Nashville

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Closing in

Monday, December 14th, 2009

We are down to single digits: I am moving in 9 days.

And yes, I have Christmas parties 6 of the next 9 nights.  I might run out of outfits.

That said, posting may be light until after I get to Colorado.  I don’t want to miss out on a single moment of Nashville until I have to.  The thought of leaving these friends of mine – the ones I just tried to list by name and then had to stop because it would have been too long to read – keeps me awake at night.

I want to love on these people who have loved me for two years.  I want to write them each letters and tell them exactly why I appreciate them, exactly why I am going to miss them so much my heart might dissolve.  I want to sit face to face with them, and hear their voices.  I want to hug them while I can still touch them.  I want to take pictures with them, to capture this sliver of time that is flying by much too quickly.  I want to let them know that I believe in them, that I want good things for them – that, quite simply, I adore them.

Nashville, get ready for some lovin’.

Nashville

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Some of my best moments have been in this town.  But also, some of my hardest.

Isn’t that the way it goes?  The joy and pain are always intermingled.  It’s impossible to separate them – the laughter and the tears – because life cannot be compartmentalized like a preschooler’s cubby wall.  There is always something difficult to deal with – and there is always something to be thankful for.

It occurred to me the other night – Nashville did not fix me.  I didn’t realize that I had the expectation that it would – not until my mom got cancer and all of a sudden I am leaving this town as big a tangled mess as I have ever been.  Nashville did not heal those wounded places deep inside me, didn’t fulfill those dreams and unidentified desires that I’ve always had, didn’t make me cooler or smarter or prettier or more at peace.

I cried to my dad a couple of nights ago, telling him that as I prepare to leave, I feel an unexpected sense of disappointment.  It surprised me.  I didn’t know I felt disappointed – but I do.  I definitely do.  Nashville didn’t fix me; in fact, in some ways, it ripped those wounds open even wider.

I’ll be honest: I am a wreck these days – a bona fide disaster.  If you don’t think so, that’s because you don’t know me – or because I’m a seriously good faker.

But the people that do know?  They make up the biggest part of why I will always and forever be grateful for my time spent in Nashville.  They have not fixed me – but they have put an arm around me.  The “fingerprints of God,” my dad called them.

We are all weak.  But it’s better to know that we are.

What’s next

Friday, November 20th, 2009

I struggle with the question, “What am I doing with my life?”  I always have.  And with each passing day, week, year, I am no closer to finding the answer – I am learning to just take one day at a time.

However, even though I might not know what I am doing with my LIFE, I think that I will always know when it’s time to do what’s NEXT.  And once again, I’ve reached that pivotal point.  The doors have flung wide open in an undeniable way, and I am choosing to walk through them.

I am Denver-bound.

It turns out that my mom’s cancer is more serious than originally thought – and I need and want to be there throughout her treatment (another surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation).  The worst feeling in the world was getting that dreaded phone call, and being 1200 miles away.  I cannot rest in that reality.  My mom is my “person,” and I need to be close.

I am in the incredibly fortunate position to work for a company that does not see their employees as a commodity, but as humans with real lives – leading the “powers that be” to be gracious and supportive in the midst of crises.  Emma has a small Colorado office, and is willing to let me work from Denver on an open-ended basis.  I am heading west around Christmastime.

I am not calling it “moving.”  I am leaving my stuff in storage here in Nashville, and “temporarily relocating for the indefinite future.”  I don’t know what will happen, or where this will lead – it’s impossible to know what the coming months will bring.  But I just know that it feels too early – too sudden – to close the door on my Nashlife.  That may or may not wind up being relevant.  But it’s how I feel right now.

I am hoping to rent a room in Denver, or house-hop for a bit – giving me a place to sleep during the week, and leaving me free to spend my weekends in Colorado Springs with my parents.  So if you happen to live in Denver and know of any options, please let me know – because I don’t want to live under a bridge.

Obviously, there are still details to work out.  But I do know that this is “what’s next.”  Until then, you will find me crying most days, snuggling with Julie and Mel most nights, praying for my mom, and hoping that God knows what he’s doing.

Josh and Meg have a new duo name

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

troubledannie

Awwww, yeah!  How’s about that – Troubled Annie, for the wind!

Listen to some of their new stuff here.  “Be Mine” is so catchy, it’s practically SARS.

Announcing…

Friday, October 30th, 2009

I moved to Nashville because I am a songwriter.  But truth be told, at the time that I moved, I could count the number of songs I had actually written on one hand.  More “brooding” than “brilliant,” I was never one of those children who composed music at age 6.  The decision to write was just that: a decision… that I made when I was 23.

Then I moved to Nashville, the songwriting Mecca of America.  I had nothing to go on except a hunch that words and music and expression made up a very important sliver of my heart, and that I had a passion and desire to get better at piecing them together.

In the last two years, I’ve been learning a tiny bit of what it means to write.  It’s been scary – to admit to myself that I might have something worth sharing, and to open myself up to the possibility of looking like a total loser.  I have felt both in equal measure – because nothing says I’M ANNIE PARSONS! like emotional highs and lows.

But here I am – a completed EP in hand.  Words and music by… me.  Songs that, I believe, stand on their own – and brought to life by my dear friend and producer Joshua Stevens.  They’re a small offering, but they’re mine – and I can’t wait for you to hear them.

Check back on Monday to order your copy of my EP, “Wish That I Was”!

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Part of me

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

As I drove back to the JAM House last night, cruising over the wet pavement and giving no thought to the “how” of how to get home because I’ve driven the route so many times, I was thinking about the fact that it’s been over two years since I left Seattle.  It’s been almost two years that I’ve lived here in Nashville.  And it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to call any city “home.”

But for as much displacement as I’ve felt, and for as much transition as I’ve experienced, it occurred to me: Nashville used to exist in my mind as “something I am doing.”

All of a sudden, it feels more like “who I am.”

It is part of the fiber of who I am.  No matter how long I stay, no matter where I go from here, Nashville is in my veins for good.

It may not be home.  It may not be comfortable.  It may not be forever.  But it’s mine.

Two years

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I left Seattle two years ago today.

Last year, I wrote a big dramatic soliloquy about my feelings.

This year, I honestly don’t know what to say.

I feel flummoxed.

But wherever you go, there you are.

Whatever that means.

Thoughts for a Thursday

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Let me just get it out: I feel like a terrible blogger these days.

Okay, now I feel better.

– – – – – – – –

Saturday is the 6th annual Tomato Art Fest in East Nashville.  This is of note for 3 reasons:

1)    Sound the trumpets: I am making my triumphant return to running, as I’ve registered for the 5K in the early morning.  Nashville Miranda and I plan to run together and catch up about life – and if that means running 15-minute miles, so be it.
2)    I’ll be singing backup for the beautiful, the talented, the VOICE – Wendy Jans, at 12:45pm on the main stage.  It’s supposed to be 96 degrees out.  So much for glamour, and/or happiness in general.  But seriously – come hear this woman!
3)    At 3pm, Seth will be entering the Red Head Contest.  For those of you who have had the honor of beholding Seth’s gorgeous (and all natural) locks, you know that he is going to win that ribbon.  He will hold the title of “Tomato Red” soon enough.

Also, I just love tomatoes.  They’re so fat and wonderful.

– – – – – – – –

I wish we said the same thing about humans, because I have some amazing birthday cheeses in my fridge.

– – – – – – – –

“Amnesty” is just another word for “grace,” and I think that deep down, that’s why we are so moved over the story of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.  It makes me cry to think about them being pardoned and allowed to return home – mostly because it reminds me of the undeserved kindness and generosity I have been shown in my own life.

Sometimes, I feel just like those girls.

Fighting the summer wilt

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

One month from now is now one week from now.

Oh, Pacific Northwest.  Save me from today’s forecast.

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I thought that maybe – maybe – my second Nashville summer might feel a bit more manageable than my first.  But to be frank, it’s hellacious.  I feel angry all the time.

I DO enjoy the fireflies, though.  They don’t get old.

I’m REALLY loving white wine this year, for the first time ever.

And… well, unless you can give me more, those are the only reasons I can think of to look on the bright side of the summer.

Bluebirdie

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Behold, the return of the deadbeat blogger!

I mean, seriously.  It’s embarrassing.  I have been like an unfit mother – one who leaves her kids in the car while she hits up the Safeway for PBR and tampons.  I have abandoned this blog in the parking lot for far too many days – and in the meantime, not written a single word of ANYTHING.

But really, can you blame me?  I was busy fulfilling MY LIFE DREAM.

If you’ve been reading this site for longer than two minutes, you’ll know that I’m a songwriter, and that the jewel of my heart (um, yes, I just called it “the jewel of my heart” – so?) is the Bluebird Café.  Back in October, when I was invited to play there (can we all just squeal one more time?), June 21 felt so far away.  But before I knew it, my parents were flying in, Greta was surprising me on my doorstep the day before (listen – can you hear me scream?), I was trying on 96 different outfits, and then, all of a sudden, staring out at the lights.

This is what it looks like when dreams come true.  (Thanks to Deb for the picture!)

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And this is what it sounds like.  (Thanks to AnnieBlogs for recording!)

And here are best friends.

greta

And here are just a few of the most wonderful cheerleaders.

friends

And here are amazing parents.

parents

And here is a man with a mullet in a SweetTarts shirt.

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Because this is Hootenannie.com – where the blogs end strong.