Thank You for Helping Me Be BRAVE

Thank you for helping me be Brave.

Hi Sara, I don’t know if you will ever ever read this in your entire life, but I’m still gonna send it because I’m in therapy and part of that is writing letters to people and I’m writing a letter to you. I’m sure you haven’t read enough of these in your career lol. I have been a fan of you since I was 13. I just started middle school and like I already knew your song Love Song, but when Kaleidoscope Heart came out, I really discovered you as a person, and as an artist.  I just fell in love with your artistry and your messages and everything that your music had to say. King of Anything I remember learning on the piano at age 14 and me and my middle school friend group would sing it as I was playing piano in our chorus room while our chorus teacher was literally just trying to eat lunch and be alone for one part of her day. But of course we didn’t let her and now I’m the chorus teacher. That’s my actual job now, and I’m like I would NEVER let kids do that like I need time. So I’m probably an asshole. BUT anyway, then in high school when The Blessed Unrest came out, we did the same shit with Manhattan with different songs on there constant oh and the Once Upon Another Time EP that was that was a big one for a lot of my friends.

So as an angsty teenager who didn’t believe in anything happy and only listen to sad music, (which is partially why I liked you so much cause so much of your shit sad,) Brave was the song that I was like oh, that’s cute, but not my favorite. I like this song because it’s Sara‘s of course, but turn that shit off. I wanna be sad. Even though the happy uplifting inspirational message wasn’t for me at that time. I knew that the song resonated with me and some sort of way because I’ve always had a kind of tempestuous relationship with my mom. There were a lot of feelings and a lot of things I want to express to her as a teenager about how I thought we could improve our relationship or maybe things that she had said to me before that have hurt me. Of course I didn’t though, because that was just gonna backfire and make the problems worse, so I just kept my mouth shut as a kid and as a teenager and finally was free to go to college. Turns out all that well not all of it but a lot of the stuff that I was keeping in and keeping from her was my queer identity, which didn’t come to terms with until 19 or 20 so when I brave after years of probably not really hearing it or listening that closely and really dissecting the words I was like, “Oh. This hurts and now it’s sad. Yay sad song but a happy, sounding sad song and sad for me because I am not brave. I’m never gonna be brave, whenever I talk to my mom about my identity it’s gonna be shit. You know this just feels like shit because it’s such a happy song and my ‘brave moment’ won’t be happy it’s going to fucking suck. I feel like this song will never be my reality.” Please understand, NO critique to your song. This is just my emotional reaction to it and perspective at the time.

So eventually, I did tell my mom that I was dating girls which was identifying as by to which she said really horrible things and it came up a couple times in passing and every time it was just like “I can’t talk about this. We’re not gonna talk about it. I can’t deal with this.” She just totally denied it. Total rejection of me. She wouldn’t get rid of me and I almost rather wish she did because it would’ve been easier than like , keeping it inside because we continue to have a relationship and we talked every day. After my mom refused communication regarding my identity, I moved out about 4 months later and got a big girl job. I just finished college during the first Covid shutdown so I moved out, got a job all that good shit. I was in a relationship with my ex, we dated for couple years. My mom knew about my ex but I wasn’t allowed to talk about it on her terms.

So, fast forward to now. I am living the lesbian stereotype of being in a long-term relationship with a girl I met online who is a huge Lesley Gore fan and who loves 60s 70s music. We connected super randomly and spontaneously, so organically just like lurking the Lesley or tag on Instagram or on TikTok or something. We instantly became close friends and then it was like wait you’re like my soulmate so like, I love you! She has flown to America and we’re together and she comes here every couple of months and spends a few weeks and she wants to move here

So I’m now 26 years old my grandfather passed away in January. He didn’t know about my identity, but he was the first grandparent that I’ve had that has passed. Well, not the first grandparent who passed with the first grandparent that I was close to, and who had like the biggest impact on my childhood. His death really made me think about how I’m 26 and how every family function every party every thing that I go to, I am the ONLY one there who isn’t just open and who doesn’t talk about what me and my partner do or who doesn’t you know have the partner there. It just really hit me that I had to hide who I am from the eyes of the people who are supposed to care about me and be the first people to know about these thing. These are some of the people who I should be closest to and not always I know people don’t have relationships with family members and that’s okay. I tried that but unfortunately, even with some of my family members really twisted way of thinking they love me and this is proven by my mom, which I promise I’m getting to soon! But yeah, grandpa’s death kind of threw me over the edge and I was like I can’t take it anymore. I can’t not be talking about my shit because it’s mine and it’s important to me. I love my girlfriend and if I want future with her, which I SO do, I need to be BRAVE and I need to go through with this.

So, two weeks ago, I left work early cause I just was about to have a panic attack. I was like driving home just looking at the beautiful sky (instead of the road which was a genius move) and I was like, I’m just gonna call her like I’m gonna be brave. Your song completely embodied the feeling of epiphany in the breakthrough, that feeling in the moment of knowing that I was worth so much more than the pain that I had allowed myself to go through for years. And so I called her and told her how much I’ve been hurting, how much I just want to be seen and for my life to be known and acknowledged, and all about my girlfriend. My mom responded SO SURPRISINGLY WELL. She said so many positive and loving and accepting things and she’s not a raging liberal now or anything, but clearly growth has happened since 4 years ago. She basically invited my girlfriend to eventually meet her and she’s never met anybody that I’ve dated. Like EVER. No boy, no like fake boyfriend and high school or anything.

So I just have to say THANK YOU. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you. I know you’ve heard so many of these stories and mine is just a tiny blip, but you have just been the biggest role model ever so much of my life. I’m literally sitting staring at your book on my shelf that I pick up and read whenever I’m like beating myself up for my anxiety or depression. But anyway, I just have to share this with you, whether you end up reading it or not. If you do, I’ll be so happy and excited and just grateful for you and for your art, and you are incredible.


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