A Hug

I stress myself out more than the average human.

This much I know.

First comes the fast, incessant talking. Then the teeth grinding. Then the pacing back and forth; my mind going a million miles an hour in circles like a racetrack. At this point, my adrenal glands have gone into overdrive and I start to feel a drunken kind of dizziness. I’m hot all over, cheeks flushed, mouth dry.

My mom used to tell me that I worked myself into a “tizzy” when this would happen to me in adolescence. Her telling me that just made me more anxious, angrier, more stressed.

Then she would hug me and let me take deep breaths into her shoulder until I calmed down.

Once when I was about 10, I was staying over at my grandmother’s house and came down with a terrible flu; the kind that makes your entire body feel like it’s engulfed in flames while simultaneously being hit with 1,000 lead hammers. I was sleeping in the same room as my mom on the bottom part of my grandma’s old trundle bed, and sporadically throughout the night go through bouts of intense pain where my entire body would freeze up.

When I thought the pain would never subside, my mom put her hand gently on my chest until the pain passed.

Another instance when I was 13 and I had my heart broken for the first time. I spent an entire night in her arms, sobbing, shedding the tears of young love and fresh heartache.

Her arms always made me feel safe. Her hands like novocaine, her hugs like a sedative.

Then there was the day when she told me that her doctor had given her 2-4 weeks to live. This time she was in just as much pain, if not more than me. I sat in her arms for 15 minutes? An hour?

It was like her presence could stop time; somehow make this horrendous situation a little easier.

And finally the night before she passed. She was weak, but not broken, laying in bed in between my brother and I.

The room was silent as I pressed my head to her back and wrapped my arms around her, listening to her slow breaths and heavy heartbeat.

If I close my eyes long enough, I can still feel that moment. Her smell. Her skin. The way so many unsaid words hung in the air like an impending thunderstorm; the clouds about to burst with the weight of the world.

After she died, I thought the tears would never stop, the pain would never end. And in many ways it hasn’t, it’s just become different.

It’s days like today where that un-fillable void becomes apparent.

I felt myself spinning out of control, into one of my “tizzies.”

There has always been something about me and control that can set me over the edge.

Obviously, in my 27 and some odd months of my existence, I’ve developed various ways to cope with my stress; some constructive, some destructive.

But there has never been anything quite as effective as taking my mother’s hand, hearing my mother’s voice, being enveloped in her arms. Sometimes I want a hug from her so badly that it feels like my heart has been ripped freshly open; the crack in the dam that has been hermetically sealed time and again, but always seems to break even with all it’s strength.

Today I needed a hug from you.

I needed words from someone whom will never be able to answer me.

I suppose what gets me through days like there is realizing that the pain will always pass, the tears will always dry, the wrongs will always right, the stream leads to the river that leads to the ocean.

The heart wants to beat.

The lungs want to fill.

It will be okay.

Tonight I’ll get by on the memories, and hope that someday I can do the same for someone else as you did for me.

Shannon Rose Allen

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The Power of Awareness

Social Media is a powerful tool. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc give the masses power to essentially communicate anything to not just their friends and family, but potentially the entire world. 

Most of us enjoy these platforms as mindless entertainment, or to keep in touch with long-distance friends and family, or to secretly stalk all our ex-boyfriends/girlfriends. 

But how about when this “mindless” platform actually gets used for some good? 

For instance: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. 

THE ALS ASSOCIATION

I truly do not understand the negativity I’ve been seeing on Facebook especially about how this challenge is “narcissistic,” “pointless,” “idiotic.” These things are personally very offensive to me. I understand very much that not everyone who endures the challenge actually donates, but simply look at the ALS site (http://www.alsa.org/) and the numbers don’t lie. In fact, the association put out a press release today (August 20, 2014) stating that the ALS Association as received $31.5 MILLION in donations compared to just $1.9 million during the same period last year (July 29, 2013 – August 20, 2013). 

So PLEASE, if you have negative thoughts about the Ice Bucket Challenge, respectfully keep them to yourself. OR BETTER YET, donate to your favorite charity! There are SO many people struggling with cancer, and diabetes, lupus, heart disease, MS, etc. Not to mention people who don’t have access to food or clean water. 

So while you’re posting on Facebook about the last brownie you ate, or putting up another video of a cute cat (both of which, I’m guilty of… so no hate), maybe think about how much your life (and someone else’s) would get better if you donated your money or (if you don’t have the funds) your time. NEVER underestimate the importance of volunteering or simply spreading awareness. 

While we’re on the topic of awareness, I also want to address the people who think the attention ALS is getting, isn’t actually doing anything to further the treatment of the disease. The money to the association is definitely one argument, but how about that young scientist or doctor who wants to start his/her research on a cure? Or how about the billionaire investor that funds this person? Can you honestly tell me that MORE people knowing about this horrible disease is a bad thing?? 

My personal favorite cause, which to donate has always been breast cancer, since my mother, Rosemary Allen, passed away of stage 4 in 2011. AWARENESS and making sure women (and men) regularly get checked for lumps CAN SAVE LIVES. I repeat, AWARENESS and EARLY DETECTION can save LIVES. 

I know this may not be the same with ALS, as there is no cure, but the buzz we as a population are creating is our scream for treatment. It’s a scream for a cure! 

My cousin was diagnosed with ALS last year, and I’m very committed to spreading the education, and furthering the scientific research to find treatment and a cure. You can read her story and donate here (https://www.chipinforchris.com/). I know Christine, for one, has been overwhelmed with the amount of support she has received, as she wrote a very touching Facebook post thanking friends and family and all those who participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. She said ALS is something that is “usually discussed in hushed voices because it’s so scary.” She also thanked everyone for keeping her laughing and happy. 

So think about THAT next time you post some dumb, self-absorbed post about how this challenge does “nothing,” and is “pointless” and “idiotic.” Go back to your posts about what you made for dinner, and leave the rest of us to spread the LOVE AND HOPE! 

I have yet to be nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge, but I’ve decided that if I’m nominated, not only will I donate to ALS, but I’ll also sign up for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in NYC Sept. 7th, in addition to my Avon Breast Cancer Walk I’m doing in October. 

Now, all I ask is that everyone who reads this post, PLEASE go out and do one of the following: (1. Donate to ALS (if you can) (2. Spread awareness about ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge if you do not have the funds to donate (3. Donate, volunteer or spread awareness for your favorite cause (4. Tell those people who are in need of some love, that you love them

So here are some websites to check out!

ALS Association: http://www.alsa.org/

Chip in for Chris (My cousin, who is courageously battling ALS): https://www.chipinforchris.com/

My Avon Walk Site: bit.ly/shannonavonwalk

Now make like Taylor Swift and SHAKE IT OFF! 

Also… watching Dave Grohl re-enact Carrie as he performed the Ice Bucket Challenge, was THOROUGHLY amusing… 

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xoxo 

Shan Babe

Things My Mother Taught Me

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 57th birthday.

It’s been a bit of a tough week for me. This is the time of the year where, in 2011, my mom’s diagnosis wasn’t going so well.

In a few months, (in fact, exactly three months from yesterday) it will mark the three year anniversary of Ro’s passing.

So instead of sitting here and being sad (which believe me, I’ve spent a lot of time doing in regards to this topic), I wanted to write a happy post about the things, my mother, Rosemary Allen, taught me.

1. How to be myself

Now this might seem like an obvious lesson. Everyone can talk about how their parents raised them to “be themselves,” but my mother would never let me be anything less than who I am, EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

Even if it meant letting me be the strange, obscure child I was.

I used to run around my house naked when I was little, and my mom, who was a total hippie, let me do whatever I wanted.  My brother used to complain to her how weird it was, but she just responded, “Just let her do what she wants.”

I was a tom boy growing up, wanting so badly to be one of the boys. I would wear my brother’s hand-me-downs and never gave a shit what I looked like. I wanted to be friends with all the boys and had a secret fantasy that one day I would magically turn into a Ninja Turtle (Specifically Michaelangelo).

I’m so happy that my mother allowed me to be absolutely weird growing up. I’m so glad she didn’t push me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I’m so happy that she let me embrace my quirks, ie, my big glasses, my raspy voice, my crazy obsession with my stuffed animals, where I would pile them up on my bed and sleep on one, tiny area so they wouldn’t fall off.

My weirdness has made me the person I am today. My weirdness is who I am.

My mom let me explore every side of my creativity: singing, dancing, gymnastics, cheerleading, show choir, piano, flute (for a hot second), theater, and even said okay when I told her I wanted to start playing soccer. (I was terrible).

What if Ro pushed me to conform? Would I be the same person?

Probably not.

I’m happy to report that I am absolutely myself, 100% of the time.

And that’s, in large part, due to Ro.

2. How to take a stand 

My mom would never stand for injustice, big or small.

I remember a specific instance where a friend and I were at Northeastern Ohio’s local amusement park, Geauga Lake, (RIP) and these teenagers cut us in line for a ride.

Ro was NOT having it.

If this happened today, she probably would have been brought to court by some overbearing parents, but Ro had no problem telling those kids that they were wrong for cutting in line.

Now does this matter in the long scheme of things?

Yes it does.

Because in that moment when I was 9 or 10, I was still learning about politeness and having integrity, no matter how big or how small.

I once watched my mom get into a fight with a grown man who was making fun of a handicap bagger at WalMart when I was in high school. At the time, my teenage self was absolutely embarrassed that she was getting into it with a complete stranger, but looking back, I wish I would have given that guy a piece of my mind.

We, as living and breathing humans, have a choice in these situations whether or not to speak up.

And Ro ALWAYS stood up.

3. How to NOT let people walk all over me

This one ties into the last point, but it more concerns me and my self worth.

There was a time in middle school that I don’t like to talk about. Let’s just say my life was like Mean Girls in middle school, except Tim Meadows wasn’t my cool principle, Tina Fey wasn’t my encouraging math teacher, and I didn’t have an artsy friend duo to fall back on when everything went to shit.

And it was not funny.

Well, I can remember falling apart and my mother telling me to stick up for myself.  Yes, middle school was weird and awkward, and people were going to be mean, but that didn’t mean I had to sit back and be silent while people threw things at me in the hallway or kicked me out of lunch tables.

However, she also taught me not to fight fire with fire. Sometimes the best way to confront a bully is to let them know that they hurt you, and walk away. It might not feel like a lot when all is said and done, but standing up for yourself doesn’t always have to end with making the other person feel as hurt as you did when they bullied you.

Standing up for yourself means knowing your worth, and letting the other person know that you do.

4. How to dance to my own beat

I can’t stress enough how strange I was growing up.

I think the best people in this world are the ones who allow themselves to be weird, and more importantly, embrace it.

5. How to pursue a dream (and how NOT to give up on that dream)

I used to carry around a little brown and tan, hand-held tape recorder between the ages of 4 and 10. My mom and dad would buy me cassette tapes and I would record both sides with various songs, stories, variety shows (where I would fake interview people) for HOURS on end.

I would run around telling everyone I was going to be a professional singer when I grew up.

That seemed all fun and games until my teachers continued to tell me from elementary school to high school that singing simply wasn’t a plausible career.

After not getting into the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, I decided that all those teachers were right, and focused on a more practical major.

Then I decided to go to Berklee.

I remember the conversation with my family about Berklee. How it was going to be expensive, but that I truly believed I was talented enough to go there.

I remember Ro driving me through the snow storm on Feb 4, 2008 to my Berklee audition in downtown Cleveland. How I stressed out the entire ride because the traffic was awful, and then Berklee pushing my audition back three hours, and having to sit in the holding area with a know-it-all singer and her unbearable father.

But Ro kept me calm. And I got in.

And she was there for my very first gig in downtown Boston where I played only cover tunes in the smallest dive bar with shitty sound. And she danced with all the members of my band and bought us all food and drinks.

And I’m sure she would have been at my album release show if she were around.

Sometimes I can feel her when I’m auditioning for things. I can feel her energy pulsing through me. Her telling me to keep going.

Because I know she wanted me to keep going.

Let’s make that present tense: I know she wants me to keep going.

6. That it’s okay to cry

I’ve often been told that displaying emotions is a sign of weakness, but not to my mother.

Ro would always allow me to feel how I was feeling, regardless if I was being over-dramatic (which I often was).

I know so many people who are absolutely stoic; don’t display one iota of feeling for anything or anyone.

That might work for some people, but when something happens that forces those people to emote, things could get ugly.

Allowing myself to feel sad, or depressed, or upset about something, does not make me a bad person. It also does not make me weak. It makes me human. It makes me transparent; someone you can feel with, someone you can connect with, someone you can sympathize, or even empathize with.

7. How to find my own beauty

My mother would constantly say the phrase, “If you’re built anything like me, you’re built like a BRICK SHIT HOUSE.”

What she meant by this is that the Falasco and Allen women are built THICK. We have big legs, big thighs, big hips and usually weigh much more than we look.

Ro never told me this to make me feel bad, she told me this because it’s part of who I am, and she wanted me to learn how to embrace it.

The boys in middle school used to call me “Thunder Thighs” and I never understood why my thighs always touched when I walked, even though I was always a dancer and cheerleader and gymnast.

Ro also told me that if I didn’t want to, I never had to wear a bra, shave my legs, wear makeup or dress up. I’m so glad I grew up with a mother that embraced her beauty, because it has allowed me to embrace mine. Had I not grown up with this influence, I don’t know that I would have been able to withstand the standards of beauty that are thrown in my face every day working in the entertainment industry.

8. How to not give a FUCK 

If there was ever a person who gave ZERO fucks when she didn’t want to, it was my mother.

One night, shortly before she passed, I remember being up at 2 a.m. eating a bag of Lays potato chips with my mom.

I remember her saying something along the lines of, “Sometimes I just want to eat a bag of chips, ya know?”

And together, we ate the entire bag… at 2 a.m… with ZERO fucks being given.

Another time in high school, my best friend Ashley was sleeping over and my mom walked downstairs with nothing but a t-shirt and underwear on, coming to say goodnight to us.

I looked at her and was said, “Ro! Put some pants on.”

And she looked at me and said, “What!? We’re all girls here.”

Boom. Zero fucks given.

9. That sometimes life SUCKS, but that doesn’t mean life is bad

I don’t want to dwell too much on this story, because it will make me sad, but there was a time when my mom’s oncologist gave her two to four weeks to live. She sat me down on the couch in our living room and delivered the news. I remember just hugging her and crying for what seemed like hours.

Despite doctors giving her a timeline, I believe my mother lasted two or three extra weeks beyond those four weeks she was given. She had basically no blood, no platelets, and was in liver failure, but you would have NEVER guessed by the way she acted. My mother was walking around, spending time with family and friends, and laughing and being happy.

THAT was the demeanor of a dying woman. THAT was a woman who faced death with grace.

She would send out emails to friends to update them on her condition, and every one of those emails ended in a positive quote.

My mothers situation SUCKED. She had stage-four cancer. But that did not define her.

She loved the life she had, and saw positive things when most people would not have.

10. How to Love

This one.

I need to remind myself of this one.

Lately I feel like my heart has turned to stone. Like I can’t open up to anyone and that I’ve let myself become impervious to not only pain, but love.

Ro loved like no one else. She was so passionate about my brother and I, my dad, her family, her friends, my baby Blue dog… hell, my mother would make friends and pay it forward to people she just met.

LOVE is what matters in this world.

Everything else is just details.

Thank you Ro.

Happy Birthday.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Shannon Rose Allen

The Susan G Komen 3 Day: My thoughts/My fears

It’s a little more than a month away.

I will be walking 60 miles over 3 days in Boston at the end of July.

I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified.

Completely terrified.

The first time I did the walk in 2011, I had no idea what to expect. I also had my partner in crime, Christina. Now, I know exactly what to expect, and that makes me even more scared.

I remember how tough it got, ESPECIALLY at the end of day 2 and then the home stretch of day 3. I remember the 107 degree weather (no joke), the torrential rainstorm the second day, and how my legs felt like they were on autopilot after walking so many miles.

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I remember my terrible sunburns, the bug bites, feeling so hot that I had NO IDEA how I could ever bring my body temperature down.

I remember them shutting down the course at the end of days one AND two because it was too hot. The second day Christina said, “Fuck it,” and finished anyway… in 107 degree weather.

For real.

But I also remember the opening ceremony and writing down my reason for walking: Ro.

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I remember meeting the group of women on the second day who were walking for their friend with stage 4. She was 35.

I remember making friends with women from all over the country. Every one of them with their own ties to breast cancer.

I remember passing the pond with swans and Christina and I screaming, “Stop looking at me SWAAAAAN!”

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I remember when Christina blamed the loud fart from the tent next to us on me… 😉

I remember taking a detour to stop by Berklee and take a picture in front of Pour House when we crossed the Charles river.

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I remember crying and hugging Christina when we crossed the finish line.

I remember calling my dad and him telling me he had to get off the phone because he didn’t want me to hear him cry.

I remember taking off my shoe and raising it into the air at the closing ceremony.

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I remember raising OVER $11,000.

When I think about these things… I become a little less terrified.

This time around things are a little different: I definitely have not raised as much as my previous walk, I don’t have a friend walking with me, and I certainly haven’t had the time to train like I did last time.

But then I have to remind myself that it all comes back to my mom. Every dollar raised, every step taken, ever blister on my toes, every time I feel to tired/hot/miserable to move, I MUST think of her.

I can do this.

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Even without the cushion of the thousands of dollars.

Even without the comfort of having my best friend there.

I can walk 60 miles. I’ve already done that.

And let’s be honest… we ALL know I can make friends.

Something that struck me to my core during one of the night events on day two was a woman living with stage four. She brought her two kids on stage who couldn’t have been more than 8 and 10.

(I apologize if this sounds morose)

All I could think about was the fact that these kids most likely have five years or less with their mother. Of COURSE I was hopeful that this would not be the case… but I know enough about breast cancer statistics to know it was true.

I think about that family all the time… and for the life of me, I can’t even recall what they looked like or their names.

But I know that if in some small way I can help a doctor conduct more research, or pay for a struggling family to have some comfort as their loved one grows weaker, then I have done sometime worth being proud of.

I complain on my blog a lot about trivial things. I know that.

But I need to remind myself that I am lucky that I got to grow up with the family I did. And I am lucky that I got to spend 23 years with a wonderful mother who taught me more about life  and love than most people ever have.

So if this story has meant anything to you, and you feel moved to help me in my journey, click on the link on the upper right of this post or visit https://shannonallenmusic.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/the-susan-g-komen-3-day-my-thoughtsmy-fears/

I love you all,

xoxo

Shan Babe

Why I “Love” the Way I Do.

May 5th, 2011.

The day my mother passed away.

For those of you who actively read my blog, you know this subject is not new.  I blog about my mom all the time.

I feel like since I’ve been blogging (which has been a little over a year now) I’ve become so much like my mother, it’s almost eerie. I am truly my mother’s daughter.

A free spirit.

A lover.

A crazy, passionate girl.

I can distinctively remember the day I found out that my mother had cancer.

It was 1999.

I was 10, almost 11.

I can also vividly remember the day my mom told us her cancer was back.

It was 2007.

I was 19, fresh out of my Freshman year at UC.

I remember the day I woke up with a bad dream about my dad dying in the spring of 2011. I called Ro in a panic, asking her if everyone in the family was okay. She told me my dad was actually going to unexpectedly be in New England the next day.

The next day my dad came to town and told me I was coming home to spend my final days with my mother.

I was 23.

I remember when my mom sat me down and told me that she had two to four weeks left to live according to her oncologist.

I remember moving her into the hospice bed.

I remember my last words to her.

I remember my first day being alive and alone in this world without my mother.

I remember…

it all.

Now I’m 25.

I’m still a baby. I have a long life to live. The day she died, I felt like my world stopped. I felt like I had no idea how to be in a world where my mom was not.

I literally felt like I had no idea how to keep “living.”

Does that make sense?

My mother was sick for more than half my life.

But to me, she was never dying… because she was always full of so much life and love.

And I think that’s why I am the way I am… because I am my mother’s daughter… through and through.

This past week has been tough, for many reasons. My character has been called into question, and I’ve been feeling pretty insecure as of late.

But this week also opened my eyes to a truth that I sometimes forget.

Like The Beatles say, “All you Need is Love.”

I can say this until I’m BLUE in the face, but I believe there is nothing more true and real and profound and transcendent than being in LOVE. And no, I’m not just talking about romantic love, but just being in love with people and life and living.

Period.

Just giving and receiving love.

Over the years (and as of late) I’ve been labeled as “crazy,” “intense,” “overwhelming,” “over-the-top,” “aggressive,” “exhausting,” and so on and so forth.

Well for all of you to believe these words to be descriptive of me, you’re right.

I AM all of these things.

But you know what… I’m only these things because I see what you might not see.  I spent HALF my life living as the daughter of a mother with cancer.  We didn’t take any moments for granted in my family.

Sure… my mom and I used to get into SCREAMING matches with each other.

But it was only because we cared so passionately and profoundly about each other.

We also loved each other like no other mother and daughter. I don’t think there is a single day that goes by, that I don’t wish I could talk to Ro about something. She knew me better than anyone else.

So go ahead…

Call me crazy.

Call me intense.

Call me over-the-top.

Keep telling me how I’m “too much.”

Because I see what you don’t see.

Because I love like you don’t love.

I care so deeply about the people in my life, that I physically hurt when they hurt.

I cry when they cry.

I bleed when they bleed.

My mother has been gone for two years and one day.

And I’m proud to say that the characteristic I’m most proud of that I get from her is my ability to love.

Like a crazy person.

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Thanks for that Ro.

And I know if you were here… you would never let me forget to be who I am, every single day.

xoxo

Shannon ROSE Allen.

Boobies, Broadway Dreams, Blues Music and The Battle of Blackwater Bay

Some of you must be really confused…

I tried to come up with a title this morning that summed up all the things that have been going on in my life.

“It’s been a long time since I came around… it’s been a long time but I’m back in town…”

Okay, enough with the GAGA lyrics.

A LOT of stuff has gone down since I last spoke to you.

First of all… I’m FINE.

I know the last blog was emotionally charged… but I’m happy to say that I may not have gotten back on the horse… but I have at least saddled it.

Wow… that was really lame.

See… I’m making jokes again! This is a good sign!

Now you all know a while ago I had this grandiose idea to do a campaign that would help fight breast cancer and share my music with everyone.

But you know what… I already share my music with the world… why do I need to take a cut of the proceeds?

This is why I’ve just decided to do this the old fashioned way, and sign up for the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure and raise money for breast cancer

First, please watch my video of WHY I want to embark on this crazy journey…

and please visit my page: bit.ly/Shannon3Day

Now you all probably think I’m nuts.

Well… sorry to break it to you, but this is old news. I’ve been crazy for a while.

As you can see, I’ve installed a widget to the top right corner of my blog for anyone who would like to donate.

And believe me… I UNDERSTAND if you cannot donate. I’m a super poor twenty-something living in NYC, who can barely pay her rent.

But you CAN share it with others. 🙂

ANYTHING you can do no matter how small, will be GREATLY appreciated.

Ro was a fighter, and now it’s time for me to fight in her memory.

Speaking of fighting… I feel like this project is the first thing in a while that I can feel like I’m fighting a WINNING battle.

Lately my life has been filled with losing battles.

I chose this lifestyle. I chose this road. But it hasn’t been easy.

When I came to New York I thought my dream was to work in the music industry.

Then my dream morphed into musical theater.

Well… after I got let from my show I reevaluated a LOT.

Maybe my dream is  what is has been all along… to be an original artist.

The new music I’ve been writing is HEAVILY influenced from a blues place.  It’s where my heart lies.

Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE my first album… but the music I’ve written for my second album feels like HOME!

I’ve never felt so confident in my own ability as when I sit down lately and work on a song.

That’s why I’ve been posting so many things on SoundCloud… and getting a GREAT response.

And THAT is what kept me going after a REALLY SHITTY few weeks.

I had a long talk with my mentor the other night… and I said the words, “I’m tired of fighting.” I feel like I’ve been fighting to get through life since essentially 2008.

I fought to get through the grief of losing so many loved ones between 2008 and 2011.

I fought to get into Berklee.

I fought to make it through the last few months with my mother.

And then I fought to pick my life back up after she was gone.

I fought to write/produce and release my first album.

After graduation I fought to move to New York, where I THOUGHT the music industry was my journey.

I fought to get into an Off-Broadway show with essentially no acting experience.

I FOUGHT to get through the news of pre-cancerous cells residing in my body… and then have the subsequent surgery.

And now I’m fighting to figure out what my life is all about.

The breast cancer walk is a start. I know that raising money in memory of my mother is something I’m meant to do.

Writing and performing music is also helping. My struggle is how to turn my talent into a sustainable living.

If anyone has a manual for life… feel free to give it to me… NOW!

🙂

I know I’ll figure everything out… I’m just waiting for the right opportunity/ies to hit.

In better news: GAME OF THRONES IS FREAKING AWESOME! (If you are a nerd like me… you got the reference to the Battle of Blackwater Bay in my title)

I swear… my perfect idea of escapism is sitting down with one of my Game of Thrones books or watching an old episode on HBO on demand.

It helps numb the pain when I feel like shit about my life/career… which happens to be frequent lately.

So in other crappy news… I’m sick AGAIN. And it killed an audition opportunity today.

THAT BLOWS. It blows the equivalent of how many times I’ve blown my nose today… which is A LOT.

But in great news: I just finished a demo of the song “I Don’t Need No Doctor” originally by Ray Charles, but the version I did was John Mayer’s interpretation of it… then I added my own little “spices”

Funny how I just finished a demo about a “doctor” and then I get REALLY sick.

That’s pretty much how my life works.

xoxo

Shannon Allen

P.S. Winter Is Coming 😉 (another GOT reference… sorry I’m not sorry)

A Pre-Thanksgiving Tidbit

I got to Boston this morning at 3:45 a.m.

I’m exhausted.

But I’ve had an epiphany in the last few hours.

I’m SO thankful for my family, my friends (who are like family), my health, and the opportunities I’ve been given.

Jackie and I watched the HBO documentary “The Education of Dee Dee Ricks” today about a woman who had “everything” and was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It documents her journey of recovery, as well as her less-fortunate friend, Cynthia, from Harlem, who was not so lucky in her road to recovery.

Please check out this website: http://www.theeducationofdeedeericks.com/

And watch the trailer…

Dee Dee’s story is important. It’s one of honesty, empowerment, and the shifting of life goals and expectations.

Today… I decided to shift mine.

Life is too short.

Let me rephrase… life is too FUCKING short.

Today I decided that 2013 will be DEVOTED to my music, spreading love and helping others.

I’ve had a few doors slam in my face lately, but I think that all these signs are pointing to the fact that I MUST follow my heart and be a performer.

I don’t care what I have to do… I NEED to perform and keep making music.

I’m grateful that I have two feet to stand on, a voice to sing with, and the means to help others with my story.

BIG thinks are coming.

I just needed this week to push me over the edge.

2013… WATCH OUT!

Here comes your girl,

SHAN HALEN