Well kids, I’m officially old. A quarter of a century, to be exact. That’s right. On the 18th I turned 25. I spent the week and half or so celebrating this momentous occasion, from seeing both Grace Potter and The Raconteurs at the Ryman to singing karaoke while eating a cookie cake with my senior picture self in the middle. The only thing that could have made all the happy birthdaying any more epic would have been if Jack himself had sang to me from the Ryman stage, and let’s be honest, we’re not there yet, kids.
Turning 25 makes me think back to when I turned 16. I wore seersucker and I distinctly remember telling my best girlfriend at the post-party sleepover that I couldn’t wait to turn 25 because that’s when you become established. Who knows what episode of “Saved by the Bell” I got that from, but I was convinced of the inevitable transformation that would occur on this particular year. Truth: I am not at all the girl I was at 16. I’ve grown taller and hopefully smarter, been on my own, loved and lost people I will always adore, and had my fair share of mini-breakdowns and moments of pure happiness. Now here I am at 25. I’m somehow allowed to (attempt to) shape young minds every day, and while yes, sometimes I want to yell mean things and run away from the creatures called 8th graders, I am thankful for the opportunity and welcome the challenge. I have solid friends who keep life oh so interesting, and no, I do not need the anti-aging cream just yet. Oh, and I can now rent a car. I’m pretty neutral on my level of excitement on that one, but hey, it is a perk that comes with this age.
So here’s to being 25. Turn up the music and roll the windows down.
Earlier this week I had the good fortune of seeing Ms. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals at the Ryman and I officially adore her. How can you not? She has awesomely blonde hair with the Alison Mosshart bangs, legs that go on for days paired with the highest stilettos, and perfectly short dresses that I would gladly welcome into my wardrobe. To complete her bad A package she has a killer voice AND the ability to play just about any instrument, electric Fender included, and still belt the big notes without so much as breaking a sweat. Oh, and she has her very own band of Nocturnals to play with her on the daily. Ooh la la, indeed.
For her first stint headlining the Ryman, GP played an UH-MAZING set, complete with my favorite not-so-love song off her first album, “Apologies,” and everyone’s new favorites, “Medicine” and “Paris.” She moved across that stage, dancing and shaking in massive heels, and we all fell in love with her rocker stage presence that is rarely found at such a level in female performers. All of this, and at THE RYMAN. I was a very happy girl.
If I die young, I hope to come back as Grace Potter.
Fact: I have started writing 4 or 5 different “books” in the past 4 or 5 years. I’ll get this idea in my head for an excellent piece of (at the least) chick lit, I’ll write and write, and then the inevitable happens….I get too caught up in juggling real life and end up with a couple questionable chapters of an undeveloped story. These half finished works of mine are, embarrassingly enough, mostly about a girl falling in love and living happily ever after with the prince charming of her choosing, and I cannot believe I am admitting that I, too, more than once, fell trap to the fluff. However, I don’t want to write clichés any longer. After all, it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, right? We aren’t always supremely happy, we don’t always have the best relationship with our parents and not all stories end with the protagonist lucky in love and making bank.
I just finished reading “Provinces of Night” by William Gay, a Southern Gothic writer who lives in Hohenwald and actually signed the copy that I was so graciously leant. His style is uncanny, writing such dialogue that you honestly feel as if you’re somehow in the book, witnessing it all right next to Boyd and Raven Lee. He writes the nitty gritty, and I can’t help but crave to emulate that somehow in a piece of my own. Sure, it’s a far cry from the pseudo romantic comedies I’ve starting writing before, but I feel like this is the time for me to actually write about real life and real relationships. Everyday is not a fairytale, and not every story ends so nicely. That’s what I love about both “Provinces” and my personal favorite, “The Long Home” – all loose ends are not tied up at the conclusion of the story, and everyone does not necessarily live happily ever after. All these black-and-white-I’ll-die-for-you-after-knowing-you-for-a-week stories can’t hold a candle to the gray, er muddy, areas that W paints in his stories that have so enthralled me this summer.
Ladies, and perhaps gentlemen, put down whatever fluff your pretending to mindlessly enjoy and pick up something with a little more grit. I strongly suggest the aforementioned as well as “Fay” by Larry Brown, a story of a less than leading lady so intriguing and perfectly told that I solemnly swore to never ever read the fluff again.
This might possibly be my favorite month. I love summer, I do, more than most anything, but if the seasons must change then I will welcome September with open arms. Sure, I am not a fan of saying so long sweet summer, but this beginning month of fall ushers in many happies…
Exhibit A: College football is back, which means hello again to SEC haircuts, game day festivities and Sportscenter being a constant on your tv. Now I understand some girls tend to dread football season and all that it entails, i.e. a lack of attention from generally all males during games. However, I happen to love SEC football and all that it entails, especially when it involves good people and good beer. After all, I am a Southern girl.
Exhibit B: My birthday falls on the 18th, and while I am always excited when there is a reason for a nice little get together, I am even more excited this go around because I am turning the Big 2-5. That’s right, kids, a quarter of a century. Oh the days when I thought 25 was when one became established, er, old…
Exhibit C: Jack White, in the form of The Raconteurs, at the Ryman on the 15th. Seeing Jack live at the Ryman might be the greatest thing, ever.
So here’s to school supplies, cooler weather, football, birthdays, road trips, boots, the Ryman and everything in between. September, please be sweet.