It's one of the most amazing feelings to see your friends succeed. We all share in the smaller little accomplishments in our every day lives, but when there is an opportunity to share part of someone else's really proud moment, it is quite amazing.
Last night we went to Jennifer Taylor's CD release party at Toads Place in New Haven (www.jennifertaylormusic.com) Jenn is my oldest (longest) friend. We've known each other since middle school. Our friendship has gone for months at at time without any contact but whenever we get back together, it's like old times again. She has always been incredibly talented musically and it has been fun to watch her grow from Thursday night gigs at Tailgators in Derby to her full time job of 4-6 gigs a week throughout New England. I've seen her perform in Manhattan, on the Cape, and throughout Connecticut at various bars and restaurants. She has grown as a woman and as a musician. She has truly found herself and everytime I see her she seems happier. Even through some really difficult times, she's found humor and lightheartedness, so much more often than I ever could.
So last night, as her crew is setting up the stage and her family and friends gathered at Toads Place, I felt this amazing giddiness. I was so incredibly excited for her. This is her 3rd CD but the first big CD release party I've been invited to. I mean, this is TOADS PLACE. That's a big deal! After catching up with her parents (who came up from NJ) and her sisters and brother, the lady who's kids Jenn and I babysat for (and that dang doll that would NOT stop crying until we rested the couch on it) and bunches of Jenn's friends I've met throughout our friendship and gig-going, we stood waiting for Jenn to come on stage. I was giddy. I'm not kidding. I was grinning ear to ear and giggling to myself. I was SO excited.
She comes on stage, cool as a cucumber, of course. The crowd is cheering as she grabs her guitar and the band starts playing and she starts singing. WOW. Her music feels different. It feels fun and serious at the same time. The lyrics (my favorite part of music) are like a story of her recent life. And she has had a killer year. One song is called In this Past Year (I think) which is really a great song. She called it a country song but had a Jenn flair to it. It mentions some things that make me realize it's time for me to get an update from her... like the fist fight (Jennifer, what happened?) and waking up in the guardrail? (oh my god, I didn't know that's how it happened!?!) All her music felt JUST like her personality. It felt fun, upbeat, and lively- even though there is some seriously heavy stuff in the lyrics.
So I stood there, grinning ear to ear, looking around at all the people who love her, listening to Jenn pour her heart out in her music and I felt an incredibly deep and profound sense of pride. And DAMN she sounded so good! I am so proud of my friend.
So, this morning when I opened the CD to play in my car on the way into work, she brought me to dumbfounded tears when I was reading the lyrics (my favorite part) and saw the dedications. Jenn, thank you. You are a true friend and I am humbled to be noted on your CD. I am so thankful call you my friend. I am thankful to share in your successes and I am so happy to see you pull yourself out of the hardest year ever, to find success in your career, your life and to have found true love. You made it. You are on top, baby. And I am so proud.