Track Two: "Gamble"
A picture from our first stop on the way to Minnesota.
My fathers struggles with addiction during my teen years made the word “gamble” highly triggering for me for a long time. It was sort of a full circle moment when I wrote this song a few years back. I wrote this piece in fifteen minutes when I was sitting in front of our tiny tent at a campsite in Duluth Minnesota. We had just arrived there after a long road trip. Just me, the husband, little Zuzu, and everything we owned in our car.
After undergrad was done it took me longer then I would like to admit to get on my feet. At the same time I was posting instagram videos of me filming audition videos, (seemingly without a care in the world), I was struggling at a dead end customer service job for a salon that I only took because I was at a loss for how to make some sort of paycheck. I also had outstanding credit card debt from busting my butt to get to a pay to sing young artists program that summer, and was still living with my parents. I was newly engaged at the time, and I also took the job in an effort to save for the wedding. I remember showing up to my soon to be husband's studio apartment after eight eleven dollar hours of sitting in a basement filled with computers and no windows. I had people yelling at me on the phone because I wasn’t booking their 400 dollar spa appointment fast enough, and I would just come home and sob almost every night.
A few weeks, and three more mental breakdowns later, I quit that job, landed a music directing gig at a church, and then landed another teaching job after that. Following our wedding I transitioned into a full time job at the music school. I loved it and was making really good money. We were comfortable, so of course my masochistic need for growth and adventure was like “let’s uproot everything and completely change your life again!“- the result: grad school. I finally got the courage to audition for grad programs again after being rejected to five schools in a row a year and a half prior. This time, I got in.
A flood of childhood memories came forward during the weeks leading up to us leaving. It would be the longest I was ever living away from the pacific northwest… the only real home I had ever known. I knew I needed to do it, because I felt myself stagnating, and 24 was way too young to be doing that…. but man was it hard. I cried for the first leg of the drive, not just because of the family and friends I had to say goodbye to, but because of the end of an era. An era of the front porch I grew up playing on with the neighbor kids, an era of all my friends being in the same place, an era of our old dog Jessie who was my dearest companion for the first nineteen years of my life, an era of sleeping down the hall from my parents, an era of everything being simpler despite its struggles. Suddenly I found myself married, new dog, no actual home address at the moment, moving halfway across the country.
“Gamble” is a song written about taking chances, those moments in life where you know the risk is worth taking, but you also can’t help but feel the aftershock of the earthquake. Those moments in life that define what your path will be moving forward, and help carve out your destiny. The name of the song is also a declaration that I am no longer afraid of past haunts. Gambling will no longer claim my family in the way it almost did during my teenage years, all though I still carry some scars from those wounds.
"Gamble" is a song that is symbolic of the courage it takes to truly make a life altering decision, and fully commit to seeing it through no matter what. When I wrote this song I was blissfully unaware of the fact that a global pandemic would make the next two years more strange, challenging, and weirdly beautiful than I could have ever anticipated… but that’s a discussion for another song I guess.