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53


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53


The Idea.

Hi there, I’m Jonathan Maiocco and I create music. One day, I came up with the crazy idea to release one track of music a week for a whole year.

And so that’s what I did.

From October 29th, 2018 (my 25th birthday), all the way to 10/28/19, I released music every Monday for a whole year, totaling to 53 tracks. (I know it sounds like it should be 52, but it’s not because there were 53 Mondays...should have picked a different day lol.)

To be perfectly honest with you, it was really difficult and I would never do it again. I can’t tell you how many meltdowns and panic attacks I had. Sure, I learned a lot and wouldn’t change anything. But damn. I’m glad to be done.

Here, you will find the complete discography of all the music. There’s covers, instrumentals, acoustics, and pop songs. I had a lot of fun, but quite frankly, am very tired and will be taking a hiatus. And maybe a vacation. And probably go back to counseling.

Thanks for listening.

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Covers, Pt. 1


Covers, Pt. 1



 

Covers, Pt. 1

 

Tracks 1 - 9


The first nine tracks that I released are covers of some of my favorite songs. (I’m not allowed to upload the songs on my website because of copyright stuff, so definitely go check them out on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.)

1 of 53. Hide and Seek.

This is a cover of Imogen Heap’s Hide and Seek. I have so much respect for her as a human, creative, inventor, and musician. (Seriously, look up all the cool shit that she’s doing!) She writes and sings and produces all of her own work, which has been a huge inspiration for me in my own work. I remember first hearing this song in high school and 1.) being so blown away at how haunting the lyrics/melody are, and 2.) the simplicity of it all. Covering this was super fun and I hope that, if Imogen ever hears it, she would be proud. <3

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

2 of 53. Rumour Has It.

This is a cover of Adele’s song Rumour Has It. Adele has such a special place in my heart. I’ll never forget the summer Rolling in the Deep came out and it was playing at the pool every second of every day. 21 is one of my favorite albums of all time and so naturally, I had to cover something from that album. Ryan Tedder produced this song, and he’s awesome, so…here we are. Covering this song was super difficult because I couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted to do. I ended up finding a fun James Bond sounding epic ballad thing which turned out nice. (Apparently, my nieces and nephew sat down to listen to this song, and it was so “scary” that they had to turn it off. Whoops…..) I hope you like it and don’t find it too scary. :)

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

3 of 53. Somewhere Over the Rainbow (feat. Chelsea Taylor).

This is a cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow featuring Chelsea Taylor. Chelsea, who is my sister, plays at a lot of local venues in Atlanta. She covers this song live all the time, and every time I heard it, all I wanted to do was have a recording of it to keep with me forever. So…that’s what we did! Make sure you go check out her work, she’s an incredibly talented writer, vocalist, and producer. :)

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

4 of 53. Young and Menace.

I. LOVE. FALL. OUT. BOY. American Beauty/American Psycho was my anthem in my last semester of grad school. (Jet Pack BluesUma ThurmanThe Kids Ain’t Alright…just so many great songs on that album.) Young and Menace, although not on that album, is still one of my favorites. It is just so…unique. It’s incredibly epic, the melody is contagious, the lyrics are memorable (and yet vague), it’s a total powerhouse…it’s perfect. I tried to maintain the same epic-ness, but put my own spin on it. I had a lot of fun with this one. <3

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

7 of 53. The Second Star to the Right.

If I’m being honest, this was probably my favorite to do out of this first set. I remember working on it and having, for the first time in my life, a feeling of profound contentment and peace, knowing that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I had a lot of fun with this, so enjoy! Also, if you know anyone at Disney, CONTACT THEM FOR ME and tell them to use this, thanks.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

5 of 53. Clair de Lune.

I lovingly call this “Clair de Boom” - I think Debussy is probably rolling in his grave, but I had too much fun with this to care. This is an epic version of his masterpiece, Clair de Lune, with all the cinematic adrenaline you can imagine. Also, total side note - I did this way before they did it in the Godzilla: King of the Monsters trailer……. :)

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

8 of 53. Radioactive.

I. Love. Imagine. Dragons. Their first album was such an anthem, especially Radioactive. It’s one of those songs that, for me, never gets old. I also so incredibly appreciate Daniel Reynolds and his love and support toward the LGBTQ+ community. This cover is based off of their live version of Radioactive, which is very epic. I don’t know if I did it justice, but I certainly had fun doing it. Fun fact - I totally threw my back out trying to hit the high note at 3:38 and couldn’t move properly for nearly a week. So dramatic.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

6 of 53. …Ready for It?

One night, my dearest friend Sally FaceTimed me and said, “Jon jon jon…we HAVE to do an epic cover of “…Ready For It?”! Her and her husband (Patrick) quickly played me their idea and we recorded it two weeks later. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun we had with this. Make sure you check out their band, The Stolen Pages, because they are amazing. <3

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

9 of 53. Us Against the World (feat James Harris).

This song I saved for last because I had to release a song on Christmas Eve, and I don’t know, this one seemed the most fitting. James Harris is one of my favorite vocalists/collaborators, so I was excited to work with him again. (He’s incredibly talented, make sure you check out his music!) Fun fact, this song was featured on Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist, which was a very surreal moment for us.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

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Soli Deo Gloria


Soli Deo Gloria



Soli Deo Gloria


TRACKS 10 - 22


Soli Deo Gloria is my very first symphony. It is thirteen movements that run seamlessly together. (This has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid, to write a symphony, so I’m incredibly proud to share it!)

There were some fun technical things that I did while creating this. It is an acrostic, meaning that the first letter of each piece spells out S.O.L.I. D.E.O. G.L.O.R.I.A. Also, the first movement starts in C and then, movement by movement, moves clockwise around the circle of fifths, ultimately arriving back in C at the end.

I recorded amazing live musicians - violinist Joseph Cho, cellist Nan Kemberling, and vocalist Julia Metry. All album artwork is by Jon Neimeister.

 
Listen on  Spotify  and  iTunes . Make sure you listen to “track 14” which is the complete and seamless version of all thirteen movements. &lt;3

Listen on Spotify and iTunes. Make sure you listen to “track 14” which is the complete and seamless version of all thirteen movements. <3

 

10 of 53. Solace (Prologue).  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

10 of 53. Solace (Prologue).

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Solace (Prologue)

11 of 53. On the Horizon.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

11 of 53. On the Horizon.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

On the Horizon

12 of 53. Losing Oneself.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

12 of 53. Losing Oneself.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Losing Oneself

13 of 53. Into the Void.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

13 of 53. Into the Void.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Into the Void

14 of 53. Darkness.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

14 of 53. Darkness.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Darkness

15 of 53. Eye of the Storm.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

15 of 53. Eye of the Storm.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Eye of the Storm

16 of 53. On the Inside.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

16 of 53. On the Inside.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

On the Inside

17 of 53. Gone.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

17 of 53. Gone.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Gone

18 of 53. Letting Go.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

18 of 53. Letting Go.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Letting Go

19 of 53. Out of the Ashes.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

19 of 53. Out of the Ashes.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Out of the Ashes

20 of 53. Rising Strong.  Listen on  Spotify,   Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

20 of 53. Rising Strong.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Rising Strong

21 of 53. Into the Dawn.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

21 of 53. Into the Dawn.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Into the Dawn

22 of 53. A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Epilogue).  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

22 of 53. A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Epilogue).

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Epilogue)


If you want to listen to the seamless version of Soli Deo Gloria, listen to “track 14” of the album, which you can find on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

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Covers, Pt. 2


Covers, Pt. 2



Covers, Pt. 2


Tracks 23 - 31


This is the second set of covers that I did. Again, they are songs that I love and feel connected to.

23 of 53. 4’33’’.  So this was the funniest April Fool’s prank that no one got. Track 23 fell on April 1st and so I decided to cover John Cage’s 4’33’’, a piece in which an instrumentalist or group walks out on a stage and plays nothing for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. By this point though, I don’t think anyone was listening to my music so I don’t know if anyone heard it to begin with. I  did  get a frantic call from my sister who said the track was silent, to which I said, “April Fools!” and then she promptly hung up. In all seriousness though, this track was a strange mental roadblock for me to get past because it felt like cheating.  But , the thing that I learned is, I make the rules for the things that I create. And that is why I had to do it in a sense. Also, it took me two times to record this lol.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

23 of 53. 4’33’’.

So this was the funniest April Fool’s prank that no one got. Track 23 fell on April 1st and so I decided to cover John Cage’s 4’33’’, a piece in which an instrumentalist or group walks out on a stage and plays nothing for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. By this point though, I don’t think anyone was listening to my music so I don’t know if anyone heard it to begin with. I did get a frantic call from my sister who said the track was silent, to which I said, “April Fools!” and then she promptly hung up. In all seriousness though, this track was a strange mental roadblock for me to get past because it felt like cheating. But, the thing that I learned is, I make the rules for the things that I create. And that is why I had to do it in a sense. Also, it took me two times to record this lol.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

24 of 53. Alive.  I really love Sia. She sings this sad-existential pop stuff that I really connect with. I really like this song and wanted to do an epic version of it - which I did, I guess. I had a lot of fun with this one.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

24 of 53. Alive.

I really love Sia. She sings this sad-existential pop stuff that I really connect with. I really like this song and wanted to do an epic version of it - which I did, I guess. I had a lot of fun with this one.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

25 of 53. Fireflies.  I really like Adam Young. His story is incredibly fascinating and his music is really fun. Also, he writes and sings and produces all of his own stuff, so I always find that inspiring.  In all honesty, this song was so freaking difficult to cover, I can’t even begin to tell you. I stressed myself out so much working on it that I had a slight emotional breakdown and had to stop writing for a couple of days. (Which, if you know me, is a big deal.) Looking back, I really like the cover. But in the middle of working on it, I just felt like a complete failure. I’m glad to have covered it, but  damn  I really struggled with this one.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

25 of 53. Fireflies.

I really like Adam Young. His story is incredibly fascinating and his music is really fun. Also, he writes and sings and produces all of his own stuff, so I always find that inspiring.

In all honesty, this song was so freaking difficult to cover, I can’t even begin to tell you. I stressed myself out so much working on it that I had a slight emotional breakdown and had to stop writing for a couple of days. (Which, if you know me, is a big deal.) Looking back, I really like the cover. But in the middle of working on it, I just felt like a complete failure. I’m glad to have covered it, but damn I really struggled with this one.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

26 of 53. Liability.  I really like Lorde. I saw her once at Music Midtown and she was amazing. It was a really magical experience. I knew I wanted to cover this song, but originally, I was going to do a string/pop ballad. That never felt right, so then I decided to play into the juxtaposition of it being a sad song but making it poppy and upbeat. So I did that, but it never “arrived” and didn’t feel whole. So then, at 2:29, I decided to change the tempo and the key. Which sounds stupid, but to me, was a big deal because I hate abrupt changes in the music I write. I had a lot of fun experimenting with this one and learned a lot from it.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

26 of 53. Liability.

I really like Lorde. I saw her once at Music Midtown and she was amazing. It was a really magical experience. I knew I wanted to cover this song, but originally, I was going to do a string/pop ballad. That never felt right, so then I decided to play into the juxtaposition of it being a sad song but making it poppy and upbeat. So I did that, but it never “arrived” and didn’t feel whole. So then, at 2:29, I decided to change the tempo and the key. Which sounds stupid, but to me, was a big deal because I hate abrupt changes in the music I write. I had a lot of fun experimenting with this one and learned a lot from it.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

29 of 53. Eyes Wide Open.  This was  so  much fun to cover. I love Gotye. A lot of people only know him for the xylophone song, but  you guys  he’s so much more than that. This song was originally a very upbeat fast in-your-face almost-pop song, but I slowed it down and made it a sad ballad - and I think it works well! This might be my favorite of the second set of covers - either this or Into the West.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

29 of 53. Eyes Wide Open.

This was so much fun to cover. I love Gotye. A lot of people only know him for the xylophone song, but you guys he’s so much more than that. This song was originally a very upbeat fast in-your-face almost-pop song, but I slowed it down and made it a sad ballad - and I think it works well! This might be my favorite of the second set of covers - either this or Into the West.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

27 of 53. Broken Over You.  You probably don’t know who Grace Mitchell is, so let me educate you - she’s a talented singer/song-writer that the world  needs  to be paying attention to right now. Seriously, go check out her music. This song is from her first EP,  Design . I don’t think my cover is the best thing ever, but I definitely wanted to pay her tribute. (She also commented on my Instagram post about this song. So maybe I’ve made it? Yeah. I’ve definitely made it. lol who is even going to read all of this shit)  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

27 of 53. Broken Over You.

You probably don’t know who Grace Mitchell is, so let me educate you - she’s a talented singer/song-writer that the world needs to be paying attention to right now. Seriously, go check out her music. This song is from her first EP, Design. I don’t think my cover is the best thing ever, but I definitely wanted to pay her tribute. (She also commented on my Instagram post about this song. So maybe I’ve made it? Yeah. I’ve definitely made it. lol who is even going to read all of this shit)

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

30 of 53. True Colors.  So honesty time - I almost quit while working on this cover. I think it was April, I was running super behind, and I had the most difficult time recording vocals for this. Also, the AC was out at my house and so it was just not a great time. I had a complete meltdown (yes, I have those a lot, get with it) and almost quit. Like, formerly announced “Hey, this is too much work, I can’t do this anymore, I’m sacrificing my mental health for this and it’s not worth it.” I took a couple of days off and just breathed and then came back and finished it and it sounds fine. But yeah. It wasn’t great.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

30 of 53. True Colors.

So honesty time - I almost quit while working on this cover. I think it was April, I was running super behind, and I had the most difficult time recording vocals for this. Also, the AC was out at my house and so it was just not a great time. I had a complete meltdown (yes, I have those a lot, get with it) and almost quit. Like, formerly announced “Hey, this is too much work, I can’t do this anymore, I’m sacrificing my mental health for this and it’s not worth it.” I took a couple of days off and just breathed and then came back and finished it and it sounds fine. But yeah. It wasn’t great.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

28 of 53. Extreme Ways.  I really like this song. Moby is great and it’s also attached to the Borne movies, and so it just gives me all the feels. It’s super dark yet kind of fun in a way? I don’t know. Anyways, I had to cover it. I also really struggled on this cover, it never felt like it “arrived” or was good. So…I hope someone out there liked it because I certainly don’t lol.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

28 of 53. Extreme Ways.

I really like this song. Moby is great and it’s also attached to the Borne movies, and so it just gives me all the feels. It’s super dark yet kind of fun in a way? I don’t know. Anyways, I had to cover it. I also really struggled on this cover, it never felt like it “arrived” or was good. So…I hope someone out there liked it because I certainly don’t lol.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

31 of 53. Into the West.  I’ve always loved this song from  Return of the King . It just has this quality about it that’s haunting and peaceful and sad and happy all at the same time. My vocals will never compare to Annie Lennox - and that’s totally fine. I had a lot of fun with this one. This cover is dedicated to my grandmother, Greta.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

31 of 53. Into the West.

I’ve always loved this song from Return of the King. It just has this quality about it that’s haunting and peaceful and sad and happy all at the same time. My vocals will never compare to Annie Lennox - and that’s totally fine. I had a lot of fun with this one. This cover is dedicated to my grandmother, Greta.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

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The Acoustics


The Acoustics



The Acoustics


Tracks 32 - 39


Back in 2017, I released four EPs of “pop” music. It was a really fun experience that made me realize what kind of music I wanted to be making. I really liked the songs from them and always wanted to do acoustic versions of them - so here we are. :)

I was able to team up with some amazing musicians on these. Make sure you check out their work! Also, Michael Maiocco (my brother) did all of the album artwork for these. Make sure you check out his work here.


32 of 53. Running (Far Away from You) [Acoustic] feat. Kyle Miranda and the Times.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

32 of 53. Running (Far Away from You) [Acoustic] feat. Kyle Miranda and the Times.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Running (Far Away from You) [Acoustic] [feat. Kyle Miranda and the Times]

Not only is this the world’s longest song title, but this is probably the most fun I had out of all 53 tracks. Kyle is so much fun to work with, has an amazing voice, and is incredibly talented. The outtake at the end is because I accidentally started recording her a measure early and so she reached the end and thought there was more, and then said, “I don’t know what happened there,” and then me laughing in the background.


Paper Airplanes (Acoustic)

This, strangely enough, was my first time recording real piano for a track. It was nerve wracking because it was definitely a new experience — but I guess it turned out alright! I love this song and was really excited to bring it back to life with a piano only version. A huge thank you to my old-work for letting me record piano there after hours…I think I recorded this around midnight? So tired.

33 of 53. Paper Airplanes (Acoustic).  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

33 of 53. Paper Airplanes (Acoustic).

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.


34 of 53. Figure This Out (Acoustic) feat. The Stolen Pages.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

34 of 53. Figure This Out (Acoustic) feat. The Stolen Pages.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Figure This Out (Acoustic) [feat. The Stolen Pages]

The Stolen Pages, a.k.a. my best friends Patrick and Sally, are some of the most authentic, genuine, and talented people that I know. We picked this song to do together. (Because of scheduling conflicts, we actually had to record their vocals in their closet lol.) Patrick played guitar, Sally wrote the harmonies, and my friend Neal Rodack played the beautiful strings that you hear.


The Other Side (Acoustic)

Out of all the songs I’ve written, this might be my favorite. Even though I wrote the song early 2017, everything about it still feels relevant for me. Being able to do a piano version with strings was so much fun. I feel like, in a way, this version is always how the song was supposed to be - I just didn’t know it until now. Huge thank you to Joseph Cho and Nan Kemberling for the beautiful strings. Thanks for listening. <3

35 of 53. The Other Side (Acoustic).  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

35 of 53. The Other Side (Acoustic).

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.


36 of 53. It (Acoustic) feat. Neal Rodack.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

36 of 53. It (Acoustic) feat. Neal Rodack.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

It (Acoustic)

My friend, Neal Rodack, is an amazing musician and all-around amazing human being. He told me he loved my song It and so, when it was time to make acoustic versions, I was like, “Hey, you should cover It and make it completely different.” All the credit goes to him, I literally just sat there and recorded him. (Oh, and I did the snaps. The snaps were 100% me. So it’s still all about me, phew.)


Valleys (Acoustic) [feat. Chelsea Taylor]

Chelsea has an angelic voice like no other. I wanted to do a “lullaby” version of Valleys, and so I knew she would be perfect for it. I think this is how the song should have always been, so I’m glad we did it. A huge thank you to Tyler Blalock, who played the beautiful guitar for this track. Make sure you check out both of their work!

37 of 53. Valleys (Acoustic) feat. Chelsea Taylor.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

37 of 53. Valleys (Acoustic) feat. Chelsea Taylor.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.


38 of 53. Noise (Acoustic) feat. Nan Kemberling.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

38 of 53. Noise (Acoustic) feat. Nan Kemberling.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

Noise (Acoustic) [feat. Nan Kemberling]

Nan Kemberling might be my favorite person ever. Like, ever ever. She’s an amazing cellist, songwriter, animal-activist, super funny, and just genuinely such a great person. We decided to team up and cover Noise. She played all the cello that you hear and sang all the crazy high notes at the end. Make sure you check out her work, AND, if you live in Atlanta and ever want cello lessons, make sure you take from her! <3


Addicted (Acoustic) [feat. James Harris]

I think this is the fourth song Jake and I have teamed up on. Working with him is always so much fun AND super easy, because he is a literal one take wonder. (Make sure you go check out his music!) It was really fun to reimagine this song and make it acoustic. A huge thank you to Joseph Cho and Neal Rodack for the wonderful strings on this track.

39 of 53. Addicted (Acoustic) feat. James Harris.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc.

39 of 53. Addicted (Acoustic) feat. James Harris.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

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The Call


The Call



The Call


Track 40


 
40 of 53. The Call.  Listen on  Spotify ,  Apple Music ,  YouTube ,  etc .

40 of 53. The Call.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.

 

I decided to come out this year on July 29th, 2019, because I wanted to start releasing music about my experience with coming to terms with being gay. The Call by Regina Spektor felt like the perfect song to come out to. The lyrics that really resonate with me are, “Just because everything's changing doesn't mean it's never been this way before. All you can do is try to know who your friends are as you head off to the war. Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light.”

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The Point of Contingency


The Point of Contingency


The Point of Contingency


Tracks 41 - 53


 
The Point of Contingency.

The Point of Contingency.

 

To put it very simply, The Point of Contingency is about my journey of deciding that being gay would no longer be a point of contingency in my life. Because of my religious upbringing, this decision isn’t one that I made lightly. I had so much internalized homophobia (i.e. self-hatred and shame) that I could barely function for a very long time. This album is a raw and unfiltered version of that journey to self-acceptance and deciding to love myself exactly for who I am and where I am. It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it.

There are two things I would like to say before you keep reading.

1.) All photography was done by one of my best friends and one of the greatest people I know, Andrew Woodman. I could not have done this project without him. He constantly encouraged me and challenged me to keep going, even when I didn’t want to. He has been one of the best friends I’ve ever had, especially through this whole journey. Andrew - thank you. Thank you for this. I couldn’t have done it without you.

2.) I am being transparent about my experience, but I have decided to speak vaguely enough to protect other people and places. This journey isn’t about the people or places that have hurt me, whether they did it intentionally or unintentionally. This journey is about me exclusively and not anyone else. So please don’t make assumptions about who is who and who did what. It’s not about them.


41 of 53. Shadows of Doubt.


I feel a kind of sadness, the kind that makes no sense

I feel it in the silence, I feel it deep within

I’m sorry for the secrets and all of my excuses

For all the wrong reasons that I could never give


I wish that I was stronger right now

Flying higher off the ground

But I couldn’t be farther from that now

No, I couldn’t be farther, farther down


So would you give me just a minute cause I’m the one that’s sinking

I don’t know how to work this one out

Oh, I can feel it in the rhythm but I can’t face the music

I don’t know how to see this one now


Beyond my shadows of doubt

I know I’ve been here a while this time

But I just can’t let you down

So I’ll keep them all to myself tonight

All of my shadows of doubt to my cynical self


I feel a kind of madness, the kind that makes my head spin

I feel it like a virus, oh, that’s spreading deep within

I don’t mean to be a skeptic, no, or always second-guessing what I know

So many things unspoken, so many things uncertain

If I let you in, you wouldn’t stand a chance


I wish that I was stronger right now

Flying high above the clouds

But I couldn’t be farther from that now

No, I couldn’t be farther, farther down


So would you give me just a minute cause I’m the one that’s sinking

I don’t know how to work this one out

Oh, I can feel it in the rhythm but I can’t face the music

I don’t know how to see this one now


Beyond my shadows of doubt

I know I’ve been here a while this time

But I just can’t let you down

So I’ll keep them all to myself tonight

All of my shadows of doubt to my cynical self

All my collateral doubt, to my cynical self

Shadows of Doubt

I guess I always believed doubt was bad. Growing up in a religious environment that orbited around certainty, questions weren’t welcome. But the thing is, I had lots of questions because there was a lot I was hiding. Not to be dramatic, but everyday was an existential crisis, trying to dig to the core of Reality and Truth and Meaning. I couldn’t stop questioning everything that was all centered around my deepest darkest secret of being gay. And in the mainstream Christian world, being gay is bad. I was well respected, so I didn’t want to let anyone down. So I buried it all deep inside of me and tried my best to believe what I was told. And you know what? That worked. But only for just a bit. Eventually, I couldn’t handle the pressure of feeling like I was a complete fake.


Honestly

Because of the doubt, I never felt like I could let people in. I had this vast emotional landscape inside of me that I was too scared to navigate, let alone allow anyone else to see. No one around me seemed to be struggling or asking questions — everyone seemed to be content and have all the answers. And so I presented a version of myself that was collected and very put together. It was a very depressing existence, to have so many people say they know and love you when the person you’re presenting to them isn’t even you. I guess somewhere along the way, I believed that if people really knew me, then they wouldn’t really love me. And so I broke myself up into tiny, organized boxes to try to find some form of control and to present the best version of myself that I could.

42 of 53. Honestly.


Sorry I’ve been so out of touch

I know it’s been a couple months

Been busy with a lot of stuff that I really can’t explain

So let’s small talk about nothing much

I’ll make up some utopia just for you

Anything to cover up the smoke and mirrors game


Cause I care what you think when you look at me

I love the prestige, that small luxury

I’ll do what I need to make you believe

The person you see is truly happy


So

Every day I'll say I’m fine, picture-perfect

Even if it’s all a lie you’ll fall for it cause

I’m pretty good at getting by under the pressure

I do it damn near all the time, it’s second nature

But if you looked on the inside you’d see I’m hurting

I feel the pain now all the time, this isn’t working

So I compartmentalize to keep it together

But all I got are pretty lies that look good on paper

Honestly, honestly

Honestly, can’t you see


I wish that I could open up and

Tell you what I’m thinking of just for once but

It’s so much easier said than done

I never follow through

No, I never follow through


Cause I care what you think when you look at me

I love the prestige, that small luxury

Talking honestly, I’m scared that you’ll leave

When you finally see I’m not what I seem


So

Every day I'll say I’m fine, picture-perfect

Even if it’s all a lie you’ll fall for it cause

I’m pretty good at getting by under the pressure

I do it damn near all the time, it’s second nature

But if you looked on the inside you’d see I’m hurting

I feel the pain now all the time, this isn’t working

So I compartmentalize to keep it together

But all I got are pretty lies that look good on paper

Honestly, honestly

Honestly, can’t you see

Honestly, honestly

Honestly, can’t you see


Maybe one day I’ll let you in

Maybe I’ll find the confidence just for you

And on that day I won’t pretend

I will finally be all of me

Honestly


43 of 53. Masquerade.


Welcome to the spectacle

This is where the show goes on

In the smoke, the lights down low

Feel the thrill of it all

Pull your heart like a string


Welcome to our little world

We create all of the rules

Get in line, don’t be a fool

This is where you belong

Are you ready to play?


Baby welcome to the masquerade

Oh, put a smile on your face

Learn to play the smoke and mirrors game

Oh, make certainty your faith

Come and let me teach you how to play

Oh, you don’t have to stay sane

Baby welcome to the masquerade

Oh, come and follow my lead

Pick up your feet

Move to the beat


If you’re ever skeptical

Keep the questions to yourself

Try to keep the status quo

Turn it on, play it cool

Keep that smile on your face


All the doubt that’s down below

Buried deep, don’t tell a soul

Minimize collateral

Stick to the protocol

And don’t make a mistake


Baby welcome to the masquerade

Oh, put a smile on your face

Learn to play the smoke and mirrors game

Oh, make certainty your faith

Come and let me teach you how to play

Oh, you don’t have to stay sane

Baby welcome to the masquerade

Oh, come and follow my lead

Pick up your feet

Move to the beat

Masquerade

So much of my life was wearing a mask. I would transform myself into the person that I was expected to be and the person that the people around me needed. The culture around me seemed to encourage it too. A lot of Christianity seemed to be putting up a front and being nice and being good and having your shit together and all of that. At the base of modern Christian teaching is the belief that you are a wicked and corrupt creature and that you’re lucky God even dares to love you. So under any circumstances, do not be your true self, because that is evil. The only option then is to wear a mask and to wear it strong. That is not all Christian teaching, but it certainly is what is common now. And so that is what I did. I had my mask and I knew all the things to do to fit in and be accepted.


Spinning Circles

As time went on, I grew tired of the masks and the lies and the politics of it all. I felt like I was spinning in this endless dance that I never wanted to be a part of in the first place. I wanted to change, I just didn’t know where to start. And the more time went on, the faster the dance got and the more burned out I became. No one around me seemed to be thinking or feeling the same things I was, so I became really good at the motions. People seemed to revere me, congratulating me for having it figured out and having my shit together. But deep down, I knew something was still wrong. I knew there was something more to life, I just didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know if there was a God, but if there was, I prayed to get out of the cycle because I knew I couldn’t do it anymore.

44 of 53. Spinning Circles.


Every day I do the same, same old things

I want to change but I can’t escape

No, I never thought I’d find myself, find myself here

But looking back I guess it’s crystal clear


When you’re going there’s no slowing down

And where you’re going there’s no getting out


I wanna change, can’t stay this way, I need a miracle

I know my heart’s an empty space just looking for some hope

But every day I stay the same and can’t escape the pull

Of spinning circles constantly around and round my soul

Of spinning circles constantly around and round my soul


Every day I do the same, same old things

I fill the void and ignore the pain

A drop of red, a sea of grey, oceans away

All I see are my mistakes


When you’re going there’s no slowing down

And where you’re going there’s no getting out


I wanna change, can’t stay this way, I need a miracle

I know my heart’s an empty space just looking for some hope

But every day I stay the same and can’t escape the pull

Of spinning circles constantly around and round my soul

Of spinning circles constantly around and round my soul


Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see


45 of 53. You're Not Listening.


In one-way conversations, all your good intentions don’t mean a thing

Your preconceived notions are only just opinions and wishful thinking

Oh, it feels so rough, and oh, so out of touch cause

All your passive aggression and your tricks questions and speculation

Only mean one thing


It doesn’t matter what I say or think or what I believe

I'll go nowhere quickly cause

It doesn’t matter, you’re not listening, you don’t hear a thing

Cause I can hear it in the subtleties when you speak

And I can feel it when you look at me, you don’t see

No offense or anything but

It doesn’t matter what you say or think

You’re not listening, so I’m not listening


So

Thanks for the interventions, I tried my best to listen but I can’t think straight

The conflict of interest and all the first impressions didn’t go great

And oh, I hate that drama, and oh, let’s start this over and

Stop all the agendas and euphemisms and double standards

And cut to the chase


It doesn’t matter what I say or think or what I believe

I'll go nowhere quickly cause

It doesn’t matter, you’re not listening, you don’t hear a thing

Cause I can hear it in the subtleties when you speak

And I can feel it when you look at me, you don’t see

No offense or anything but

It doesn’t matter what you say or think

You’re not listening, so I’m not listening


In all my years of therapy, I learned

To give people common decency when they hurt

So don’t try to fix me just listen please

Can’t you see, don’t you see, what we need?

This time


But every time that I start to think you’ve learned

You prove me wrong ever so quickly like clockwork

Yeah, I can try but I won’t succeed

Cause you think everything that you think

Is right


So it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, no, it doesn’t matter what I say or think

It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, no, it doesn’t matter cause you’re not listening

It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, no, it doesn’t matter what I say or think

It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, no, it doesn’t matter cause you’re not listening


In one-way conversations, all your good intentions don’t mean a thing

You’re Not Listening

I very slowly and very carefully started to voice the things inside of me. I told some people about my doubts, about being gay, and how I just wanted to figure some things out. Very few of those conversations went well. A large majority of them ended with people trying to reconvert me and warning me that I was falling away. I started noticing that people weren’t even listening. It didn’t matter what I said or what I thought. Most of the people assumed they held “ultimate truth” and that I would be ok if I just believed what they did. I began to speak louder and began to have actual words for these thoughts and feelings. The pushback became greater. And then one day, I decided, fuck it, I’m gay and I’m going to figure this out. And then the drama started.


Drama King

People who actually know me know that I’m not out to start drama or cause shit. I’m not perfect, but I genuinely try my best. When I told people I’m gay, I was not expecting what happened. The rumors, the agendas, the coffee dates that turned into arguments, the passive-aggressive text messages. I was treated like a completely different person. I lost so much respect from people that I valued. They seemed to forget everything else about me except for being gay. And so I did the only thing I could think to do - I embraced the drama. I jokingly started calling myself the drama king. I’m not out to stab people in the back and cause forest fires, but if that’s what people thought of me, then fine. That’s who I’ll be in their eyes. I’ll be the drama king. And I’m going to wear a fucking crown. 

46 of 53. Drama King.


I love stabbing people in the back and then taking everything they have

It’s just a hobby I picked up

And every chance I get I’m breaking hearts, burning bridges, and designing scars

Just like the ones I gave you

I love starting forest fires at night and burning up everything in sight

I like the sound the flames make

I live to crush the dreams of everyone and kill them with a thousand paper cuts

I like the look of sadness


If everything seems alright, I’ll turn it all on a dime

I don’t like nirvana

If everything seems alright, don’t worry, I’ll start a fight

Cause I love the drama

Do do do

Oh, I love the drama

Do do do

Cause I love the drama


Being petty is my currency, I give it out like it’s f*****g Halloween

Just for kicks and giggles

Passive aggression is my love language I speak to everyone

No one is as fluent as me

If you get too close to me you’ll find out pretty quick that I don’t play nice

No, I don’t play by the rules

I only live for the absurdity, come on baby, won’t you play with me?

I promise you you’ll regret it


If everything seems alright, I’ll turn it all on a dime

I don’t like nirvana

If everything seems alright, don’t worry, I’ll start a fight

Cause I love the drama

Do do do

Oh, I love the drama

Do do do

Cause I love the drama


47 of 53. Headphones.     My secrets and head games got me going insane  I broke all of my promises the second that I let you in  I played you my mix-tapes and all of my mistakes  I guess I was too confident, I never thought that this would end     But now time goes by and I don’t know why I don’t hear from you  I really thought that I had nothing else that I could lose  I never thought we’d fall apart  And now thanks for nothing I already had my trust issues  To deal with now I got more shit that I gotta work through  No, I don’t know where we went wrong     So I put in my headphones and run like there’s no tomorrow, I’m gone  Pretend like I don’t know at all what the hell is going on  Try not to be headstrong for once, forget that I’m dead wrong, I’m done  Try not to let it show at all what the hell is going on, going on  Oh, let the show go on     Try my best to move forward but old habits die hard  Still tripping over what you did, just trying my best to forget  And just when I move forward, suddenly I’m not sure, no  Cause everything you ever said is spinning circles in my head     And now every time you come to mind I don’t what to do  I guess I made you into someone too good to be true  I’m falling right back to the start  And now thanks for nothing I already had my trust issues  To deal with now I got more shit that I gotta work through  And now you're going going gone     So I put on my headphones and run like there’s no tomorrow, I’m gone  Pretend like I don’t know at all what the hell is going on  Try not to be headstrong for once, forget that I’m dead wrong, I’m done  Try not to let it show at all what the hell is going on, going on, oh  Let the show go, oh, on and on and on and on  On and on and on and on, let the show go on, oh     You win some you lose some and you were one of them  I wish that I could turn back time and give it all one more try  But it’s all said and done, and now we’re dead and gone  So I’ll try to keep my head up high and try my best to get by     But now time goes by and I don’t know what else I should do  So I write another song and say “No, it’s not about you."  I’m praying one day I’ll see the light  I’m sorry for everything that I put you through  I never meant any harm, I never wanted to lose you  Even though it was time to say goodbye

47 of 53. Headphones.


My secrets and head games got me going insane

I broke all of my promises the second that I let you in

I played you my mix-tapes and all of my mistakes

I guess I was too confident, I never thought that this would end


But now time goes by and I don’t know why I don’t hear from you

I really thought that I had nothing else that I could lose

I never thought we’d fall apart

And now thanks for nothing I already had my trust issues

To deal with now I got more shit that I gotta work through

No, I don’t know where we went wrong


So I put in my headphones and run like there’s no tomorrow, I’m gone

Pretend like I don’t know at all what the hell is going on

Try not to be headstrong for once, forget that I’m dead wrong, I’m done

Try not to let it show at all what the hell is going on, going on

Oh, let the show go on


Try my best to move forward but old habits die hard

Still tripping over what you did, just trying my best to forget

And just when I move forward, suddenly I’m not sure, no

Cause everything you ever said is spinning circles in my head


And now every time you come to mind I don’t what to do

I guess I made you into someone too good to be true

I’m falling right back to the start

And now thanks for nothing I already had my trust issues

To deal with now I got more shit that I gotta work through

And now you're going going gone


So I put on my headphones and run like there’s no tomorrow, I’m gone

Pretend like I don’t know at all what the hell is going on

Try not to be headstrong for once, forget that I’m dead wrong, I’m done

Try not to let it show at all what the hell is going on, going on, oh

Let the show go, oh, on and on and on and on

On and on and on and on, let the show go on, oh


You win some you lose some and you were one of them

I wish that I could turn back time and give it all one more try

But it’s all said and done, and now we’re dead and gone

So I’ll try to keep my head up high and try my best to get by


But now time goes by and I don’t know what else I should do

So I write another song and say “No, it’s not about you."

I’m praying one day I’ll see the light

I’m sorry for everything that I put you through

I never meant any harm, I never wanted to lose you

Even though it was time to say goodbye


Headphones

And sometimes, it was kind of funny how dramatic things became. But most of the time, it sucked. I lost so many relationships and so many people. To get through it, I turned up the noise. I would literally put in my headphones and blast music so loud I couldn’t think. So I wouldn’t think. I drank way too much. I watched tons of TV. I didn’t want to think about all the shit that was going down. There was a huge void in my life that I didn’t know what to do with, left by the people I missed so terribly. Looking back, I see it was time to say goodbye and move forward. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to feel safe again and go back to those people and places that made me feel like me. It sucked. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But honestly, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.


History

It’s always sad to say goodbye. I didn’t want to, but it was time for me to leave and find some peace. I started to realize that, even though I wasn’t perfect throughout the course of this journey, I wasn’t the one who closed the doors or burned the bridges. Yes, I was the one who said I’m gay, but I wasn’t the one who said You’re going to hell. I stopped blaming myself and for the first time in my life, saw things clearly. Holding onto all of those conversations and the careless words and the hurt was only holding me back from moving forward. And most importantly, it was holding me back from loving the people who hurt me. Bitterness tastes good. But it’s deadly. I don’t want to be a bitter person. Yeah, I was angry and sometimes still am angry. But I know I’m so much more than anger inside of me.

48 of 53. History.     Don’t bring me down     I never thought it would come to this  I thought we could keep it together, forever  But all the migraines and the politics  Pushed us away from each other     When I realized I could never be  Everything thing that you had ever dreamed  Baby I guess now I see  The point of contingency  It was always you it wasn’t me  When you blamed me for the tragedy  I never thought I’d ever leave  But I need to go and find my peace  And let the rest be history     Don’t bring me down     You told me I was a narcissus  For not keeping all my shit together, whatever  I really thought I was immune to this  But I guess I couldn’t handle all of the pressure     When I told you I could never be  Everything thing that you had ever dreamed  Baby I guess now I see  The point of contingency  It was always you it wasn’t me  When you blamed me for the tragedy  I never thought I’d ever leave  But I need to go and find my peace  And let the rest be history     Don’t bring me down     Don’t bring me down, don’t bring me down  Don’t bring me down just for the show  Don’t tell me how, don’t tell me how  Don’t tell me that this is how it goes  Don’t sell me out, don’t sell me out  Don’t sell me out like you don’t know  Like you don’t know what the hell is going on     Yeah, I’m sorry I will never be  Everything thing that you had ever dreamed  Baby I guess now I see  The point of contingency  It was always you it wasn’t me  When you blamed me for the tragedy  I never thought I’d ever leave  But I need to go and find my peace  And let the rest be history     Don’t bring me down

48 of 53. History.


Don’t bring me down


I never thought it would come to this

I thought we could keep it together, forever

But all the migraines and the politics

Pushed us away from each other


When I realized I could never be

Everything thing that you had ever dreamed

Baby I guess now I see

The point of contingency

It was always you it wasn’t me

When you blamed me for the tragedy

I never thought I’d ever leave

But I need to go and find my peace

And let the rest be history


Don’t bring me down


You told me I was a narcissus

For not keeping all my shit together, whatever

I really thought I was immune to this

But I guess I couldn’t handle all of the pressure


When I told you I could never be

Everything thing that you had ever dreamed

Baby I guess now I see

The point of contingency

It was always you it wasn’t me

When you blamed me for the tragedy

I never thought I’d ever leave

But I need to go and find my peace

And let the rest be history


Don’t bring me down


Don’t bring me down, don’t bring me down

Don’t bring me down just for the show

Don’t tell me how, don’t tell me how

Don’t tell me that this is how it goes

Don’t sell me out, don’t sell me out

Don’t sell me out like you don’t know

Like you don’t know what the hell is going on


Yeah, I’m sorry I will never be

Everything thing that you had ever dreamed

Baby I guess now I see

The point of contingency

It was always you it wasn’t me

When you blamed me for the tragedy

I never thought I’d ever leave

But I need to go and find my peace

And let the rest be history


Don’t bring me down


49 of 53. One Day.     Hey  I guess it’s been a while since I was last here  But today  Got the best of me and  Well  I guess now we’re here  I wish I didn’t care  But     I got a lot to come to terms with  And I guess coping mechanisms  Only go as far as you will take them  And so  Please don’t pretend to understand this  Just take my empty promises and  Hold my heart together as it’s breaking     One day I’ll be alright  I’ll be just fine  Don’t you worry about me  No, please don’t worry about me  One day I’ll see the light  I’ll cross the line  So don’t worry about me  Just stay and keep me company  Here  Tonight  If that’s alright  If you don’t mind     It’s a shame they say  That I feel these things and  That I even feel this way  So they give me one more pill to take  To try to make me feel ok  But I stay the same  My problems  They never change  Oh, I’m just always looking for new ways to  Fill the void and numb the pain     I don’t know if I can face this  All I know is I can’t fake it  Anymore so I won’t play these games  No, I don’t want to play it safe  Please don’t pretend to understand this  Just make me empty promises  Tell me does anything actually matter anyways?     One day I’ll be alright  I’ll be just fine  Don’t you worry about me  No, please don’t worry about me  One day I’ll see the light  I’ll cross the line  So don’t worry about me  Just stay and keep me company  Here  Tonight  If that’s alright  If you don’t mind  Staying here  Tonight  By my side  Through this fight

49 of 53. One Day.


Hey

I guess it’s been a while since I was last here

But today

Got the best of me and

Well

I guess now we’re here

I wish I didn’t care

But


I got a lot to come to terms with

And I guess coping mechanisms

Only go as far as you will take them

And so

Please don’t pretend to understand this

Just take my empty promises and

Hold my heart together as it’s breaking


One day I’ll be alright

I’ll be just fine

Don’t you worry about me

No, please don’t worry about me

One day I’ll see the light

I’ll cross the line

So don’t worry about me

Just stay and keep me company

Here

Tonight

If that’s alright

If you don’t mind


It’s a shame they say

That I feel these things and

That I even feel this way

So they give me one more pill to take

To try to make me feel ok

But I stay the same

My problems

They never change

Oh, I’m just always looking for new ways to

Fill the void and numb the pain


I don’t know if I can face this

All I know is I can’t fake it

Anymore so I won’t play these games

No, I don’t want to play it safe

Please don’t pretend to understand this

Just make me empty promises

Tell me does anything actually matter anyways?


One day I’ll be alright

I’ll be just fine

Don’t you worry about me

No, please don’t worry about me

One day I’ll see the light

I’ll cross the line

So don’t worry about me

Just stay and keep me company

Here

Tonight

If that’s alright

If you don’t mind

Staying here

Tonight

By my side

Through this fight

One Day

During all of this, in the newfound silence and emptiness in my life, I couldn’t stop thinking about death. I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I would wake up most mornings and think Shit, I’m still here. I felt like a failure. I didn’t feel like I belonged. And to the friends that were still left, I felt like a burden. I wasn’t the happy-go-lucky person that I once was. I couldn’t stop thinking the thought, I wouldn’t want to be friends with me. There was a moment when I realized I had a plan to kill myself — it had been lurking in the back of my mind and suddenly, it was all I could think about. I started crying and immediately called a friend to come stay with me, because I didn’t trust myself to make it through the day. These were some of the darkest moments of my life.


Worth It

I guess it’s in the darkness that light is the brightest. I was really hurting and struggling to find a will to live. It was in these moments I kept hearing Something say you’re worth it. (I think it was God — you can call it whatever you want.) I slowly began to tell myself You’re worth it over and over again. Over time, I started to believe that it was true. I found a new sense of self, knowing that I’m worth it, regardless of anything else. For the first time in my life, I saw myself as valuable — not for what people thought of me, but for who I actually am. I had never seen myself as beautiful — I had only believed I was a perverted creature who was worthless and a lost cause. But looking in the mirror, I finally saw a new person, someone who I had never seen before. I saw myself for who I was. And he was beautiful.

50 of 53. Worth It.     I see the pain in your eyes  I feel the weight on your shoulders  The silent tears that you’ve cried  And all your prayers with no answers     I know it’s been a long dark road  And no one seems to care at all  Take my words and hold them close  Don’t you know you’re beautiful?     Darling it’s worth it  I know that you’re bruised and you’re broken  Alone and confused in this moment  Remember my words: that it’s ok to fall apart  There is strength behind your scars to keep moving  Through all of the pain and the ruins  I know there’s a way to get through this  For better or worse put no conditions on your heart  Love yourself for who you are and nothing else     Deep breath in, breathe it out  Take a break from the pressure  Don’t be afraid of yourself anymore  You’re so much more than your failures     I know it’s been a long dark road  And no one seems to care at all  Take my hand, I won’t let go  Don’t you know you’re worth it all?     Darling it’s worth it  I know that you’re bruised and you’re broken  Alone and confused in this moment  Remember my words: that it’s ok to fall apart  There is strength behind your scars to keep moving  Through all of the pain and the ruins  I know there’s a way to get through this  For better or worse put no conditions on your heart  Love yourself for who you are and nothing else     You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful  For who you are and nothing else  For nothing and no one else  You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful  For who you are and nothing else  For nothing and no one else     Darling you’re worth it  You’re infinitely so much more than  You could ever know or imagine  Remember my words: that it is written in the stars  You are perfect as you are so keep moving  Through all of the pain and the ruins  I know there’s a way to get through this  For better or worse put no conditions on your heart  Love yourself for who you are and nothing else     You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful  For who you are and nothing else  For nothing and no one else  You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful  For who you are and nothing else  For nothing and no one else  You’re beautiful

50 of 53. Worth It.


I see the pain in your eyes

I feel the weight on your shoulders

The silent tears that you’ve cried

And all your prayers with no answers


I know it’s been a long dark road

And no one seems to care at all

Take my words and hold them close

Don’t you know you’re beautiful?


Darling it’s worth it

I know that you’re bruised and you’re broken

Alone and confused in this moment

Remember my words: that it’s ok to fall apart

There is strength behind your scars to keep moving

Through all of the pain and the ruins

I know there’s a way to get through this

For better or worse put no conditions on your heart

Love yourself for who you are and nothing else


Deep breath in, breathe it out

Take a break from the pressure

Don’t be afraid of yourself anymore

You’re so much more than your failures


I know it’s been a long dark road

And no one seems to care at all

Take my hand, I won’t let go

Don’t you know you’re worth it all?


Darling it’s worth it

I know that you’re bruised and you’re broken

Alone and confused in this moment

Remember my words: that it’s ok to fall apart

There is strength behind your scars to keep moving

Through all of the pain and the ruins

I know there’s a way to get through this

For better or worse put no conditions on your heart

Love yourself for who you are and nothing else


You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful

For who you are and nothing else

For nothing and no one else

You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful

For who you are and nothing else

For nothing and no one else


Darling you’re worth it

You’re infinitely so much more than

You could ever know or imagine

Remember my words: that it is written in the stars

You are perfect as you are so keep moving

Through all of the pain and the ruins

I know there’s a way to get through this

For better or worse put no conditions on your heart

Love yourself for who you are and nothing else


You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful

For who you are and nothing else

For nothing and no one else

You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful

For who you are and nothing else

For nothing and no one else

You’re beautiful


51 of 53. I’m Sorry.     I’m sorry  I’m not the person you thought I should be  I know it hurts right now but can’t you see  I can breathe  And I’m sorry  I won’t pretend it went down perfectly  But looking back I wouldn’t change a thing  Honestly     Don’t try to keep it together     I’m empty  I feel it in the nights when I can’t sleep  Wide awake lying in the smithereens  That cover me  And I’m hurting  Cause everything I once held close to me  Got torn to pieces all so suddenly  So violently     Don’t try to keep it together     I’m angry  I never wanted us to make a scene  So I took your bullets quietly  Silently  And I’m angry  About the words you said so carelessly  And everything that went down in between  It cut so deep  You’ll never see     Baby it’s a long way down  When you’re falling to the ground  You don’t have to figure out  Everything you’re facing now     Don’t try to keep it together     I’m hoping  That maybe one day we can make our peace  Find a way to make the bitter sweet  Finally  And I’m praying  That maybe one day we will finally see  Everything that went down in between  Honestly     And not try to keep it together  Don’t try to keep it together

51 of 53. I’m Sorry.


I’m sorry

I’m not the person you thought I should be

I know it hurts right now but can’t you see

I can breathe

And I’m sorry

I won’t pretend it went down perfectly

But looking back I wouldn’t change a thing

Honestly


Don’t try to keep it together


I’m empty

I feel it in the nights when I can’t sleep

Wide awake lying in the smithereens

That cover me

And I’m hurting

Cause everything I once held close to me

Got torn to pieces all so suddenly

So violently


Don’t try to keep it together


I’m angry

I never wanted us to make a scene

So I took your bullets quietly

Silently

And I’m angry

About the words you said so carelessly

And everything that went down in between

It cut so deep

You’ll never see


Baby it’s a long way down

When you’re falling to the ground

You don’t have to figure out

Everything you’re facing now


Don’t try to keep it together


I’m hoping

That maybe one day we can make our peace

Find a way to make the bitter sweet

Finally

And I’m praying

That maybe one day we will finally see

Everything that went down in between

Honestly


And not try to keep it together

Don’t try to keep it together

I’m Sorry

At the end of it all, I was left feeling tons of emotions, things I had never felt before because I had never allowed myself to feel so deeply. I was genuinely sorry for everything that had happened. I was still hurting from everything that went down. And I was angry. So fucking angry. And at the same time, I was hopeful, that somehow, maybe one day, it would all make sense. I felt so many things all at the same time. And that was ok. Finally, it was ok to exist in the messiness of it all and to experience things as they come. I didn’t have to keep it together or tie a pretty red bow on everything or have it all figured out. I could just be. (As I’m writing this, please know that I am still in the mess. I don’t have anything figured out. And that’s ok. I don’t have to. And you don’t have to either.)


Dreaming in Color

So yeah. Life sucks sometimes and the pain is very real. I think the thing that has annoyed me the most is that I thought things would get easier. And in a way, things have. But in other ways, my life is definitely more difficult. I really don’t like false hope or sugar-coating anything, so I won’t say that it’s all sunshine and rainbows now. But. I do see things more clearly. Even in the pain and the confusion, I can see the hope in it all, even if it’s just a glimmer. They say “it gets better” — and it really does, they are right. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it gets easier. And that’s ok too. I won’t lie to myself anymore and pretend like the pain isn’t there. It’s ok to admit there’s darkness, but it’s also ok to look for the light. I remind myself all the time to “dream in color” — to see things as they are and for what they can become.

52 of 53. Dreaming in Color.     Sometimes life can get you  Down to the ground and confused  It’s an uphill battle we fight  It doesn’t mean that you’ve lost  With every fight there’s a cost  So take a deep breath and try     Dreaming in color on cold dark days  Dreaming of clear skies when clouds turn grey  Dreaming of sunshine, soft UV rays  Dreaming in color, dreaming in color     Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color  Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color     Sometimes life can give you  A limited point of view  Nothing’s ever what it seems to be  Just open up your eyes and  Look to the brighter side and  Just keep moving, just keep     Dreaming in color on cold dark days  Dreaming of clear skies when clouds turn grey  Dreaming of sunshine, soft UV rays  Dreaming in color, dreaming in color     Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color  Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color     Sooner than later  I swear it gets better  Just dream it in color  Keep dreaming in color  Darling hold on a little bit longer  I swear gets better  Just dream it in color  Just keep     Dreaming in color on cold dark days  Dreaming of clear skies when clouds turn grey  Dreaming of sunshine, soft UV rays  Dreaming in color, dreaming in color     Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color  Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color     Oh, keep dreaming in color  Keep dreaming in color  Keep, keep dreaming in color

52 of 53. Dreaming in Color.


Sometimes life can get you

Down to the ground and confused

It’s an uphill battle we fight

It doesn’t mean that you’ve lost

With every fight there’s a cost

So take a deep breath and try


Dreaming in color on cold dark days

Dreaming of clear skies when clouds turn grey

Dreaming of sunshine, soft UV rays

Dreaming in color, dreaming in color


Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color

Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color


Sometimes life can give you

A limited point of view

Nothing’s ever what it seems to be

Just open up your eyes and

Look to the brighter side and

Just keep moving, just keep


Dreaming in color on cold dark days

Dreaming of clear skies when clouds turn grey

Dreaming of sunshine, soft UV rays

Dreaming in color, dreaming in color


Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color

Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color


Sooner than later

I swear it gets better

Just dream it in color

Keep dreaming in color

Darling hold on a little bit longer

I swear gets better

Just dream it in color

Just keep


Dreaming in color on cold dark days

Dreaming of clear skies when clouds turn grey

Dreaming of sunshine, soft UV rays

Dreaming in color, dreaming in color


Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color

Oh, dreaming in color, dreaming in color


Oh, keep dreaming in color

Keep dreaming in color

Keep, keep dreaming in color


53 of 53. Stay.     The other side  Is not what I  What I thought it would be  It’s not like a movie  With the world at my feet     I fought the fight  I crossed the line  But it’s still not easy  It’s not what they told me  What they said it would be     And I know what I know  And I try to be strong  But it’s not easier  And I try to let go  And I try to hold on  But I still feel the fear     When the music fades  And the world keeps spinning by  I know I’ll keep moving  It hurts to be human  But I choose to be brave  When I’m losing faith  And the shadows come to mind  I'll know that it’s worth it  I know it’s not perfect  But I choose to stay  I choose to stay  I choose to stay     The rising tide  It fills my mind  Oh, ever so quickly  I try not to worry  About how things should be     The pain inside  I try to hide  I try to be happy  But it’s still not easy  When there’s no guarantees     And I no longer hold  All the weight of the world  But it’s not easier  And I try to move forward  Not be scared anymore  But I still feel the fear     When the music fades  And the world keeps spinning by  I know I’ll keep moving  It hurts to be human  But I choose to be brave  When I’m losing faith  And the shadows come to mind  I'll know that it’s worth it  I know it’s not perfect  But I choose to stay  I choose to stay  I choose to stay  Please choose to stay

53 of 53. Stay.


The other side

Is not what I

What I thought it would be

It’s not like a movie

With the world at my feet


I fought the fight

I crossed the line

But it’s still not easy

It’s not what they told me

What they said it would be


And I know what I know

And I try to be strong

But it’s not easier

And I try to let go

And I try to hold on

But I still feel the fear


When the music fades

And the world keeps spinning by

I know I’ll keep moving

It hurts to be human

But I choose to be brave

When I’m losing faith

And the shadows come to mind

I'll know that it’s worth it

I know it’s not perfect

But I choose to stay

I choose to stay

I choose to stay


The rising tide

It fills my mind

Oh, ever so quickly

I try not to worry

About how things should be


The pain inside

I try to hide

I try to be happy

But it’s still not easy

When there’s no guarantees


And I no longer hold

All the weight of the world

But it’s not easier

And I try to move forward

Not be scared anymore

But I still feel the fear


When the music fades

And the world keeps spinning by

I know I’ll keep moving

It hurts to be human

But I choose to be brave

When I’m losing faith

And the shadows come to mind

I'll know that it’s worth it

I know it’s not perfect

But I choose to stay

I choose to stay

I choose to stay

Please choose to stay

Stay

I wish I could say I have it all figured out. But I don’t. I reached the end of all of this thinking that I would be stronger now. But I’m not. If we’re being honest, my life is still scary and it’s not easier at all. I’m still sad sometimes and none of it really makes sense. But. Through losing the love and respect of others, I learned to love and respect myself. Through losing everything, I learned I already have everything I could ever need. I am no longer my greatest enemy. I am, in fact, my greatest asset. And if I know anything, it’s that life isn’t easy, but it’s still worth it. So I choose to be brave. And I choose to stay.


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 The End


And that’s it I guess. Honestly didn’t think I would make it. But here we are.

This journey and experience was so far from perfect. There’s so much I would have done different looking back. But I am still very thankful and truly believe it was worth it.

I’ve been asked, “What’s next after this?” And the answer is…I don’t know. I have some projects I have to do in the future, but personally, I really don’t have a plan. I know that I need to rest and take some time off and probably not commit to any more challenges like this. As my grandparents say, “The plan is there’s no plan.”

Thanks for listening. It’s been fun. Never forget that it’s worth it. <3

Love,

Jon