Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Wrong End Of The Telescope

A new girl friend complimented my denim shirt. I'm so used to being around guys, her comment on fashion caught me off guard. Thankfully, I didn't reply with my gut response, "Ugh, this thing is in need of some serious ironing! And look at all these loose threads just hanging everywhere like jungle branches."

I simply said, "Thank you," and smiled.

Why do I have such a difficult time accepting compliments? On a related note, why do we tend to focus on the negative events of our pasts instead of being appreciative of all of our successes, big and small?

In the comments for the previous post, Spider said:

"Do you guys from M&D actually know how great you were and are?! Maybe not in the moment, but retrospectively? From a musician's musician... I am still amazed every time I have a listen!"

Thanks Spider! 

That comment made me think. After my band broke up and we were dropped from our label, for awhile, it was too easy to focus on the negative aspects of those experiences, magnifying the bad parts and squeezing the good parts almost out of existence, kind of like looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

Dia told me to listen to one of our old records. I listened to "Here, Here, and Here" front to back. It's been almost 4 years since I've group texted my old band, but I texted them all after listening to our record:

"Good job".

I agree with Spider, stop to realize how GREAT you are. Do I sound corny yet? I don't care. We focus on all the teensy, tiny mistakes (o.k. we all probably have made mistakes that are a little larger than teensy, tiny.)

Negative truths: 
  • Our band broke up. 
  • We spend less time together. (Except, I still spend a lot of time with Nick because he's my boyfriend, and Dia because she's my sister. Duh!) 
  • We stopped touring. (Obviously. No more galavanting across the country without a care in the world.)
Positive Truths:
  • From my experiences with the band, I learned how to sleep comfortably in small spaces, function on less than 3 hours of sleep, and drink three shots of whiskey and sing perfectly on tune for an entire set. (All valuable life skills, the last one I can no longer manage in my old age.) 
  • I traveled all over the world with my best friends, while most teenagers stayed cooped up listening to lectures from their economics professors. (I actually enjoy doing this. Nerd alert!) 
  • I met new friends all over the country. (Even experienced a couple young loves along the way. Hey, it gets lonely on the road!)
  • I recorded albums I am proud of with incredible producers who taught me that even little old me has something to teach these seasoned pros. (I've been known to be a garage band wizard. So much for humbleness. Ha!)
  • We basically vacationed for months at a time in beautiful, remote locations along the Oregon coast and in the mountains of Park City, Utah, making music, drinking coffee, and appreciating nature.
  • I use my experiences to record new music in the comfort of my own home in our own studio. It's cheaper and there is a lot less pressure. 
  • I can be a homebody and focus on new loves like yoga and nutrition. 
  • I spend as much time as I want out in the sun with a nose in my book and an icy beverage in my hand.
  • I have grown some roots which means close friendships and familiar faces in all of my local haunts.

Bottom line: We did some cool ass shit, and life is only getting better!

Life is a continuum. The point is to learn from the past, don't dwell on it, appreciate it, and keep doing amazing things. 

I don't know all of you personsonally or all of your accomplishments, but I want to tell you right now.
"Good job".

Accept compliments, realize accomplishments often.



  1. Honestly, I have a hard time accepting that M&D is no longer jammin, but knowing that you still all love each other makes me so happy. I dreamed last night that I saw y'all in concert again, and it was a beautiful dream. Meg and Dia means so much to me and really helped me through the sucky years of early teenagehood, which, in my experience, is the worst (But then again, I'm 17, so I don't have much experience). I met some of my best online friends through your message board (Alyce! Adiba!), and I just wanted to let you know how much you mean to me.

  2. Hi Meg,

    You know. I've actually grown up listening to your music ever since I was 12 years old. I'm 21 now. And, safe to say, you were the ones who helped me find and inspire my own passions for music and writing. I never knew randomly picking up the guitar from my brother one day would soon turn into a mad dash to want to learn everything about it--only to soon realize that it's something that connected with me in a much deeper way. I never knew my little blog entries would soon turn into experiences and events that my friends would read and take something from.

    I dare say that you were the ones who helped me realize these passions inside of me. To the point where I find myself today publishing tons of posts, sharing stories (either my own or others'), actively interviewing individuals and bands, and producing my own shows (the heck?!). You were the ones who let me feel okay with me being me. (In all honesty, I never had any friends or peers who just seemed to "get me" as well as you all seemed to do... even though you all probably don't even know who I am.)

    I read your other post about focusing on your own story, and, too often within my own life growing up, I wanted to be that "rocker in the band" (like you all. but I'm sure you've realized many of your fans, and maybe even yourself, being like that at times). I was so focused on pushing myself to get better and better at everything that I do, because I knew that there were other greater guitar players and writers than me, but never took the time to really appreciate my own accomplishments.

    We all have our own voices and own stories. I did not grow up like you all, and had my own experiences in life that led me to the person I am today. It wasn't until your band recording "Cocoon" and experiencing a sort of fall-out, and then for Dia to find renewal in the Voice, that I was able to let go of this "past me" of wanting to be like other people, and focus on myself becoming a better Me.

    (Now, I apologize for the length of this comment... didn't realize it was going to be this long, haha, but...)

    I wrote this in response to an old post you made about "What's Going on with Meg & Dia?". I'm not sure if you saw it then or not, but:

    "Meg & Dia was almost like a fond memory… or experience… And to live under that for longer would only hinder your growth. All of our growths… Letting go of Meg & Dia will help us all move forward, to where we were meant to be, as musicians, artists, students, performers… wherever and whoever we are. I’ve always known and had faith that you all will never stop being you… sharing your music, your experiences, your selves, with all of us. That’s what you’ve been doing your whole lives as Meg & Dia—it’s just that you’re all beginning to find your places."

    I'm not sure where I'm going with this (ha), but thank you for your constant reassurance in having faith in the moments that happen in our lives--wherever they go. I've always admired your honesty and tenacity in everything you do. After all, we all inspire each other anyway, ya? So keep following your bliss. And remember that your work and influence has changed lives (I'd suppose you are looking at one right now).

    "Good job."

    In the meantime, I will recognize my own as well. And take the compliments in life with all the gratitude and love in my heart. Is there room for anything else?

  3. Meg and Dia = still my favorite band. I love you guys!

  4. I've listened to "Here, Here, and Here" a couple times over the last week. It had been awhile since I blared it in my car, and I was once again completely blown away. (I have this reaction consistently, even though I've heard it about a trillion times.) Also, I realized something: It's my absolute favorite album to sing along to. No contest! Good job, indeed. I hope you know how talented you are. I cannot stress enough how much I love your music (that album especially) and how much you inspire me.