Kat Downs

Answer the Damn Call

A common question I get asked in interviews is “What made you choose to be a musician?”

I almost always start laughing.  CHOOSE to be a musician? I didn’t CHOOSE to be a musician.  Who would ever do this to themselves?  In fact, I’ve quit being a musician five times I can think of and I’m sure there were more than that.  I consider quitting at least once every couple of weeks to this day.

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What Is Brave?

I was never taught to be brave.  To my recollection.

It was more the opposite.  Not cowardly, but timid.  Don’t raise your voice, don’t handle things yourself.  Always ask for help.  Defer to men.  Defer to adults.  Don’t draw attention to yourself.  Be a polite quiet lady.  Demure.  Graceful.  I was taught to stand up straight, how to choose the correct china patterns, correctly set the table.  How to correctly clean the house, and fold laundry.  I was taught how to dress appropriately for specific occasions.  How to place my hands and feet just so when having my portrait taken.

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Insomnia

At night the ocean is a giant black void. It’s the beginning and the end.  The future and the past. It’s every dream and every nightmare rolled into one. The waves are the sound of perpetual motion. Proof the world continues on around you – even when you hold your breath.  You are small. You are insignificant.

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Purging The Shoulds

Should.

That fucking word.  I swear to Christ.

It haunts us with things left undone. With potential.  An endless stream of what-ifs, could-haves, and maybes that meld into a theatrical chorus of “You are not good enough as you are”.

I’m not talking about positive self-improvement.  I’m talking about those twisted voices whose only purpose is to torment.  We all have them.

“The Shoulds”.
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2016 – Portrait of the Artist

I have an annual tradition where toward the end of the year I deep clean my apartment and purge everything I don’t use.  Year after year I slowly work myself toward being a minimalist.

If you come across an item you’re not sure about while you’re in the process of decluttering there is a three-question system you use:

  1. Do you actively use it?
  2. Do you need it?
  3. Do you love it?

I’ve been doing this for a while, so most things need two or more yeses to stay.

This year what struck me as I started cleaning out my ever-dwindling cabinets is that they are not full of “things” anymore. They are full of the people I used to be, or people I wish I was.

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I’m Ready to Talk Now

Because I understand multiple points of view, it takes me a while to figure out how I feel about things.  I’ve always seen this as a weakness because in debates I am not able to respond quickly.  And I can’t just blurt out whatever comes to mind because I also come with this self-edit-function that won’t allow me to stand up for something unless I know it’s true to ME.

And I wanted to sit on this until I knew I was saying my truthiest truth.

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