After an incredible jazz fusion set, the group made its way to the bar area where I was downing Corona’s by the hour. By then, I had met a few of the regulars in prior shows and talked to Chad several times about how awesome I felt he was. This distinctive night was life-altering. I was always confident in what I was doing from a very young age. Truly it was just a mask of deception. But back then? Nah, I knew it all.
Chad knew though. He knew before I knew what I was living. Some new guys showed up and I was surrounded by regulars and irregulars. I observed they’re behavior and knew it was time for me to go. While I waited for my tab, they mumbled some garbage I could not make out. Chad turned and said, “Her? No. Back off. She’s cool, she’s not like that. She has an old soul. I can tell from her eyes.” I locked eyes intently with him and yelled, “what happened!?” he continued, “You know that right? You have an old soul. Hey listen. I’m outta here but watch out for these guys right here.” He gave me a hug and took off.
This was not the first time he stuck out his neck to make sure I was okay. But it was the first time he mentioned the soul thing. What does that even mean?
Looking back now, it’s obvious my blind confidence had me in the most dangerous situations for an under-age teenager roaming around alone as if she owned the streets. I didn’t. And Chad knew me well enough to not mistake me for the parade of groupies that followed them around all the time.
The Baked Potato has been a hideout of mine for over a decade and for good reason. They have incredible jazz music, delicious fatty food and the most intimate setting you can think of creating long lasting memories and a vibrant ambience.
One of my good friends, Mark Daniel introduced me to this place knowing how fanatic I was about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It became a sanctuary of mine when Mark passed away and little did I know it was going to become a safe zone for artistic motivation.
And that statement? “You have an old soul”. God! That stuck with me for so long and I couldn’t understand why he thought that of me. Until now.
My reality today: I am symptomatic of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and most recently discovered, adult-child syndrome. The last two years have been dedicated to puzzling this together. As to why I am the way that I am. I went from being this friendly lone wolf rebellious know-it-all to having withdrawals, trust issues, lack of self-worth, numbness, and overall feelings of being judged all the time (plus more). It all snuck its way into my life as I got older and had no idea that I wasn’t this confident awesome cool kid. No. That old soul that Chad saw was the result of skipping my childhood and going straight to adulting by the tender age of 8.
So, if in fact, that is the case, and I have an old soul, I’m not about to call it quits and victimize myself to the public. This isn’t why I decided to share this story. It’s also not the reason why I’ve decided to share tidbits of my personal life through song and writing. I understand these topics can be taboo. I understand what privacy means to people and why many stay quiet and deal with problems on their own. I truly admire people fighting the silent battle. I also praise everyone who can talk about it with friends and family for support and communication. That has been one of the hardest things for me. To talk about it. For this old soul of mine, when I listen to it, it tells me to write about it instead. It tells me to sing about it. It tells me I can help one person or many if I allow it. It tells me my story can in fact potentially make another soul NOT feel alone.
So, thank you Chad Smith. Not just for being a look out when I needed it. But, for helping me find my voice and realizing that this old soul is worth being heard.