Growing up. 23. Balance. Closure. 4/27/18.

This year I have felt like the girl in Kelsea Ballerini’s song “In Between.”

When I was a kid, I dreamed of being twenty-three years old. Twenty-three was always my favorite number, and I was very sure that year twenty-three would be the best year of my life. I didn’t have an exact dream of what would happen that year, but I knew it would be awesome.

My friend Emily Davis said something like this to me this week as we were laughing about how we had to put hanging out with each other in our calendars: “It’s crazy to me how ‘grown ups’ used to always say to me, ‘Being an adult is so hard. The real world is so hard.’ Yet I was positive that when I became an adult, I would so strongly defy the odds and absolutely love being an adult. And ya know what? Here I am mid twenties, living on my own, working, living… and the world is hard. I’m flying all over the country. I’m in a serious relationship. I’m just busy. I have to pencil in time with my friends. I hate it, but they were right. I was so sure that my life would always be easy to handle.” I sipped on my coffee listening to her talk about the balance beam we call life.

Emily is the gal who hostessed with me throughout college. It’s funny that we both live in Nashville now and hardly see each other, when we used to work together from three to ten about five days a week. I remember how we used to talk the night away when the restaurant was slow. About boys, music, life. There was no internet on the computer, and we always complained about that. But I think that’s how we became the greatest of friends. Emily would always tell the guests that I sang. They would ask me to sing right there at the hostess stand, and I always would. It was my little spotlight, so I just sang whatever I thought of off the top of my head.

I’m half head up in the clouds, half feet down on the ground

‘Cause it ain’t that simple

As an adult sittin’ on that page when they say, Act your age

But you’re stuck there in the middle.

Twenty-three held and threw and hushed and moved a lot this year. It marked my one year anniversary of living in Nashville. I started learning to cook. And I started eating healthy! Veggie burgers, the hummus & celery duo, subbing zucchini noodles for real pasta (didn’t know that was even a thing), etc. However, you will always find pistachio ice cream in my freezer, and that will not change. The craziest part about my life right now is that I am going on radio tour this year. RADIO TOUR. Two words with a heavy weight which I am unable to fully know because it’s apparently one of those that you can’t understand until you’re there. Even though people say it’s grueling and it’s crazy exhausting, I still cant wait.

Dumb enough to think I know it all

Smart enough to know I don’t

Young enough to think I’ll live forever

Old enough to know I won’t

When you’re in a writer’s room in Nashville, it can be amazing and cool and equally horrible and terrifying. When I was younger I thought I was right about everything and everyone. I would not have survived one minute in a writer’s room. When I am collaborating in a cowrite, it is the one place that I feel old and young and right and wrong all at the same time. It’s exhilarating. I just focus on what little bit I know about my own world. When he was little, my brother used to always say, “Everybody knows a little bit.”

If I had to make the comparison, I’d say art is a wild horse. And I love when I don’t have to tame it. I hate when I do have to. And every once in a while, I reluctantly tame my art due to another opinion, and it actually seems better. I’m so glad art is that beautiful, wild horse.

I first heard “In Between” at the ASCAP awards this year. I was sitting at the Ryman on the end of the row next to my publisher. I was zoned in on every word, and at the end I wished that I had written it. Moments like that stay forever.

I have learned some things about closure this year. I wrote a song about closure. I talked about the song that was about closure. And then I experienced some closure that I had been waiting on for a long time. I still have a few months left of twenty-three, and it has been the best year yet. I don’t know how I knew as a kid, but I knew. I might find a new favorite number, but this year sure lived up. So I hope and believe that in year twenty-four I will grow and learn, walk on the balance beam of life (and jump off every once in a while), love harder, and write wilder than ever before while I’m living… in between.

In between beer and basement

And Napa Valley vacation

In between hometown and a neon city

In between underestimated and overexpectated

Who I was and who I’m gonna be

With love,

Rachel Wammack

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