A Letter To Ingrid Michaelson

June 3rd, 2014, House of Blues. Boston.


Tonight was special, there was no denying that—the last night of your six-and-a-half-week tour. I feel lucky that I was able to spend this night with you, your band, and one of my closest friends. A different energy buzzed in the House of Blues tonight, the sense of finality teased us all. You explained that you don’t like when things end, and man, do I agree. I’ve said it before, “Death I have come to expect. But endings, I cannot.”

It was the second time I’ve seen you perform. The first time was a smaller acoustic show at the University of Rhode Island. I had recently broken up with my long-term boyfriend and everyone expected me to cry, and praised me as “the strongest person they know” when I didn’t. No particular album was highlighted, and you talked to us a lot. I always liked that about you, Ingrid. The way you can tell a story to a room full of strangers, like we’re old friends catching up over coffee. I feel connected to you, on or off the stage.

I’ve been struggling with body image lately, torn somewhere between not caring, and caring entirely too much. It can eat away at your confidence, ironic word choice only slightly intended. Tonight, you had on a simple dress that moved with your music. It felt so perfectly you. I never feel like you’re trying too hard, or trying to be something you don’t feel comfortable being. I have unlimited amount of respect for that. I’m close, really close to feeling that way myself. And seeing you live tonight was an incredible inspiration—not to be more like you, but to be more like myself.

At the end of the concert tonight, the entire band and crew did this synchronized, choreographed dance to a rap song. It was so CUTE AND SPECIAL. I felt like you offered up this crazy part of your little family and I felt honored to have experienced this particular show, like we went through something together. And there’s just something about the way you move. Those little leg pops, and the way you reach out towards the audience while you sing, the intimate moments you create with your band mates—contradicting to what I said above, I simultaneously want to be you, and be your friend.

What I’m trying to say is I admire you, and see a lot of myself in you. I want to be skilled in my craft, and I want to share my art with other people. You’re a singer/songwriter, and I like to create on the page by stringing words together, sometimes carefully and one by one, and sometimes lackadaisically reckless. You said during the concert that you were always a little weird and different than everyone else, and you can get defensive about it. It’s just like, I feel weird and different than everyone else, too.

Some of your songs are sad, and you own up to it. I like that. Even though some of your songs may sound happy, if you listen to the lyrics, you’re singing about very complicated and very human struggles. You sing about people that hurt you, and people that if you had a time machine, you’d make it so you’d never have met them in the first place. Are those people you’re singing about out there? Do they realize these songs are about them? I’ve always wondered if songwriters get confronted by people in their past, people that are pissed they’ve been turned into lyrics and prose to serve a higher purpose. While listening to you sing tonight, I came to an important realization. It’s OK to talk about pain and hurting, because even if you’re over it, someone out there may not be, and they deserve to know they are not alone.

I’ve gotten myself into some serious shit writing about my past experiences. But songwriters do it all the time, and we relate to them all the time. People tell me through comments on my blog posts that I’ve helped them, or they agree with me, or they’ve been in the same place, too. I’ve made a difference, and shaped someone’s thoughts, even if it was just for the five minutes it took them to read my work. I’ve been used, I’ve used people. I’ve been hurt, and I hurt people. Let’s stop pretending this isn’t human nature and f*cking talk about it.

So thank you, Ingrid Michaelson. Thank you for sharing tonight with the city of Boston. Thank you for making this particular show special and unique, I feel blessed to have been a part of it. Thank you for encouraging our voices to join with yours. Thank you for sharing your music, your soul, and your essence with your fans.

And shout out to Allie Moss, whose songs “Passerby” and “Corner” got me through my toughest year of college.

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