Why I’m here


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this whole Nashville thing.

I’ve been here for 7 weeks now, and they have been challenging, hard weeks. The questioning and stress that happens during transition is unsettling, and in no way have I been immune from this rough passage. I have wondered if I made the right decision in moving here, or if I have anything to offer musically. And even then, I wonder if I even want to be a part of the music that’s happening here?

Nashville is weird – I knew this before I moved here. Everyone is a musician, and it seems like you’re either “in” or “trying to get in,” which essentially translates to “cool” or “trying to be cool.” There’s a whole lot of name dropping going on, and a ridiculous amount of schmoozing. And largely, the people who succeed in this business are the people with a hot image and a tone tweaker. That’s not what I want.

I have been sorting through a lot of this stuff on my own. I do not need people like Mr. West Virginia WTF, who I met yesterday, to shove this information down my throat.

It was clear that this was a man who had desperately wanted to be a part of the music business at one point, but had been burned by the system, and had never “made it” in the way that he wanted to. His reaction: hate Nashville, despise the music business, and take it upon himself to discourage every young person who moves to town for music. And I’m sorry, but that just rubs me the wrong way.

I am fully aware of so much that is disturbing and cheap about what happens on Music Row, which is why it’s a good thing that I’m not trying to be the next American Idol or Nashville Star. I simply love music, and especially a specific brand of country music – the singer/songwriter stuff along the lines of Lori McKenna, Matraca Berg, Gretchen Peters, and Patty Griffin. I am here because I want to learn.

And I believe in the beauty of having dreams, and pursuing them regardless of money or convenience or assurance.

Even if nothing “happens.”

Following through on something that you believe in is always worth it, always.

I don’t know how long I’ll live here, and I don’t have any illusions that I am going to have a career making music. I just want to be involved with the music that I love in any way that I can, even if it’s just as a listener. I am clinging to the hope and joy that has miraculously been instilled in my heart, and continue to press on through all of the negative, dissenting voices.



  1. bec on February 21, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    this is pretty similar to how i feel about training right now. it’s not like any opportunity in the field is just handed to you, and you almost have to pursue it just because you love it, not because there are any guarantees or monetary payoffs.

    i might even just train as a volunteer at a humane society, just for the experience. but when it’s your calling in life, you know god will never waste anything you do.

  2. Christina on February 21, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    That is exactly how L.A. is, except for people who are “in” or “trying to be in” the TV/film industries. I found it monstrously nauseating when I lived there. Everyone was constantly trying to out-cool everyone else with who they knew or what club they’d been at. Blech.

    You are above the fray. Above the fray, where the beautiful, real music plays.

    Becca: if you lived in Boston you’d definitely have a client in one very naughty Puggle puppy.

  3. RJTrue on February 21, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    I’m doing the same thing (except I’m nowhere near cool yet!)… in the same place.

    I feel the same way.
    Love your attitude towards just about everything I’ve seen so far!

  4. luke on February 21, 2008 at 4:38 PM

    always? you think so? i need to think about that one a lot–for me i mean. where does following through stop though…

  5. luke on February 21, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    oh shoot. and i forgot–you just load a picture in editing your blog title. it’s a pain to get it to fit right, and i messed with mine forever and it still is missing the sun on the right edge. drat. but it still looks alright. does that make sense?

  6. bec on February 21, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    christina – i wish i could come over and play with little dog flutie! (hope i spelled that right). let me know if i can do anything for you from afar :)

  7. *DC* on February 21, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    Hey –
    This is a little weird for me, I’ve never commented on anyone’s blog before who I don’t actually know… but I love what you have to say. All of it. And I feel the same way about many things, or at least remember feeling that way not so long ago.

    Anyway, I found your blog off my (former)roommate Juliette’s… I’ve been haunting your blog and finally felt the need to introduce myself.

    Anyway, I’m Dani. Pleased to meet you and read your thoughts. The published ones, anyways. :)

  8. Dad on February 21, 2008 at 6:42 PM

    God, how I love you, Annie. Just for the love of music, you’re where you are. I wish I knew more people like you. Heck, I wish I were more like you.


  9. MarijkeJane on February 21, 2008 at 8:46 PM

    beautiful. just what I suspected and what keeps me away. but also, just what is slowly drawing me there. I hope someday we meet in Nashville and play music. even if nobody is listening.

  10. Kelli on February 21, 2008 at 10:40 PM


    Hi, It has been a super long time since we have spoken. High school, I think, but this is Kelli Hebein (you may have to get your yearbook out). I ran into your blog when I was on Jennie Sigafus’s blog. Anyway, I totally admire you for packing up and following your dream. I think that is awesome! Plus, I really enjoy your blog. I hope you don’t mind that I check it out every once in awhile.

  11. Sarah Kate on February 21, 2008 at 10:59 PM

    I know it’s been extremely hard here these past (almost) 2 months but I, too am so glad you did it. Just think if you hadn’t! You’d always wonder.
    Plus, there will always be fantastic music to see here and you always have a friend to have coffee/tea with :).
    So glad we got to chat today.

  12. krista lee on February 22, 2008 at 11:38 AM

    Hi Annie,
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog from time to time. My dad attends Colonial and passed your blog on to me.

    If I could re-do my life, I would move to Nashville. I too wanted to have a career in music. But I don’t have the talent you have. I would encourage you to keep trying. Faith Hill got a job as a receptionist at a record company…maybe something like that would be a good idea. (I’m sure you’ve thought of that idea, and know exactly where Faith Hill worked, but I just wanted to remind you). Don’t give up on your dreams!

    However, with that said I also know you have just started a new and exciting relationship. Something I have learned in my 40+ years is that nothing is more valuable than relationships. God created us to want and need relationships. So, although I encourage you to stay in Nashville and pursue your dreams. I also encourage you to know what is of lasting value. I wish you all the best!

  13. Greta on February 22, 2008 at 6:32 PM

    Love you friend. And believe in you wholeheartedly, whether “you” is Faith Hill, or an appreciative face in the crowd. You are amazing either way!

  14. stephanie on February 23, 2008 at 1:45 AM

    annie, i just want you to know: you are a total inspiration. i’ve been going through your blog’s archives, and i’m blown away by how beautiful and talented you are, not to mention how much i love your fun, honest writing. i feel like i’ve found a kindred spirit, even though i’m a college student in new england with a totally different background from you…there are some fun similarities–i love red and anthropologie dresses, have a million different dream jobs/lives, am infp [so you are a tad bit superior there], have the same feelings towards nature as you, although i haven’t quite gotten over my issues as nicely as you have…even little things felt like deja vu, like dreaming about meeting point of grace in junior high. i even have an older brother named jeremy.

    so, not to be creepy, but i think you’re awesome. no matter what. i hope you have the best possible experience in nashville. and i thank you for how you’ve encouraged this stranger wandering through your world. :)

  15. ashley & jeremy parsons on February 23, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    I love you lots.
    and I just blogged you!!!

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