So remember when I said I’d stop doing written blogs? Turns out I’m a big, fat liar. I finally feel like I’m in a better state, mentally, on this tour, and that’s because I’ve had some pretty big updates. Let me take you through them.
I was really quiet about which dates I was sticking around for, simply because everything was super up in the air. The non-profit van I was traveling in had to drop off after Nashville, but I didn’t have a ton of material for my thesis, so I was trying to figure out where I could stay for at least another week. Then, when I was about to give up, I got a text that someone was looking for me at merch, and I was surprised to see my good pal Dakota, who’s tour managing Story Untold.
We’d spoken a few times, and I was planning on interviewing him for my thesis. We went on a “walk and talk,” and he explained that things weren’t working out with their current photographer, but he saw that I was out here hustling and wanted to be here, so they offered me the position.
Essentially, I’ll be part of their crew (including lodging), doing behind the scenes and show photos. But these dudes are so nice that they’re allowing me to continue the exact same relationship with Doll Skin. I’ll still be helping them out with merch and such, while shooting their set, of course.
It’s finally come time for me to bid my van adieu, and while I’m pretty pumped to not wake up in Walmart parking lots drenched in my own sweat, I’ll miss these friends I’ve made deeply. I see huge potential in all of them and can’t thank them enough for helping me out by adopting me into their crew. I was so deeply satisfied telling people I was riding with a group that was preventing skin cancer and helping the flint water crisis—their work is so important and I sincerely hope our paths cross again.
The Story Untold boys picked me up in Nashville, and we stayed with an old friend of Dakota’s. I’ve only been with the guys for a few hours, but it feels like I’m back in the van with The New Schematics boys again. We’re crashing on couches and floors, but they watch movies and talk for hours and play pranks on each other. It feels like I’m in a family again, and they’ve already offered to beat up anyone I need beaten.
Something that’s actually been fun to navigate so far is the language barrier. The guys are French Canadian, so English is their second language (although they speak it very fluently). When they converse with each other, they usually speak French, which I thought would bother me, but it really doesn’t. They’re incredibly good at switching back and forth, and I know that when they aren’t speaking English, I don’t really need to listen because they aren’t speaking to me. I also like to play a game where I listen for words or phrases that sound like English (even though they likely mean TOTALLY different things) and make up what I think they may be talking about.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, truly. I’m finally in a routine and have been making friends, so I feel like I can really do this, even if it isn’t going to be easy.
I do want to say a few words about my friend Rocky, who left after Texas, and Cameron, who may be leaving after Nashville. They’re both incredibly hard-working, generous, hilarious, charismatic people who have been pillars of strength for me throughout the tour. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and for the laughs—it isn’t easy out here, and they remind me why I can handle this.
This blog is a little short, as many of them likely will be due to my limited time to sit down and write. In my next blog, I’m planning on taking you through my daily routine, so stay tuned for that!