my life. And in processing the difficulties, I've come to some realizations. To be clear, here's a readers' digest rundown of some of the challenges I've faced.

My parents divorced when I was 11. I was an only child, very close to my parents, and we moved around a lot so it was like my world exploded. My safe bubble was gone. I've struggled in relationships my whole life having some devastating breakups. In the last several years I've endured a "manager" who turned out to be a charlatan con man who reeked havoc with my career and finances and then terrorized me and my career. I was caught up in the middle of a legal battle, on behalf of a deceased relative, that terrorized me, dominated my life and peace of mind for 5 years.  I've struggled to find my right place, right voice, in my career and career choices. For so many years I've been exhaustingly buried in "busy" with other people's demands of my time and directions of me musically, which helped to pay the bills, but none of which yielded results to get me closer to my dreams or my goals for my life. Four years ago,  I suffered the sudden and devastating unexpected death of my mother when we had many unfinished things to resolve. I've worked in a band, that for me was somewhat toxic, that inch by inch hijacked much of my free time and psychic space which in turn delayed my ability to accomplish my own goals. And I've seen my partner through a 2 year plus long health crisis.

Many of these dramatic and traumatic things overlapped so I was juggling several at a time. When I sit and look back on it now, it feels like I've been "surviving" trauma and drama for years. Perpetually distracted from my goals and life missions by what felt like violent life blows,  paralyzing difficulties and overwhelming circumstances. It's been my normal. Waking up every day trying to get through this "current trauma" in my life. Feeling that my life had been hijacked constantly by outside forces. And, therefore, constantly swirling in a mix of anger, victimization, complaining and crushing depression. And, of course, escape. Which, for me, lives in a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

In this emotional and psychological mess, where is the room for art, for my voice, for my psychic space to have the wide open space to really create and thrive? Did I attract the drama and trauma to keep me from doing the hard work on my art? ...maybe... I've always been jealous of the people who could turn these life pains and struggles into art. I've tried. My new album has some of it but I've never been able consistently use songwriting or writing as healing. Songwriting just felt like I was wallowing in more pain or bathing in an angry rant so I avoided it.

But what I feel right now, in this moment, is that I'm turning a corner. As 2015 begins, I'm clear. Clearer than I've ever been that my life is my OWN. It's mine to govern. And I've never been so comfortable saying "No" to requests and demands on my time. And I won't join a situation unless it is aligned with my truth and I can honestly put my full AGENCY behind it. And I now work to not let challenging external circumstances and situations YANK me to and fro. To not let them have the power to hijack my life, my psychic space and my peace of mind. And I try to stay mindful to not give more energy to and be more aware of the psychic vampires and controllers who seem to want to claim ownership of, stake out real-estate of,  or claim rights to my essence. No more. And I won't let the bullies terrorize me anymore. Oh how I've quivered under the bullies, the controllers, the manipulators, and the emotional blackmailers. I will speak my truth, stand up for myself, and stay clear about boundaries. I'm clear. And as I get clear, as I take my power back in my life, the anger, depression and feeling of victimization falls away.

But the biggest realization, that I feel very clearly now, is that life handed me all of these things to help me become the woman I've always wanted to be. Powerful, courageous, self -expressed, self-directed, authentic, truthful, and excited and enthused about my life. They pushed me to find those things in myself. This is my spiritual journey. With each obstacle, I have the opportunity to lean into the edges and earn another warrior-ess stripe. Each difficultly and challenge is another step on the ladder to evolving. You can't have one without the other. The challenges are the KEY to the growth.

And to my mother:
I miss you terribly, every day. So many things I wish I could say to you and so many things I want to share with you. But wherever you are, I hope you're proud of me because, today, I am grateful for each struggle, difficulty, and challenge. Even grateful for the bullies and vampires because my experiences with them and all of it have brought me here. And I am going to keep pushing, growing and striving and never give up...to be the woman you always knew I was. Thank you.


  1. and, personally, I feel that even when your lyrics are not directly dealing with this kind of ideas, it is your voice and your way of being which does convey the deeper meaning. The whole process of finding ones own center, authentic being.

    I find your writing very inspiring - and I wish you all the best! Patiently waiting for the new record, but may it take as long as it takes =)

  2. Hi Anna.
    I heard your music for the first time today, I am now a big fan.
    I am sorry to hear about the difficulties you have faced. Unfortunately it seems to be the case that the truly talented amongst us have demons to face, and it's very brave of you to open up like this.

    I hope you are in a better place today, you are an inspiration and an amazing performer, I hope to catch one of your shows next time I visit the US. X

  3. sounds like the levee broke, many blessings for 2018,

    one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

  4. Hi Anna, my wife and I had tickets to Zepprella in Indianapolis but had to cancel. We’re from Mpls and couldn’t find a room, it was the same weekend as the Indy 500.�� I emailed you prior about how much I really could relate to much of your “Soul Truth” album. Still listen to it often on my way to work (it’s a hour commute).
    I really can relate to many of the songs, especially “back on track”. I was married to a woman with Borderline Personality DIssorder for 24 years. Lost who I was. Stayed too long due to spiritual convictions “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church” now I know that there are boundaries and limitations. So glad to be “back on track” and “seeing with new eyes”. My current wife I love as Christ loved the church and she loves me back the same, it’s a two way street, a partnership.
    So empathetic about your situation with the manager who was probably some mix of narcisstic/borderline shit. And the other stuff piled on top. So sorry about your mom. Sometimes when it rains, it pours. I believe with hardship you can become bitter or better. It’s made me better and I see the same in you. Thank you so much for expressing our experiences in your music.
    Joe Durushia


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