Jessica Latshaw

musician. writer. dancer.

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God bless the breakout moments.

Posted By on November 11, 2012 in I Lift My Eyes Up, Performance, there are pictures here, Thoughts and Feelings | 2 comments

I am very excited about this:

I mean, I am excited about every show, but this one will be SWEET because I am performing with Damien Bassman, who is a genuinely BAMF percussionist.

I reached out to him, asking if he’d be interested in playing with me, and he couldn’t reply right away because HE WAS BUSY PLAYING A GIG FOR KRISTEN CHENOWETH.

Um, oh.

You mean the super famous Kristen Chenoweth who originated Galinda in Wicked and did all those Old Navy commercials and Glee and a million other things that famous singers do? 

Yeah, I understood why he didn’t get back to me straight away.

Anyway, we’re rehearsing this week and playing a gig on Friday and WHOA.

But I will plan out my set list tomorrow as well as go to an audition and blah, blah, blah, those thoughts will have to keep, because tonight my mind is full of what it means to be me.

Right now.

Like, on purpose.

I remember walking into my therapist’s office about two years ago; I was white hot with anger and melting from the inside out with fear. I explained to her the conflict I was facing. How it was taking all my energy, every last bit of it–so much so that I felt like whatever part of myself that was supposed to remind me to stand up and eat food and walk in such a way that my body has weight and my feet make imprints on the ground had simply disappeared.

Instead, there was water. Just water, as far as I could tell. Water falling from my eyes in rivulets down my face, and water where there had once been a heart and a very strong sense of self. Now I was a puddle, and, because I was a puddle, I am pretty sure that the persons with whom I was in conflict had no problem walking right through me.

My therapist listened to me.

She let me tell her what was ruining everything.


A lot of everythings were ruined that year, truth be told.

And then she said something surprising.

“This,” she told me, her kind blue eyes indicating peace and seriousness at once, “Is good for you.”

Blank stare.

“Trust me,” she continued. “You need to understand that people can and will be upset with you, but that does not diminish YOU. In fact, this can be a break out moment in your life. To live from you heart, rather than in formulaic ways–exhausting attempts for approval, one after the other–will bring you into real freedom. Freedom that you’ve never known before, Jessica. I’m thrilled. I’m so excited for you. I love what this journey will bring to you, if you let it.”

I sat staring at her, nonplussed. Easy for you to be thrilled, when you can go home and not face the conflict I’m facing right now, I thought.

But I also thought she was right.

And no, I don’t want to fight with people. I hate that. I want to live at peace with everyone, as much as it is up to me, absolutely. I do not want to unnecessarily offend others at all.

But I do want to live from my heart.

Here’s to trying our best. Here’s to the breakout moments that are hard as nails, but become the teachers we thank later; when we’re running across the finished line, or holding that trophy, or booking that gig, or learning to love our partner better–because it’s then that we see clearly how, no, we couldn’t have done any of this without those breakout moments.


  1. Steph November 12, 2012

    Phew! Jess. Girl, you’re making me well up with tears before I’ve even finished my coffee (commonly referred to here at Dunham Central as the “Elixir of Life.” Ahem.). No worries though, for those tears are happy tears. Happy for you, happy for me, happy for anyone who breaks out of the life-sucking behavior that holds us captive in our little homemade prison cells.


    • jessica November 12, 2012

      Steph–your words are always so kind and lovely. Thank you; you’re such a gift. Here’s to many more breakout moments for each of us…and the grace to recognize them as such:)

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