I feel most alive when I sing and play music. As far back as I can remember, music stirred within me. I grew up in a musical family but was never pushed to play myself. My older sisters had the music lessons, but I was much more of the tomboy outside in the dirt. But when no one was around, I would turn on my favorites, Over the Rhine, Sarah McLachlan, and U2 and belt out the songs at the top of my lungs. I would sit at the piano and tinker with the keys matching the sounds that I heard from "Winter" and "Baker Baker" by Tori Amos. My love for music grew, but it grew silently. I shuttered at the thought of playing and singing in front of anyone for the fear of failure. But the more that music became a part of me, the more I desired to let it out. Songwriting became my voice, where my truest thoughts and emotions could be heard. It was liberating to hear my thoughts in song and I knew this was what I had been longing to do all along. Writing challenges and stretches me, and it keeps me honest. I have a hard time writing a song that isn't true to my life. I dip into ruts, but I'm learning that in those times, I'm just collecting more stories to turn into song.