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It all started after the flood.

About a month ago, I was on my way to Nashville to play a show downtown at Two Old Hippies.

I was about an hour outside of Nashville when I got the call—my apartment had flooded.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time that this had happened; there was a minor flooding issue about a month prior that didn’t really inflict much damage. But this time, the water was a different story.

I love being surrounded by music.

I had piles of papers, filled with lyrics, sheet music, and various charts from when I first picked up a guitar up until now, all sitting in the corner of my living room. Needless to say, I came home the next morning to piles of mushy papers—all of which I had to throw away.

Luckily, most of my gear had been traveling with me. However, a good portion of my stuff (clothes, furniture, etc.) wasn’t salvageable. It’s been almost a month, and I’m still uncovering the damage. Just a week ago, I opened up a cedar chest that I forgot was full of books, blankets, and trinkets only to find them soaked.

The week after the flood I had an entire weekend booked in Cleveland in the midst of scrambling to find a new place to live. I signed the lease to my apartment via e-mail during a fitting for my fiancé’s tux after my bridal shower. The previous night I had been in Cleveland playing a festival. The following day I moved into my new apartment in Noblesville, still trying to sort out the ratio of what I could recover and what was no longer.

In the process, I discovered a lot about myself.

I’m petty and sentimental.

I had written a collection of poems for my fiancé—once a day for an entire year—that I always placed on the floor next to my bed after finishing my daily poem. I couldn’t stop thinking about them on the drive back to Indiana, frantically wondering if my gift was gone forever.

After two hours of clean-up with no luck, I thought for sure they had already been thrown away. But then—I turned to my bookshelf and saw a little blue notebook sitting sideways on top shelf. I had somehow put the notebook on my shelf the night before leaving for Nashville.

I burst into tears (the ugly, frantic kind of crying) as I clutched the small miracle to my chest.

I crack jokes under pressure.

I said goodbye to each pair of my shoes as I threw them away, whisking them jokingly into a trash can.

I also crack under pressure.

Many people find new strength and insight under dire circumstances. I cannot attest to any strength or wisdom whatsoever—I’m a baby when it comes to stress. I am so incredibly thankful for the friends and family around me who not only dealt with me kindly and patiently, but also took the majority of the stress away from me.

I also really, really hate interruptions.

You know the best part of that song, the one which you always receive the worst of calls at the worst of times during?

Or when you finally start your favorite book, only to find that you have 100 e-mails to finish?

Interruptions are painful.

The leave you with a gap of unwanted time to deal with the matter at hand, and push back the remainder of what’s actually going on in your life.

They force you to put aside what you want to do, and prioritize what you have to do.

This has been, by far, the busiest season of my life.

I question my decisions every day, but I have found out one thing—

I’m restless and stubborn. One major setback is only major if you allow it to be.

I love the fight, the challenge, and the sweet smell of revenge on your shortcomings.

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